The Importance of a Human Touch in B2B eCommerce

Many businesses seem to forget that whether you are selling business to customer or business to business, ultimately it is a human to human interaction, and B2B buyers are still influenced by emotional and social factors. A study¹ by CEB study shows us that businesses are even more invested in emotional currency than individual consumers, so getting this aspect right can be a make or break for your business.

In this week’s episode of our podcast Everything eCommerce, we discussed B2B best practices with Steve Kemish of Junction Agency, and one of the key points raised was the importance of getting that human element across even when conversing with businesses. So how can you ensure you are creating a human, personal experience when marketing to businesses?

Advertising

When working with businesses, you still need to create that real, emotional connection with them, and a good way to do this is through targeted advertising that has an emotional impact. In B2C adverts, this is best seen through Christmas adverts such as John Lewis, which play on the customer’s emotions. In B2B business this could be pushing your customer satisfaction stories, exploring how you helped turn a company around and the impact it had on them. You may not be able to make them tear up and rush off to buy a selection box, but they may feel positive about what they are seeing and want to pursue a relationship with you further. 

Another way to do this through advertising is creating a community-like feeling. If we look at the likes of Gymshark, they’ve created not only a gym wear brand but an entire community and look. Everyone wants to be a part of the image they’ve created through their models, influencers and team members, and therefore buy Gymshark products. In B2B, this could be done through loyalty programs and repeat customer incentives, as well as an offer to ‘sit at the cool kid’s table’. By creating these schemes and building your brand image, you’re creating an invitation into an exclusive club which everyone wants to be a part of.

Relax on Automation Tools

According to Survey Today’s State of Automation report for 2019, 75%² of marketers are using automation tools. Automation tools can be a great resource if used properly, and help your business save precious time and money, however, they can be a hindrance when it comes to marketing. When you send out email marketing campaigns, make sure you have successfully audited and organised your data before you do so, to ensure you are sending out targeted and relevant content. Buying data is most likely not going to work, and it’s going to be obvious when the content you are sending out is not related to the audience. 

Building Trust

Ultimately, whether the interaction is B2B or B2C, you are dealing with humans who are affected by the same things.  In a recent Gallup poll, only 18%³ of Americans responded positively to the question “Do you have confidence in big business?”. This number is low but that is not surprising, so one of the best ways to change this is by putting a face to your business. This could be as simple as editing your website and creating campaigns that are more people-centric, but another great way to do this is through the way you interact with your potential customers.

Customers don’t want to waste their money if they mess up making a purchase, but when making a business purchase, money that is not yours and your own credibility is on the line. Everyone needs human reassurance, and a great way to do this can be through a live chat feature on the website. Anyone speaking to a potential customer needs to communicate in a respectful, warm tone and know which language to use. With a team of dedicated live chat agents, they have a wealth of experience and can take the pressure off by handling live chat for you.

Final Thoughts

Although business to business appears vastly different than business to customer eCommerce, all interactions are ultimately human to human, and companies need to ensure that they are aware of the needs of who they are selling to. Through creating a personal experience, you can build a trusting relationship with prospective buyers, and increase your conversion exponentially.

Find out how live chat can help your B2B eCommerce website here.

Check out the full podcast episode here

Catch up on all of the podcasts here.

¹http://www.executiveboard.com/exbd-resources/content/b2b-emotion/pdf/promotion-emotion-whitepaper-full.pdf

²https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/smts-state-of-marketing-automation-survey-2019-part-1-current-state-of/551755/

³https://www.b2bmarketing.net/en-gb/resources/blog/putting-human-face-b2b-marketing