As B2B e-commerce reaches new heights, enterprises need to transform themselves digitally to be able to make a mark for themselves. Only those who have strong digital ambitions (and work towards achieving them) can survive and thrive in today’s competitive digital landscape. But new players, with their forward-thinking digital efforts, are putting old ones under pressure and often end up grabbing a big slice of the B2B cake.

As the shift towards digital technologies continues to accelerate, speed is of the essence. B2B organizations have no choice but to get onto the digital bandwagon to meet the new and evolving demands of modern customers. Yet, many B2B organizations struggle in their journey in becoming entirely digital.

Here are 3 reasons why the digital ambitions of 66% of B2B organizations have stalled:

Reason 1: They lack a digital commerce strategy

One of the main things B2B organizations need to transform their digital future is a differentiated strategy that aligns content to the customer. The lack of a content-centric digital strategy and practical roadmap means an inability to accelerate product information process while struggling to improve customer experience and revenue performance. For these organizations, it could mean digital transformation or bust.

To ensure the journey to digital is uninterrupted, organizations need to

  • First, build a robust digital commerce strategy by understanding customer needs and building on organizational strengths.
  • Ensure the strategy is led by product content, experience goals, and technology – in that order.
  • Embrace analytics to constantly unearth insights about customer behavior, market trends, and competitor profiles.
  • Work towards understanding supply chain dynamics and using digital technologies to minimize demand/supply uncertainties.
  • Identify (and evaluate) customer segmentation while maximizing cross-sell and up-sell opportunities and enhancing Customer Lifetime Value

Reason 2: The existence of poor product content

Another reason why B2B organizations struggle to meet their digital ambitions is because of poor product content. Given the fact that today’s customers expect accurate, relevant, and consistent product content, it has quickly become the fuel of digital commerce. Product content that drives the buyer journey forward has become critical to your business. Without an end-to-end product content design, it becomes difficult for customers to make purchasing decisions because they can’t find what they need or evaluate the options presented to them.

Meeting content quality standards and ensuring its completeness requires B2B organizations to:

  • Embrace modern MDM and PIM tools and technologies to create a single, centralized version of accurate and updated content and ensure the required level of content compliance.
  • Work towards building end-to-end product content design and delivering differentiated and rich content to improve product findability and sales.
  • Constantly update and improve product content, so customers always have the information they need at every touchpoint of the buying journey.
  • Enable content contextualization based on specific needs and wants, so customers are always provided with the right contextual content, at the right place, and at the right time.
  • Drive efforts in offering a range of enriched product information in the form of images, video, descriptions, manufacturing and warranty information, installation manuals, and more to build credibility and authority.

Reason 3: The absence of a fulfilling product user experience 

Digital B2B customers need a lot more than just modern products; they seek a fulfilling product user experience with a meaningful, well-designed interface, and rich content. Organizations that do not offer a decent product user experience fail to resolve customer queries and struggle to meet their expectations.

To create a fulfilling product user experience, B2B organizations must:

  • Unearth customer insights in the form of segmentation, journey mapping, competitive benchmarking.
  • Work on building a rich and curated catalog design that establishes a trustworthy and efficient customer journey.
  • Integrate recommendation engines to suggest products, services, and bundles based on past behavior, current preferences, and future needs.
  • Provide customers with selection guides and product comparisons to ease out the decision-making process.
  • Leverage data and insights to create a rich assortment of products, bundles, and accessories.

With digital transformation causing a transformation of the industry, organizations have no choice but to build unique and personalized digital product experiences at every stage of the customer journey. Keeping pace with the evolving B2B landscape is not easy, especially for organizations that aren’t digitally mature. The absence of a digital commerce strategy, poor product content, and a lackluster product user experience can all come in the way of the digital ambitions of B2B organizations. To achieve digital success, it is important for organizations to build on their commerce strategy, enable a rich product UX, and drive efforts in improving experience design, so customer needs and business goals are met. That’s the digital reality of today.