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f+h Intralogistics 5/2016

f+h Intralogistics 5/2016

5 tips on successful

5 tips on successful personalization in the B2B shop Nowadays, the standard in business-to-consumer shops is for customers to receive individual offers based on their personal interest profiles. Personalization and individual customer service are also becoming increasingly important for business-tobusiness commerce. Nevertheless, how exactly can B2B shop operators offer their customers a personalized shopping experience? Which functionalities are essential? The following five tips show how the personalization of a B2B shop can succeed and ultimately serve as a means of lead generation. RUBRIK E-BUSINESS 1 2 Get to know your customer It is essential that you get to know exactly who your customers are if you want to successfully personalize your B2B shop. A CRM database with information about the company, department and position is just as much a part of the standard as a saved order history, assuming the customer has already made a purchase in the shop. Another way to collect customer data is so-called microtargeting. Customers are divided into various target groups based on specific characteristics. For example, is it a new customer or a key account you’re already familiar with? What industry is the customer from? Modern solutions also make it possible to assign a shop visitor to a specific company before they’ve even logged in if said visitor is already registered as a customer. This facilitates the ability to immediately show relevant offers and information. Thanks to the real-time documentation of visitor activities on the shop pages, suggestions can be made about a customer’s interests and needs: is the customer looking for general product information, researching special replacement parts, or looking for special offers on items that his or her company regularly orders? The shop visitor can be assigned to a specific buyer persona group as a result of the information saved and acquired in real time. In many e-commerce or content management systems, functionalities for the subsequent dynamic display of specific content for precisely the person viewing the content are already an integral component. Companies that collect and process the corresponding customer data can use said data to provide increasingly more appropriate content and to make individual and relevant offers to each customer. 2 Establish a solid database A solid database is essential if you want to have a complete overview of products, customers and prices at all times − particularly 2 with regard to B2B commerce. Thus, from the very beginning you should precisely define how you want to use and organize the data. Take the time early on to reflect on the strategic design of your B2B shop’s database. Questions you need to answer: How should information about products be laid out? Which system is leading the way? The shop system, CMS, ERP, or a Product Information Management (PIM) system? How are data synchronized between the systems? These points must be clarified, and it is necessary to determine who maintains what data in which system. A B2B shop can only be successfully personalized based on complete and up-to-date data. f+h Intralogistics 5/2016

23 Personalize content and view for each visitor Generally, the more relevant the content shown is to the respective visitor or customer, the greater your chances of acquiring and retaining said visitor and increasing revenues. Once you’ve collected data on customer behavior and segmented your contacts into target groups, you’ll have a basis for personalized selection of content. This may be, for example, information on products and services that are interesting to the customer based on his or her industry, location, or order history. You can also automatically generate and display individual recommendations and special offers for each customer: good CMS systems include the functionalities required for this. Also consider integrating an evaluation function in the shop: your customers can then evaluate and review the products they’ve acquired, providing a point of orientation for other interested parties. Many e-commerce systems already include this and additional functions such as cross- and up-selling. Furthermore, to ensure that your corporate customers feel “at home”, you can offer them a customized shop view after they’ve logged in. Additional features that allow you to offer your customers a personalized shopping experience include quick access to frequently ordered items, adjustable dashboards, customer-specific shopping lists, and watch lists. 4 Support your customers’ processes With regard to digital transformation, numerous companies are faced with the 2 challenge of digitalizing the bulk of their business processes. In terms of procurement, you can effectively support your customers with this task by offering them integrated processes. Whether it’s the display of individual prices and volume prices, data transmission via EDI, invoicing with eInvoicing, or a specially prepared annual overview of the orders placed, learn what your customers need and offer them the corresponding functions, processes and services. 25 Implement responsive web design and mobility in a user-oriented manner Responsive web design and mobility play a different role in the B2B sector than in B2C. Here it is particularly important to adapt content for mobile devices to typical usage situations. Special emphasis is given to user friendliness. Thus, in many cases it is not enough to simply facilitate the ability to view websites on mobile devices. Content and functionalities must be adapted for typical uses. For example, the architect on the construction site or the person responsible for maintenance in the production hall wants to quickly and easily find exactly the information that they need right then. This means that complex product comparisons might not be necessary for the mobile version of a website, whereas other functions might be important – such as the ability to quickly find and order a part or replacement part via an intelligent search function or a dropdown menu. Photographs: Fotolia, Diva-e www.diva-e.com B2B commerce providers that know their customers can utilize a well-structured database, are able to offer each customer precise, relevant content and profit from loyal customers and increased revenues. Because the better you know your customers‘ needs, the easier it is for you to offer precisely the products and services that allow you to acquire, excite, and retain customers. About Diva-e André Lähr, Expert Consultant at Diva-e Digital Value Enterprise GmbH The Diva-e Digital Value Enterprise GmbH with headquarters in Berlin and 9 offices in Germany as well as a partner office in Cincinnati/USA, offers the complete solution portfolio for successful e-business from a single source and helps companies plan, implement and optimize their projects along the entire digital value chain. Diva-e unites the strength of six successful individual brands and creates a new e-business dimension. With 45 million euros earned in fees and more than 380 employees in 2015, they are also among Germany’s leading service providers in their segment. f+h Intralogistics 5/2016