Unlike consumer purchases, the average B2B purchase involves up to six people, according to a recent study published by Demand Gen. This means B2B e-commerce brands need to convince groups, rather than individuals, when it comes to most purchases.
As a result, the research stage of the B2B purchase journey is even more important and marketers have to win channels like search marketing that have a greater influence on the early stages of the sales funnel.
1. Understand the B2B customer journey
The most important asset for B2B e-commerce marketers is a solid understanding of the modern B2B buying journey. As shown by Gartner’s study on the New B2B Buying Journey & its Implication for Sales, the B2B buying journey is more complex than ever.
Marketers are looking at a non-linear purchase path where intent fluctuates and needs change as buyers become more informed and confident about making the next purchase decision.
Gartner says B2B buyers complete six tasks before completing a purchase:
Problem identification: “We need to do something.”
Solution exploration: “What’s out there to solve our problem?”
Requirements building: “What exactly do we need the purchase to do?”
Supplier selection: “Does this do what we want it to do?”
Validation: “We think we know the right answer, but we need to be sure.”
Consensus creation: “We need to get everyone on board.”