Productsup provides a SaaS solution for product content integration, optimization and distribution. Our aim is to help brands and retailers to stay agile and be at the forefront of digital transformation.
Product feed management and data syndication has never been easier. Built with the business user in mind, Productsup excels in usability and innovation.
B2B buying has always been a complicated dance. In the past, sales representatives needed to master their role, develop perfect pitches, and nurture mutually beneficial relationships with buyers. But that was before the age of digital natives. Now, digital natives make up 73% of the workforce involved in B2B purchasing decision making. And that number is not going back down anytime soon.
Digitally native B2B buyers are more autonomous and have more information- and technology-based expectations about the customer journey than their predecessors.
Why do digital natives care so much about this type of product content? How can modern commerce and ecommerce businesses fulfill buyer expectations and stay relevant today?
There is one key trait of digital native shoppers: they want to be their own, highly autonomous, advocate.
Millennials and digital natives have lived their entire lives with Google at their fingertips, and they’re accustomed to finding information themselves. These buyers are self-sufficient and want to come to the deal table armed with their own research. In fact, in 2017, 68% of buyers surveyed believed that finding product content themselves was superior to interacting with a sales rep.
This generation of shoppers expects easy, ungated access to information about pricing, features, competitors, reviews, and anything that could impact a purchase decision. Here’s what you can do to meet their expectations today and (more importantly) tomorrow.
The seemingly opposite arenas of B2B and B2C selling have become increasingly similar. B2B buyers want direct access to information and purchasing options—both of which are longtime pillars of B2C. They expect a smooth, multichannel experience. In fact, 1 out of 4 of today’s buyers have bought B2B products via mobile. That’s not a B2C stat—we’re talking B2B!
Multichannel (and omnichannel) experiences are built into their brains, and they might find it unsettling when a major seller can’t live up to modern expectations. Importantly, multichannel doesn’t simply mean all the places where your company lists and advertises. It means wherever the user is looking, whether you’re there or not.
If businesses want to keep buyers happy, emphasis must shift from wooing buyers to empowering them with information. They must make product information accessible through third-party websites, and they need to understand the importance of search.
Search is one of the most important tools for modern and future B2B buyers.
Successfully reaching the buyer during the discovery phase and nurturing them during the decision making processes is completely intertwined with well-syndicated product content. Traditionally this information has been limited to business’s own sites. However, this is not how modern commerce and ecommerce function.
They select the most objective sources they can find. This means they will land on sites that rank and are mostly un-branded and how powerful SEO, like Alibaba. Here, they find information about all of the products listed on the site (including those from competitors).
They gather exact information to inform their decision and report to others involved in the purchasing process. After an average of 12 searches, they finally land on a brand’s site.
Shoppers gather product information independently from a number of sources, meaning you need to make information available through your website and digital catalog as well as through third-party sites.
While product content will not play a direct role in this step, it does bring marketing back in the loop. Marketing teams should gather more data on leads and what made them convert. This can be used to inform channel strategy and targeting opportunities.
Importantly, all while your team has been nurturing this buyer, so have dozens of other businesses out there on marketplaces, comparison sites, and more. That means the customer not only has basic information like price and descriptions, they also have an informed opinion of your company and how it operates.
The long tradition of assertive sales teams coupled with heavy, legacy technology has made it easy for B2B businesses to lag behind. It can make digital transformation seem particularly difficult—but that isn’t necessarily true. A successful shift will simply require the right technology toolkit.
Modern solutions like Productsup make it easy to take basic product content (for example, from a PIM, DAM, or ERP) and ensure it’s cleansed as well as optimized and contextualized for specific channels, fast.
To get started, businesses (especially large enterprises) should take complete stock of their current situation. Where might a PXM or PIDS solution fit into your current processes? Consider reading more on end-to-end product data management for enterprise and start seeking out the right tools to make your product content agile and digital native-ready.
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