Configurators are becoming more and more popular as an alternative method for manufacturers and retailers to classic consultations. Their use is particularly widespread in the B2C world. For example, enthusiastic customers playfully put together cars and wardrobes using a configurator.
In the first part of our two-part article series, we showed you the benefits of what an online product configurator can offer, with a particular focus on B2B applications. Complex goods, such as cranes, components, or connection components can already be compiled right online. B2B companies are already recognising their great potential: effective and first class digital sales consulting, lower costs, better tailored products and services, and happier customers.
However, in order to be able to offer this added value to customers, it is necessary to finish the initial design and implement the configurator. In the second part of our series, we’ll explain the success factors for digital configurators and why retailers and manufacturers should use one.
Customers are no longer satisfied with what’s standard. On the contrary: They expect customised products that reflect their own wishes or meet their specific needs. Product attributes such as colour, size, shape, features, and technical details can already be selected online, allowing customers to configure a tailor-made product. Responsible for this is the well-named online configurator.
Their use in the automotive, furniture, and PC industry is particularly well established.
The potential in the B2B sector is still largely unused, but it is enormous. In the first part of our two-part article series, we’ll show you the benefits of what an online product configurator can offer, with a particular focus on B2B applications.
With new solutions bring more opportunity, whether your company is in the B2B, B2C, SME, or enterprise segment, if you want to bring sales of products online, you’ll need to select an e-commerce software that fulfils your needs. In fact, going forward, most consumers expect some type of online presence of their favourite products, from local mom and pop shops to large corporate enterprises.
To help succeed with such a digital transformation companies are now using e-commerce systems to allow sales to those near and far from their physical branch locations. In fact, the choice of making the right decision for your future e-commerce software is comparable to choosing the right physical location of retail location.
The Internet has been made not only for B2C purposes. The expansion and growth of Amazon Business and Alibaba proved it. It was a matter of time that B2B companies also embraced the digitalisation of marketing and sales and influenced how sellers and buyers interact. According to a Forrester Research, 93 percent of B2B buyers prefer to buy online once they have decided what to buy.
In this context of digital transformation, leading B2B companies now give high priority to e-commerce and m-commerce, and use the same weapons as their B2C counterparts to continue growing and offer value added.
After addressing the main advantages of PIM systems and the reasons why an online shop should integrate one last week, it is the moment to go beyond and be outward-looking. PIM systems are giving a boost to omnichannel and revolutionising the way we manage product portfolios and, consequently, probably the role print and online catalogues have in this game.
Moreover, PIM systems are becoming very helpful for B2B companies, which are getting used to handle complex products and business models. Thanks to PIMs, B2B companies have now a wide range of possibilities to tailor their customers’ shopping experience as they could never have imagined.
However, there are plenty of aspects to improve within the PIM sphere and many challenges providers must face in the years to come.
Video is increasingly gaining ground among marketers and soon will conquer the Internet. The richness of video allows marketers to fully connect with their audiences because the image in motion has a special power to engage, generate empathy and make people identify with others. The video’s impact has been felt especially in the B2C sphere, where consumer-oriented services like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and, more recently, Pinterest are the trailblazers in the adoption of video. However, which role is video going to play in B2B contexts?
Some facts suggest video might have a decisive role in B2B. Below it is explained why:
It is no secret that there are no robots sitting in B2B buying centres (yet). Buyers are people and private customers who also shop at Amazon etc. Their purchase decisions give this away. According to a whitepaper from CEB, emotions dominate B2B purchase decisions too.
According to the whitepaper, fear is one of the more influencial emotions. It stops 48% of staff from initiating solution purchases they personally believe to be good. But this aversion to risk is not the most interesting result:
In the start-up world, the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) approach didn’t become viewed as the lowest risk way to build-up a business only yesterday. This way of thinking propagates “think small” not “think big”. The idea is that you see if there’s even a demand, before pushing forward with a business idea and investing in it. The first step is testing hypotheses and ideas.
Zappos is probably the most well-known example. They first tested if it was even possible to sell shoes online before starting and professionalising. This is why the first Zappos order didn’t occur via their own warehouse; the shoes were simply purchased at the store across the road and then posted.
Data, data, data – everyone collects it, saves it, few know what to do with it. Whether you’re measuring the latest results of a Facebook ads campaign, the development of conversion rates, or traffic…what are you going to do with it? Deploying (key)metrics for analysis, controlling and planning effecitively is not just logical in this time of digital changeover, it is essential.
But which KPIs, business metrics and measurement values play which roles? How can companies obtain advantages or define goals from these? Before everything goes up the proverbial creek and the numbers threaten to explode, there has to be a solid basis which makes “big data” useful.
While B2C operators already have years of experience with different target groups, and know how to address these, B2B companies need to catch up. Even in B2B, decision makers are just customers who can be easily subdivided into target groups – including their preferences for shop design.