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How Manufacturers are Transitioning from B2B to B2C.
In a bid to keep up with the modern digital commerce consumer, brands often find themselves needing to re-focus their approach and transition from B2B to B2C which is by no means an easy feat. In this piece, I’ll be exploring the elements of change brand’s experience and how best to implement this across your business.
The current global business model sees manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers all squeezing for profits and with consumers demanding better pricing; manufacturers are going out on their own in a bid to improve margins, enhance the customer experience and reduce their dependency on resellers.
Businesses that choose to transition from a B2B to a B2C model can expect to benefit from:
- Instant feedback
- Higher profit margins
- The ability to control the way their product interacts with their audience
- The ability to offer their full range to customers and not just products cherry-picked by retailers
With these benefits in mind, it’s important to consider the business impact of this transition and which areas will be most affected and how best to implement these changes.
Changes in the Approach to Marketing
B2B businesses are not typically well versed with B2C marketing strategies, as previously, these have been up to the resellers, but brands looking to make this shift will now need to consider eCommerce, PPC, SEO, automation, engagement plans and more.
Marketing will also encompass a lot more ‘sales’ work than seen previously; with marketers being responsible for retargeting abandoned checkouts, sending email follow-ups and interacting with customers at every stage of the purchase journey. This is very different from B2B where sales would usually take over leads and nurture them through to fruition.
The most important thing to consider here is data. Marketing needs to own all customer and prospect data so that they can harness this and deliver successful data-driven marketing campaigns; having a very clear marketing strategy for every stage of the consumer journey would also be highly beneficial.
Changes to the Sales Cycle
In B2B the sales cycle is more predictable with set stages… However, in B2C this is very different. There’s no real way of knowing how long a sales cycle might last; it could be a quick 30-second, impulse buy or it could be something that takes a week, month or year with several interactions with your brand across multiple channels. With this in mind, it’s really important to have clear, concise user journeys where the path to conversion is friction-free!
Customer Retention / Loyalty
In the world of B2C, it’s likely that brands will experience a pretty large target audience in comparison to B2B.
It’s important, therefore, to remember that whilst audiences might be much larger and marketing campaigns might be talking to millions of users, you’re only likely to convert a small percentage of the target audience to customers. This makes it increasingly important for your brand to be delivering personalised experiences where possible with 56% of B2C customers reporting that a tailored experience based on past interactions is critical to winning their business.
It’s also crucial for B2C brands to focus on repeat customers as they tend to spend up to three times as much as someone making a one-off purchase and it costs five times more to attract a new customer than it does to drive repeat purchasing. Here are a few key ways to incentivise this:
- Start a loyalty scheme
- Offer discounts to customers that spend over a certain amount or offer them exclusive discounts and early access to sales
- Recommend other products at checkout or ‘other users also purchased’ items
- Send out replenishment emails
- Provide smart product recommendations and send these out in your email blasts
- Ensure check-outs are friction-free
- Send checkout abandonment emails
There are multiple touch-points to consider when working in B2C all of which come before consumers even make a purchase, these might include a phone call, live chat, social media posts, emails, website browsing, form completions and so on. One of the biggest things to consider as you transition into a B2C offering is ensuring that your brand is able to cope with the volume of interactions and that they are able to manage them and deliver an exceptional customer experience that positively represents your brand from one touchpoint to the next.
Would you like to learn more about how Sagittarius can support your eCommerce digital aspirations? Get in touch with one of our experts on 0208 070 7820 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Having joined the agency in 2013, Sarah has been part of the agencies growth story and leads the marketing team in delivering great internal and external brand experiences, driving sales and developing relationships with key strategic suppliers.