In 34 years of developing strategic marketing plans and tactics for international FMCG companies, we have seen an important shift in the way of doing business.
This shift has been accelerated in the last decade.
The blurry line between B2C and B2B ecommerce
The growth of B2B ecommerce in the last 10 years has been significant, driven by similar factors that have contributed to the overall growth of ecommerce.
One of the major factors that have driven the growth of B2B ecommerce has been advancements in technology. The increased availability and affordability of high-speed internet and the widespread adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices have made it easier for businesses to establish and maintain an online presence. This has enabled B2B companies to reach a global audience, providing them with access to new customers and markets.
Another key factor in the growth of B2B ecommerce has been the increasing adoption of digital technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. These technologies have made it possible for B2B companies to streamline their operations, improve their efficiency, and provide a better customer experience.
In addition to these technological advancements, changes in consumer behavior have also played a major role in the growth of B2B ecommerce. Businesses are becoming more comfortable purchasing goods and services online, and are looking for convenience, variety, and value. A study by Forrester Research found that B2B ecommerce sales in the US alone were expected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023.
The pandemic has also accelerated the growth of B2B ecommerce, as many companies have had to shift to remote work and have turned to online platforms to purchase goods and services.
This trend is expected to continue even after the pandemic ends, as many businesses have grown accustomed to the convenience of online shopping and will likely continue to shop online even after it is safe to return to physical stores.
This convenience has been driven by successful giant B2C tycoons like Amazon, Zappos and Wayfair, where keeping the promise made to the customer is now the core of customer experience.
This has caused the shift of B2B business to undergo a transformation in their service-models making the line between B2C and B2B very blurry. At least form a customer experience perspective.
Customer experience drives B2B branding
In the world of business-to-business (B2B) transactions, the customer experience is a crucial aspect of building and maintaining a successful brand. A positive customer experience can lead to increased brand loyalty, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth advertising. On the other hand, a negative customer experience can have the opposite effect, damaging the company’s reputation and resulting in lost business.
Branding is in the hands of customers
It has been a while since branding is no longer in the hands of brands. The rhetoric of the brands is controlled and driven by clients and customers.
One way to enhance the customer experience in B2B is through effective branding. A strong brand can help a company stand out in a crowded marketplace, and can also convey important information about the company’s products or services. By consistently communicating a clear and compelling brand message, a company can create trust and credibility with its customers.
Another important aspect of the customer experience in B2B is the ability to provide personalized service. This can be accomplished by taking the time to understand the unique needs and requirements of each customer, and then tailoring the company’s products or services to meet those needs. By going the extra mile to provide personalized service, a company can build strong relationships with its customers and foster a sense of loyalty.
Additionally, providing excellent customer service is also a key component of customer experience. This includes promptly addressing any issues or concerns that may arise, as well as proactively communicating with customers to keep them informed about their orders or any changes to the products or services being provided. By providing excellent customer service, a company can demonstrate that it values its customers and is committed to meeting their needs.
The customer experience is a crucial aspect of building and maintaining a successful B2B brand. By effectively branding, providing personalized service, and delivering exceptional customer service, a company can create positive customer experiences that lead to increased brand loyalty, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth advertising. In today’s highly competitive B2B marketplace, the ability to deliver a positive customer experience can be a key differentiator that helps a company stand out from the competition by delivering goods on time and as promised.
How does fulfillment affect the customer experience
Fulfillment, or the process of delivering a product or service to a customer, can have a significant impact on the customer experience.
A smooth and efficient fulfillment process can lead to a positive customer experience, while a poorly executed fulfillment process can lead to a negative customer experience.
One way that fulfillment can positively impact the customer experience is by ensuring timely delivery of products or services on time and as promised.
Customers want to receive their orders as soon as possible, and a company that can deliver orders quickly and efficiently can create a positive impression. This can be achieved through effective inventory management, streamlined logistics, and efficient order processing.
Another way that fulfillment can positively impact the customer experience is by providing accurate and detailed tracking information.
Customers appreciate the ability to track the status of their orders, and by providing this information in real-time, a company can create a sense of transparency and trust.
Fulfillment can also positively impact the customer experience by providing an easy and convenient returns process. Customers appreciate the ability to easily return or exchange items that don’t meet their expectations. A smooth and hassle-free returns process can help build customer loyalty and increase repeat business.
On the other hand, a poor fulfillment process can lead to a negative customer experience. This can include delayed or lost orders, inaccurate tracking information, and a difficult or confusing returns process. These issues can lead to frustration, dissatisfaction, and ultimately, lost business.
Fulfillment plays a crucial role in the customer experience
By ensuring timely delivery, providing accurate tracking information, and making the returns process easy, a company can create positive customer experiences that lead to increased brand loyalty and repeat business. On the other hand, a poor fulfillment process can negatively impact the customer experience and ultimately harm a company’s reputation and bottom line.
In conclusion, customer in a B2B environment are now used to experience the same service and experience to have with their B2C transactions.
This is forcing companies and specially FMCG companies like Beverages and beer to streamline the entire value chain and align their entire organization to focus on one unique aspect, keeping the customer happy.