(Expansion) – Buyers in any industry are the first link in the supply chain and a pillar for the operation of companies. Without supplies to help production, it is not possible to start a business, especially in a world where they are increasingly within reach, thanks to the digitization of commerce.
According to UNCTAD, 82% of all electronic commerce in the world, including direct sales to consumers, are transactions between companies, also called business-to-business or B2B trade. With this large volume, companies that buy and sell through digital media must guide their strategies thinking about the so-called customer centricity , that is, buyers who are the ones who have a large part of the final purchase decision in a company.
In the complicated global environment, marked by a possible economic recession that has set off alerts in companies in all sectors, strategies are needed today so that sales are affected as little as possible. The challenge for companies is focused on the variables they can control, for example, offering the best experience for their market, that is, for their buyers.
Buyers in B2B commerce
In order to define the strategies for a better business relationship, it is necessary to know the factors that motivate or discourage buyers from continuing a relationship with other companies in order to be more competitive in the current situation.
A survey conducted by the agency Sana, to more than 1,282 B2B buyers in various countries, revealed that the quality of electronic commerce is causing buyers to turn to see other alternatives in the market.
Among the main reasons they mention regarding the deficiency in the commercial relationship is, in the first place, the delivery and monitoring of products and services, followed by the relationship with suppliers, the visibility in the characteristics of the products and the payment conditions. .
Companies that have opted for electronic commerce must analyze whether the promise of sales to the customer is being carried out or if it is time to change the strategy.
5 keys to consider in B2B commerce
Going back to basics is a critical element in rethinking a B2B commerce strategy. Based on the Sana report and my experience, I share these five pillars to put the customer at the center and improve their shopping experience:
Transparency. Knowing the buyer and understanding their needs is the key to establishing a good relationship. One of the values that buyers appreciate the most is transparent transactions, without “fine print” or hidden clauses.
Reliability of the information. According to Sana, the more often a buyer is presented with incorrect information or inaccurate details about products or orders, the more likely they are to go to the competition.
Comfort. According to the study, more than 30% of shoppers are frustrated by the lack of visibility into product features, ease of payment, ease of repeat orders, and even access to order history. Digital platforms should be designed to facilitate the work of both the seller and the buyer. If a transaction is complicated, the client will surely look for another provider.
Personalization. Thanks to technology, it is possible to have a greater knowledge of each one of the clients, being proactive in suggestive sales relevant to them. It is a general trend in marketing that, thanks to digital tools, buyers can have an experience directed to each one of them, based on past purchases and other factors.
Confidence. Relationships based on trust are those that last. As in all business relationships, trust is built with a good shopping experience in general, and is consolidated with a successful transaction until the product reaches its destination.
Creating a positive customer experience between companies starts with being empathic with their needs and goals. Successful business relationships seek to go beyond a sale, they seek to create a permanent bond of trust in which both parties benefit from a lasting price-quality relationship.
In an environment in which the economy is going through turmoil and companies are looking for the best options that optimize resources, the service can be the faithful one that tips the balance in the decision to purchase highly competitive products. You have to put the buyer at the center, that is the origin of any successful strategy in B2B commerce.
Editor’s note: Luiz Reis is Director of Growth for Bionexo International Operations. Follow him on . The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.