20 Aug Salesforce B2B Commerce and the Influence of B2C on the Marketplace
B2B businesses have traditionally adopted technology slower than their B2C counterparts. This is changing quickly, however, as more and more customers expect simpler cloud-based solutions and a superior Customer Experience (CX), both of which Salesforce B2B Commerce can provide. Many of the early attempts made at solving issues didn’t address the modern online shopping experience that most of us have come to expect at home.
A recent Salesforce Research survey of over 8,000 consumers and business buyers in 16 countries revealed that nearly seven in ten of those surveyed “expect an ‘Amazon-like’ buying experience from their business vendors and almost as many have switched vendors when the customer experience disappoints.”
Here are just some of the ways that Salesforce B2B Commerce can help you gain a competitive advantage with a modernized approach designed to meet the customer’s desire for that “Amazon-like” experience:
The B2B Storefront
At the forefront of any customer experience is the B2B Commerce Storefront, the branded store your customers visit when they browse, add items to their cart and place orders. The basic experience is very much like any B2C e-Commerce website, but on closer look there’s much more happening beneath the surface:
- Customers can login to view their contract pricing and personalized catalogs in the storefront. Using data stored in Salesforce, you can target specific customers with promotions and recommendations, or apply credits and discounts.
- Kits and bundles can be created to group products together for easier purchasing of related items. Discounts can also be applied to encourage bulk purchasing.
- Quick reordering and collaborative cart building with live inventory updates help customers cut down on inefficiencies. At checkout, multiple payment options are available to address B2B business norms including: Automated Clearinghouse (ACH), Credit or Payment on Account.
Other features specific to B2B Commerce include managing deliveries to multiple locations, tracking those shipments, and keep track of related invoices and orders.
All of these are available and optimized to work across a range of devices from desktop to mobile.
While your customers enjoy a seamless ordering experience on the storefront, you’ll be able to track their activity using the various features in Salesforce to enhance their experience and your business. This 360° view of customer activity across sales, service, and commerce can be used by your sales team to identify opportunities and manage customer service more effectively.
Order-on-behalf of customers is another feature that can be employed in situations when customer service representatives (CSRs) are required to assist in ordering complex products or facilitating orders via traditional channels such as email, telephone or fax.
Integrating B2B Commerce with third-party logistics (3PL) connects the whole process in Salesforce from login to fulfillment.
With nearly three-quarters of businesses expecting “vendors to have connected processes such as providing seamless hand-offs between various departments,” it has never been more important to connect all of your B2C touchpoints.
Empower Customers with Commerce and Content
Customers want the right information to make purchase decisions, but that can take up a great deal of time for CSRs. Using a Commerce and Content model, you provide your customers with enhanced content such as Marketing Materials, Manuals, Specs, Parts Information and more.
Enhanced content will further provide an in-depth overview of products and influence your customers’ purchase decisions, while freeing up resources to focus on other matters. Salesforce’s CMS allows you to implement multiple languages and share across multiple channels – even outside of the B2B Commerce experience, all from a central location.
Leading your Category in Customer Experience
Business buyers, millennials in particular, expect sophisticated digital tools and features to be as much a part of their day-to-day work experience as they are elsewhere. The customer journey needs to offer a mobile experience, product comparisons, personalized recommendations, real-time messaging and other proactive services for B2B vendors to retain them in the short and long term.
Getting out in front of the competition in the B2B Commerce space will position your business as a leader in its industry. All you need to decide now is if you plan on being an early adopter or part of the majority.