How to Personalize for B2B? Focus on Buyer Roles.

October 31, 2019

As B2B eCommerce surpasses the $1 trillion mark for annual sales, more and more companies are vying to win their share of the revenues. To stand out, companies must prove relevance to customers on a role-by-role basis throughout the purchase journey.

B2B online sales grew 11% year over year in 2018, according to a B2BecNews’ annual market report, and with 75% of B2B suppliers launching online initiatives in the next two years, more growth – and more competition – are on the horizon.

To stand out from the crowd, B2B companies are investing in personalization to deliver an ultra-relevant shopping experience. The majority of business buyers say they’d pay up to a 5% premium for tailored experiences that help them get the most from their vendors with maximum efficiency, according to the PROS Global Survey.

To deliver that streamlined experience, B2B sellers must go beyond mimicking the company-specific product and pricing catalogs of old. Given the complexities of online B2B purchasing, sellers should also find ways to personalize experiences based on individuals’ roles, responsibilities, and budgets. In doing so, B2B suppliers can: 

Surface the right products more quickly.

Dynamic personalization can serve individualized content and products starting with the initial page load, based on the individual’s past purchase history and company- and role-specific rules. On-site search should also be personalized, given that it tops the list of important features for B2B buyers, according to a B2BecNews survey. 

Provide the right context during the consideration phase. 

More B2B buyers than ever are researching products in-depth, with 75% saying they spend more time finding out about products from multiple sources, according to DemandGen’s 2019 B2B buyer survey. To stand out as a definitive product information source, B2B sellers should demonstrate relevance through personalized product content that shows how items are applicable to specific roles, industries, and companies – an important feature for fully 97% of B2B buyers, DemandGen found.

Route items appropriately once ready for purchase. 

Once B2B buyers have selected the right items, personalized purchasing paths can serve them the right options for their role – whether it’s placing items in an order queue for a colleague with spending authorization to review and approve, completing transactions via P.O., or buying with stored credit card information. As they navigate the cart and checkout, dynamic personalization tools can factor in role-based information and business rules on the fly and serve further recommendations, such as bulk options and bundles that help make budgets go farther. 

How are you building role-based personalization into your B2B business?