“By 2022, profitability will be replaced by customer experience in the strategic priority list of CMO’s” – Gartner’s Prediction
Growing a B2B eCommerce business is challenging! But if you are able to identify a few marketing strategies and implement the most important to your growth strategy plan, your business is bound to grow.
Whether B2B or B2C, providing good online purchasing experiences has become imperative. You must focus on your marketing strategy, and key tool integrations to deliver an omnichannel experience to your end consumer.
In the digital-first world, B2B businesses have had to adopt digital strategies to grow sales reach and boost revenue.
And why wouldn’t they? Implementing a strategic online marketing plan for your business will not only insulate the business during shifts in buying patterns, but it will also be paramount to delivering long-term value to customers.
But which marketing strategies are now considered essential for B2B eCommerce businesses?
Well, that’s a question we intend to answer in this article!
5 B2B eCommerce Growth Hacks to embrace in 2021 & Beyond
You may be on a constant search to find the right B2B marketing strategies and trends that make sense for your business. And with evolving, unforeseen situations, marketing strategies have shifted tremendously!
We have listed 5 growth hacks to boost B2B online sales in 2021 and beyond.
1. Hyper-Personalization (leverage business data)
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better” – Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon
We live in an age where customers’ buying patterns and behaviors are constantly evolving and shifting! Consumers are served with endless choices and merchants at their fingertips.
Given the reality of this, what does a business need to do to increase engagement?
For starters, they need to embrace a strategy known as ‘Hyper-personalization’.
Hyper personalization is not about addressing your user with their name. It refers to gathering real-time behavioral data on them to serve tailored products and services.
When done correctly, businesses will witness an increased wave of customer engagement with their brand, onsite and across all active channels.
What about push notifications, have you considered implementing these! They are a prime example of a hyper-personalized shopping experience.
Take ‘Me-commerce’ giant, Amazon, for example, their recommendation engine powers 35% of conversions. By analyzing metrics such as purchase history, wish lists, items searched, rated, or liked; Amazon’s recommendation engine is constantly tuned to personalize its users’ shopping experience.
Today’s consumer is reliant on user-generated content, reviews, and influencers.
A targeted approach is the future of eCommerce, businesses will need to create segments to improve customer experiences; which in turn will help boost sales revenue, across all channels.
A study by Salesforce suggested, 51% of consumers will expect companies to anticipate their needs and recommend services/products to them before they make a contact.
Are you delivering hyper-personalized experiences on your eCommerce platform?
Well, if not! You’re not meeting the expectations of potentially half your consumers
Data is the driving force. Hyper-personalization is a heavy lift and requires clean data, proper tools, and technology to make it work.
You can leverage robust CRM tools like Salesforce, NetSuite, HubSpot, etc. to leverage the power of data. You can also consider eCommerce personalization tools like HiConversion, Justuno, Nosto, and Searchspring, each of which offers a unique toolset that can help create more personalized experiences for B2B shoppers.
2. Reward & Loyalty Programs
In case you’re interested, Betty Crocker launched the very first loyalty program in 1929 by issuing coupons to redeem premiums like flatware.
eCommerce adoption is huge, and so is the competition. To win in such a competitive market, reward and loyalty programs can act as an effective customer retention tool. They will keep your existing customers engaged, while continually attracting new ones, helping your business develop, grow, and nurture a community of loyal customers.
A great example, the Starbucks reward program is regarded as one of the best retail loyalty programs in existence. They’ve witnessed an impressive 14.2 million customers join their rewards program. Revolutionary, right!
They revolutionized their ‘card only’ loyalty programs by taking them online. The Starbucks app delivered an outstanding mobile experience by displaying users with the exact ‘star’ points they currently have, with other benefits of placing orders and making payments.
Whether you are considering a point-based or subscription-based loyalty program, you can develop one around your business model, and aimed at your target audience; ultimately forming a loyal customer base.
You may already be thinking of all the effort required to implement a successful program! And you would be right; however, using an extension will help simplify the process tremendously.
For instance, the Aheadworks Reward Program extension will help you configure rules with flexible settings to draft your own smart reward program. You can track transactions, specify any relevant information and connect POS for delivering an omnichannel experience on your Magento eCommerce store.
Keep in mind, the best loyalty programs are easy to understand and should focus on creating rewarding buying experiences for your customers.
3. Creating Product-specific Content (or on Industry Niche)
Quality content is what online consumers are looking for! Are you handing it to them?
Creating content pieces that move back and forth throughout the buyers’ journey, are opportunities to reinforce positive experiences, and establish a subtle attachment to the brand.
As an eCommerce Merchant, you will have the ongoing task of creating content. But simply creating content isn’t enough, you need to understand the importance of strategy, and proper placement, ensuring it’s received and consumed by your target audience.
In a digital-first world, most prospects you aim to convert are looking for:
- Solutions to their unique business needs
- Educational documents on their industry (white papers)
- Product/Service Comparisons
- Product/Service Details (Brochures)
- Information around technological upgrades
The above, when provided as gated content, can do wonders for growing B2B business lead data.
Don’t just write about your business, rather write about solving problems your target audiences are experiencing. They’ll read it with enthusiasm and probably share it as well!
So, how exactly can you create share-worthy content?
Tools such as SEMrush, Ubersuggest, and Answerthepublic are your ‘assistants’ in locating what users are looking for in your specific niche. These tools are also a great resource when it comes to performing keyword research.
Once you’ve completed your initial research, decide to publish relevant content in any (or all) of the following formats:
- eBooks/ Product catalogs
- Case Studies
- Product Demos/Pricing Documents
I bet you already knew about those! Best to begin using them more frequently to create quality product/service-specific content for your business, tailored to your audience.
4. Don’t Miss The Obvious
Apart from some industry-specific efforts, there are obvious marketing initiatives that will help you succeed in the B2B space.
Work on your B2B website as much as you can. It’s a direct reflection of the overall health of your business and oftentimes serves as your first impression to a potential customer. You must build a strong website, capable of attracting, engaging customers, and ultimately driving sales.
Next, adding automation into your marketing plan has become a requirement to grow sales, and can save time on performing repetitive tasks, campaigns will run with little to no effort. If you’re aiming at automating your emails or run drip email campaigns, tools such as Klaviyo, Omnisend, and Rejoiner can be useful. You can also consider platforms like Voyage SMS that will allow you to reach out to shoppers through text messages and other potentially more effective communication channels.
If you want to streamline social media management, tools like Hootsuite or Loomly can help you manage most social media channels in a single platform.
Other tools such as Dotdigital, Emarsys, Listrak, and Wigzo can help you automate many marketing tasks and provide an omnichannel, customer engagement platform. These tools act as an omnichannel marketing solution to manage data, perform analysis, build audience segments, and create relevant marketing campaigns.
Are you curious about other growth opportunities suited for the B2B Industry?
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Emails & Newsletters
- Social media
- Facebook Ads
- Google Ads
- LinkedIn Inmail Ads
- Blogging (Guest Posting)
- Retargeting Ads
5. Embrace Unique & Different Approaches
In the race to stay ahead of your competition, while you focus your efforts on traditional B2B strategies, you should embrace unique marketing strategies as well.
Leverage not-so-obvious approaches that can boost and optimize other marketing efforts. Building brands is one of them.
Considered as the long-term approach, brand building is an impactful, and sustainable way to market an eCommerce business and secure its long-term growth.
Brand building can take 6 months or more, perhaps even years! The bottom line is you should invest in building your brand from day one to remain ahead of your existing and upcoming competitors.
Following the above list of marketing initiatives, coupled with a branded approach will eventually help you in establishing and adding value to your brand.
How awesome will it be, when an end-consumer thinks of a product or service and your brand name is what pops up into their head?!
It is possible, but you must invest time and energy and overall brand success will be achieved!
Apart from positioning yourself as a standout brand amongst your target audiences, you must continuously work on out-of-the-box ideas, as those will fuel brand-building efforts. These might include:
- Partnering with global organizations
- Providing attractive offers or free demos of products/services
- Participating in or sponsoring industry-specific conferences/events
- Coming up with unique discounting methods
There you have it! Our top 5 growth hacks to focus on in 2021 and beyond.
The B2B eCommerce space is growing rapidly and with higher consumer expectations. You must streamline your marketing efforts and focus on what your business does best to grow sales, and outpace the competition!
From where we stand, the discussed tactics are the solid foundation to build a strong B2B business. Some of these efforts are similar to B2C; however, B2B buyers have come to expect intuitive shopping experiences across all eCommerce, and they’re likely to energize the engagement in B2B models as well!
Be sure to allocate appropriate budgets across all channels, partner with trusted eCommerce agencies, and invest in the right tools.
We’ll conclude this blog with one final pro eCommerce B2B marketing tip. If you’re a Magento2 eCommerce store, looking to take your business to new heights with powerful, cost-effective solutions, a comprehensive B2B Extensions suite will make your business more intuitive, user-friendly, competitive, and profitable!
Integrating a robust suite of extensions will enable powerful B2B functionality to your eCommerce store, freeing up valuable time, allowing your team to focus more on marketing efforts and achieving your branding and sales goals.
All the best with your marketing efforts!