B2B-Personalisierung, PErsonalization, AI, GK

B2B personalization helps retailers make purchasing process more customer-centric, which has a positive impact on customer loyalty and success metrics. Your customers receive customized product offers and content based on their personal preferences by using personalization.   

The business relationship between two companies requires a different customer communication compared to a B2C scenario. This is also reflected in terms of personalization. This article will touch upon topics such as the customer requirements in B2B commerce, which customer channels have priority for B2B retailers, and which use cases for personalization you can profitably implement across the various customer channels. 

Requirements for B2B Retailers

One difference between B2B and B2C commerce concerns the respective customer groups with their specific needs:    

  • In most cases, B2B customers know what products they need immediately (compared to B2C customers, who tend to browse for items).   
  • They tend to make rational decisions; impulse purchases are not common.  
  • Personal advice is usually essential for B2B customers, as in some cases, high investments and complex products are involved.  
  • The purchasing process is more complex for B2B customers: Companies work with procurement systems and sometimes with complex purchasing structures.   
  • Storage or delivery conditions play an essential role.  
  • B2B customers expect comprehensive customer service, including 24/7 technical support, high staff competence, and adequate payment as well as delivery options.  

 The most crucial customer channels in B2B commerce

A personalization strategy across the different touchpoints also contributes to a positive customer experience, which pays off for B2B retailers, who can set themselves apart from competitors this way.  

Sales via a company’s online store are also becoming increasingly crucial in B2B retail. According to a Statista survey from 2021, these are the most popular sales channels in B2B retail in Germany:  

  • 1st place: the company’s online store with 56%. 
     
  • 2nd place: the order hotline, field service, and written orders with 47% each 
     
  • 3rd place: the specialized stationary trade with 37%. 
     

B2B personalization across different customer channels

Linking data from online and offline channels provides a big plus in effective, personalized customer targeting. The more data available for the personalization solution, the more accurate the recommendations will be. Our AI solution GK AIR Personalization, thus creates shopping experiences that are tailored 1:1 according to the personal needs of your customers.  

Personalization in the B2B online shop  

Numerous opportunities exist to inspire and support your customers. To bring a bit of personalized advice into the online store, many B2B retailers rely on personalized recommendations and content. This can be accomplished by integrating various personalized spaces in different areas of the online store.    

  •  Recommendations for new product ranges or from the customer’s favorite category on the home page. Read a selection here.   
  • Supplementing the results list in the product search with suitable product recommendations and enhancing zero hit pages with individual recommendations.  
  • Display visually similar alternatives for sold-out products on the product detail page through the use of Image Similarity  
  • Add recommendations for matching products to your customers’ shopping carts.  
  • Offer product bundles on the product detail page.   
  • Recommend suitable guides/videos for products that require explanation  

Personalization in B2B newsletters or on print products  

Newsletters and print products, e.g., catalogs, are popular customer loyalty tools in the B2B trade. It is also useful to inspire your customers through personalized areas, guiding them into the online store. Integrate, for example:   

  • Product recommendations from the recipient’s favorite category.
     
  • Personalized coupons for relevant product categories of your customers 
  • Personalized banners to draw the recipient’s attention to a specific product/product group   

Personalization for sales representatives / in-store sales staff via the advisor tablet  

In B2B retail, the field sales force is the second most important customer channel after the online store and next to the order hotline and written orders. The field sales team should have all available customer information – across channels – at their fingertips, e.g., via a tablet. This includes, among other things, the customer’s last purchases in the online store or in the branch, wish lists in the online store, and relevant product recommendations based on customer behavior. This enables sales staff in the store to tailor the consultation to the customer in the best way possible. Here, identification takes place via the customer card or e-mail address. The information from the consultation then flows back into the data pool via the sales force or the staff in the store and is available for the next interaction, regardless of the touchpoint.  

Personalization in the store via receipt and in-store TV  

To actively increase your redemption rate, you can suggest coupons to your customers for assortments they need or like. Coupons – either in paper form via receipt or digitally on the smartphone – are also popular with many B2B customers. Our AI solution automatically calculates these products for the respective customer, e.g., using the customer’s identification via the customer card.   

B2B retailers can also use AI to automatically display real-time relevant content on digital signage surfaces in the store. Depending on the objective, different scenarios can be implemented, e.g., to consolidate the sales of items currently in demand or to push products with high contribution margins.  

B2B personalization in practice

  Relevant product bundles at Würth  

The Würth Group is the leading provider in developing, manufacturing, and selling assembly and fastening materials. The company is active in both B2B and B2C trade. In its online store, Würth uses product recommendations calculated in real-time by GK AIR Personalization. In the process, Würth offers its customers so-called “product bundles”. The product bundle consists of two or more products related to each other or related to the customer. These combined offers are very popular with online store customers: Würth generates 29% of sales from recommendations on the product detail page through product bundles.  

Successful B2B Personalization: Optimize the Shopping Experience Across Your Customer Channels
 

 Would you like to learn more about B2B personalization? Feel free to contact me via our contact form or LinkedIn. 

Mr Personalization