Going Mobile: Why B2B Companies Can’t Afford to Get Left Behind
When it comes to businesses focusing on new mobile platforms, much of the attention has been focused on the business-to-consumer (B2C) market. After all, it is consumers that often require an omnichannel level of engagement before making a single purchase—if they decide to buy anything at all.
Mobile platforms have provided consumers with immersive experiences, while at the same time reducing transaction costs and increasing revenues for companies that have taken advantage of the rapidly growing mobile commerce market.
But what differentiates today’s B2B mobile approach from a B2C strategy? Are there legitimate reasons why some B2B companies are shying away from mobile technology, or are the reservations of most B2B businesses unjustified?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re working in B2B or B2C commerce; at the end of the day, we’re all consumers. Personal expectations are set in the B2C market, which in turn carry over to what customers expect out of B2B experiences.
And if a fully integrated mobile experience isn’t being utilized to ensure that customers’ needs are being met in one place, then those customers are going to take their business elsewhere.
What Makes Going Mobile for B2B So Different?
Many B2B companies consider the technological differences between B2B and B2C too drastic to implement a strategy for their businesses. It’s not uncommon for B2B organizations to view the mobile market as too simplistic to satisfy the complicated needs of their clients.
That’s because many B2B companies have spent years building personal relationships between sales representatives and clients that are accustomed to one-on-one transactions, paper sales contracts, and tangible receipts. Others do not feel secure when directing their clients to mobile platforms based on an inherent distrust of mobile sites to provide sufficient security for high-priced, high-quantity transactions.
Luckily, tools like hybris B2B Commerce are designed to address key issues that business owners often bring up when asked about moving their businesses to a multichannel commerce solution. Companies that are concerned with the impact that mobile technology will have on their sales department won’t have to worry when their representatives are better equipped to do their jobs with powerful mobile tools like digital catalogs and relationship management.
Such tools can also reduce support requests by providing customers with self-service resources, thus freeing up time for a company’s sales reps to do what they do best: Sell.
Security is another issue that B2B companies often cite when addressing their concerns about going mobile. Many old-school business owners believe that B2B transactions are far too expensive for an online platform, and are better handled through one-on-one transactions.
But with secure transaction technology that is available through tools such as hybris B2B Commerce—paired with a myriad of approval systems and confirmation options—making large B2B purchases through mobile platforms is just as safe as swiping a credit card.
So What’s in it for My Business?
If you’re analyzing the different ways that going mobile can have a constructive outcome for your business, then you’re already on the right track. Companies like Chevrolet, Discover, and Tommy Bahama have already taken the plunge.
Consider Chevrolet’s approach to mobile commerce optimization, for example. Acquity Group recently teamed with Adobe to build upon the Adobe Experience Manager platform to deliver a completely redesigned mobile experience for Chevrolet’s customers. According to Acquity Group, the range of services that revolved around Chevy’s mobile content migration and visual overhaul increased traffic to offers on Chevrolet websites by 650 percent year-over-year, with mobile site visits rising 61 percent in the six months following the launch.
With numbers like that, your business can’t afford to ignore mobile commerce.
The lines that differentiate B2B from B2C e-commerce are blurring by the minute. One of the most exciting aspects of the ever-changing B2B mobile commerce environment is the fact that many tools—like Adobe Experience Manager and hybris B2B Commerce—already provide companies with the rich imagery and engaging experiences that are indicative of B2C sites, all while managing the back office necessities like product catalog management, pricing information, and shopping cart data that are essential for B2B platforms.
Customers that are browsing company sites that are already taking advantage of these tools are also greeted with personalized landing page profiles that cater to their individual needs. Whereas B2C customers are welcomed with vivid product imagery and simple purchase buttons, B2B customers will have instant access to quick order forms, account information, purchase history and cost-center access.
The data is compelling, and the movement is clear: Businesses that do not embrace the future of B2B mobile commerce are essentially leaving a huge gap in their market share that another company is sure to fill: A company that is hungrier, more adaptable, and is willing to take the current B2B mobile trend and run with it.
So, is your company ready to enable the power that mobile commerce has to offer?
*For an in-depth look into how Adobe Experience Manager and hybris B2B are delivering comprehensive solutions and experience-driven commerce, check out my latest demo by clicking here.