B2B customers rate their buying experience on the quality and simplicity of the digital experience – and offering a convenient service, without the need for a desktop site is essential, as we will show below. Mobile devices are used for more tasks than ever as businesses go beyond the desktop, using smartphones and tablets to catch up on work, emails, shopping, and for networking. Hence why optimising the mobile B2B experience is increasingly becoming crucial.
The convenience of mobile for B2B allows you to find and purchase pretty much anything you need for your business quickly. If it’s not already, the mobile experience needs to be a priority for your ecommerce business or you’re going to miss out on a whole lot of business. Mobile is increasingly playing a critical role in the B2B customer journey according to Google and BCG, and 50% of B2B search queries today are made on smartphones.
”50% of B2B search queries today are made on smartphones. BCG expects that figure to grow to 70% by 2020.- Google & BCG
To allow the best mobile B2B experience you must identify what information your clients want from you. So this may be a little controversial as when mobile sites were originally launched, the mobile experience could be classed as “crippled” – so reduced, it was difficult to use and the desktop experience was definitely preferred to get anything done. With 4G and 5G networks, larger device screens and much better server and web build technology in general, it’s possible to push a much richer webpage to mobile B2B users. So think about reducing noise on mobile, and providing the most practical information they need to do business with you. Make it convenient and useful.
Why is it so important to embrace mobile?
We are around a decade into the touchscreen / smartphone era and we’re now at a point where the difference in hardware performance between mobiles, tablets and desktops has narrowed a lot.
So, we say embrace mobile and if it has been the case, forget it about as an after-thought for your customers. Provide the best experience you can – it will not only increase value to your existing customer base, but also allow you to win customers others may miss. A positive experience for your customer can gain their trust and increase their loyalty. If your mobile site doesn’t offer convenience and necessary intelligence they will likely move on to a business that does.
”Mobile usage per B2B worker is expected to increase from two hours a day to three by 2020.- Google and BCG
Online and mobile B2B buying in general is not only convenient, but faster too and buyers are enjoying the accelerated time to purchase of up to 20%. Your B2B customers save time and enjoy the experience more. At the same time, you reduce your costs and increase revenue. We’ve seen a shift with our own B2B clients, and it’s a mirror of market trends – gone are the days that all deals are done by “sales reps” on the road, and the majority of sales take place on devices, and the sales rep’s job is to add value and enhance a relationship, where required (perhaps top tier/VIP customers, difficult deals to negotiate, and so on). Did we say embrace mobile?!
Mobile offers huge opportunities for B2B marketers. You can offer business customers the information, interaction, and purchasing options at their convenience. Your business has to be in it to win it, and if you’re not? You run the risk of falling behind your competitors. Your mobile site must be fit for purpose allowing potential customers to access your brand whenever and wherever they choose. If you offer products or services at a similar cost to your competitors, then why should businesses buy from you? The enjoyable, and simple mobile experience could be your edge against competitors.
Google and BCG studies show that a positive mobile experience increases repurchase rate and builds customer loyalty. More than 90% of B2B buyers reporting a superior mobile experience say they are likely to buy again from the same vendor compared with only about 50% of those reporting a poor mobile experience.
Why mobile for B2B?
Mobile devices are just that, mobile; allowing a business customer to purchase products or services at the touch of a button at a time and place that suits them.
Many of your business customers will visit your mobile site first, making this the first point of interaction. This could be your only chance to succeed or fail. Your mobile site must engage with your customers and offer exactly what they need on hand from the ability to buy, to easy navigation and relevant content. Engagement should be just as much of a priority on mobile as it is on desktop.
Mobile is a choice your buyers make. It’s often more convenient to research and make purchases via mobile today – make sure this is provided to them.
Mobile is the new habit. B2B buyers have expectations, and those expectations are that your business will give them the experience they want. That experience will be where and when they want it. Otherwise, they’ll find a business who can. Your B2B customers have options that mean they can use a mobile device for their research and purchasing needs, and there will be a business that can accommodate that out there somewhere. Make that your business.
The mobile B2B experience can be personalised. For example, if your business can benefit from offering a full, native device app (or progressive web app – blog article to follow soon!) you gain the opportunity to connect with your B2B customers in a much more personalised way. Mobile options can give your business the ability to access greater insights into your customers. The options available also mean you can engage and target messages effectively.
Content will always be king. If you get into the mindset and habits of the mobile B2B customer, you’ll start to realise that the right content at the right time is more important than ever – gone way beyond a 9-5 window. It enables you to nurture leads to the point of sale. Website blogs, social media posts, emails – you can constantly be in touch with your customers conveniently via mobile, becoming the habit that they trust and, ultimately, leading them to your business products or services.
Mobile introduces opportunity via lead generation. There’s no limit to digital marketing. Some marketing methods are better suited to desktop, and some are better suited to mobile. You’re more likely to successfully capture data with the offering of a PDF via desktop, for example. Pay-per-click, social media, email marketing campaigns are all adapted and suited to mobile too. According to The Marketing Centre 47% of emails are opened on smartphones or tablets.
”47% of emails are opened on smartphones or tablets.- The Marketing Centre
The technology and speed in which you can find information or make a purchase on a mobile device eliminates the need for a desktop in many circumstances. It’s no longer a temporary information-only option until you can find a desktop. Mobile is the new convenient habit fitting in with the hustle and bustle of today’s world.
So what next? You know mobile is really important for B2B customers, but what should you do now?
If you don’t have full clarity of your target B2B audience, carry out a persona workshop. This is a no-brainer. From the big spenders, to the sales-only customers, to the browsers-not-buyers, to the subscription customers – understand them all.
Get five devices in your office and using those personas, go through your website carefully. Do you get stopped trying to achieve simple tasks? Get that list, prioritise it, and fix it.
There’s LOTS MORE you can do – if you want some help, our door is open – gladly reach out.