Based on a recent UPS Purchasing Insights Study of 1,500 industrial buyers, 63% purchase goods from their suppliers’ websites and 2/3 prefer going to their providers’ websites for information. There is also a statistic floating around today that says that 57% of all B to B buying decisions are made before the buyer ever speaks to a sales person. So the verdict is in – selling to businesses is looking more like eCommerce every day.
There was a lot of talk about this at IRCE, and a number of really smart, capable people in B to B eCommerce talked about how companies can make their website a real asset to their own sales and customer success process. In listening, two things really got me thinking. First, will your site play a role in the acquisition and retention of customers? If you want your site to develop a dialogue with prospects and customers, then you and I have plenty of work to do to deploy a content marketing strategy and combine it with eCommerce-like responsive site design and usability. Next, will your site support procurement? If so, this has far reaching impacts on your organization, budget and business model.
As a B to B marketer myself, I get it. It’s not really about business to business anymore. It’s people selling to people. According to Forrester Research, marketing budgets in B to B companies are rising by 6% this year and in order to meet the eCommerce expectations of the people we all sell to, I expect we are going to need every single penny of that budget.