In the past five years, B2B buyers have seen a dramatic shift in how they shop and research. Buyers no longer need to visit their local B2B shop, speak with a sales representative, or order from a catalog. Digital is the new […]
In the past five years, B2B buyers have seen a dramatic shift in how they shop and research. Buyers no longer need to visit their local B2B shop, speak with a sales representative, or order from a catalog. Digital is the new standard for buyers. They can start their buying journey online and even make purchases offline.
Recent research has shown that 67% of all purchases in multiple industrial manufacturing, pack-and-ship, and shipping industries are influenced by digital. 1 This is a new type B2B buying behavior — buyers are navigating between online and offline.
Marketers need to understand how this behavior changes so they can reach people when they are most needed. These are three insights that will help you better serve today’s B2B buyer.
- 1 Online inquiry from B2B buyers
- 2 Store visits are faster when digital is used
- 3 Long-term optimization
Online inquiry from B2B buyers
The majority of offline buyers are being influenced by online research and doing extensive independent research. Today’s B2B buyer might look online for information, conduct multiple Google Searches or visit branded websites before making a purchase. They search for brand comparisons and product specifications, and then they look for the best offers and discounts. They will only then go offline to purchase the product.
In the early stages of research, curiosity is a common theme. Online research is more general than targeted. It’s more of an exploration of the world around you and not a focused search. Online research tends to be broad, rather than a targeted search. For example, 58% B2B industrial manufacturer buyers start their online research with a product (for instance, a lawnmower, tire or sprinkler). Then they follow up with a brand.
No matter what category they are in, most shoppers who search online consider 2+ brands. Sort by category
Store visits are faster when digital is used
People can make decisions and take action faster with digital research and technology. This digital empowerment is a key factor in today’s B2B buyer. It also leads to impatience. They want what they need right away. It takes only minutes to go through the credit card application and then hand it over. You can also forget about repeat customers who have made frequent visits to your store. B2B customers are more confident buying on their first visit to your store because of the advantages of digital research.
Shoppers are taking decisions faster across all B2B categories. Sort by category
Don’t let this fool you. Today’s B2B buyer can be agile and make quick decisions. Many B2B buyers today are able to use digital channels, such as online retailers, third-party websites and online retailers, to research quickly and make quick decisions.
Many B2B buyers consider online their last point of influence. Sort by category
Loyalty can be built by meeting people at the right times and sharing the right content online. Loyalty can be built by meeting people at the right times and sharing relevant content on digital.
Digital engagement after purchase was more effective in retaining customers. Sort by category
These insights will help B2B brands better reach people at all stages of the buying journey and optimize their long-term growth. It’s important to measure the digital impact across offline and online channels in order to see what’s working. These are just three ways to get started.
- Focus on a single goal for the company. All metrics and teams should align towards the common goal of driving sales. B2B buyers don’t distinguish between channels.
- Learn, test, and iterate. Digital marketing has a significant impact on offline sales. Begin with basic correlation modeling and matched market testing. Next, move on to more sophisticated tools such as data-driven marketing mix modeling and direct matchback. This will allow for better mix allocation and ongoing performance optimization.
- Review data regularly to help with decision-making. Set up regular check-ins to review real-time data and then optimize spend across both online and offline channels based upon what’s working and what’s not.
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