Business-to-business trade, or B2B for short, refers to the recent commercial trend of selling goods and services between businesses online. Instead of traditional sales transactions via sales representatives by phone, e-mail, or in person, B2B allows orders to be processed digitally. This strategy is rapidly gaining in popularity as it greatly increases a company’s marketing effectiveness, speeds up the entire process, and significantly reduces required investments. In this article, we’ll consider omni channel software from txt.me as the most advanced and effective means of simplifying and enhancing the user experience in the B2B trade.
“The txt.me сustomer support platform provides a genuine omnichannel user experience making it easier for your customers to change the means of communication with your support agents without interrupting the conversation.”
The Challenges of Multichannel Trade
One of the keys to commercial success in the modern world is to diversify trade channels by providing customers with opportunities to buy products in physical venues and online. Brick-and-mortar venues remain an important and probably indispensable way of marketing goods and services. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of customers prefer to shop online, and the largest part of all purchase transactions are made online, via various mobile apps and electronic payment systems.
The main problem of such multichannel trade is that the channels aren’t integrated into a coherent system. The customer has to juggle between shops and websites, and the company has to bear additional costs for maintaining proper coordination of its sales routes, and for supplying all channels with sufficient personnel. Besides, it makes the shopping experience more time-consuming and complicated, which doesn’t work very well for customer satisfaction.
The Omnichannel Solution
Omnichannel is a fairly recent response to these challenges: it’s an attempt to integrate and coordinate the contacts between a company and its customers into a smooth and convenient shopping experience. The buyer is given access to the company’s application, particularly mobile application, its webpage and the actual physical venue. This way, the customer can look through the products the company offers online and receive all the necessary information in order to settle on a particular item. The purchase is made online or via the app by completing all the required transactions, money transfer included, electronically.
Should the buyer choose to see the product first, he or she can do it in the shop, completing all the electronic transactions in the app right there in the shop. In addition, if the customer experiences some difficulties or has some questions, the company provides adequate online customer support too.
Advantages of the Omnichannel Format
Thus, the entire process is unified and made more convenient for the potential and actual buyers, which gives the B2B omnichannel definite advantages over the traditional formats:
- It makes the trade contacts between the company and its clients more efficient and effective, saving time and energy for both parties.
- It helps the business expand and diversify its market, locally and internationally.
- It makes the purchase more likely to happen by providing customers with a choice of shopping and payment methods.
- It greatly contributes to increasing customer retention and loyalty which is what the majority of trade innovations aim at.
Enterprise Resource Planning
The biggest challenge in omnichannel commerce is to make the customer experience more uniform, convenient and smooth, and to reduce the costs thereof for the company. The way to achieve all these goals is to make the entire process more automatic. And since most channels are electronic these days, it becomes the question of creating an advanced and effective software platform for marketing and trading operations. In other words, the aim is to improve the trade by means of adequate B2B omnichannel marketing automation.
The main concern should be, not to create an infinite number of innovative means and channels, but to integrate the existing channels into a seamless, convenient, and unified experience for the customer. Therefore, it seems more practical to keep the number of channels down to the minimum. The fewer the options, the less confusing it is for the buyer, the easier it is to integrate them, and the cheaper it is to coordinate them too.
In technical terms, the company should strive to enhance and improve customer touchpoints to reduce the number of necessary back-end efforts. Effective omnichannel software, in other words:
- includes a sufficient number of tools to support all the multiple channels available, such as the
- company’s online site and mobile apps, brick-and-mortar venues, electronic social networks, and media, et cetera;
- properly integrates the internet resources, physical retail management, enterprise resource planning, and marketing software;
- effectively connects all the available sales options and channels into a unified cross-channel trade configuration, with a heavier emphasis on the online commercial transactions;
- establishes adequate, prompt, and continuous communication between the customer and the company, and provides customers with responsive technical support online;
- ensures constant availability of information, services, and products across all the existing channels;
conveniently optimizes the operation of, and significantly reduces the cost of the back-end interface.
Creating a functional omnichannel trade system requires a lot of technical knowledge, professional skills, and advanced software, which an average entrepreneur is not very likely to possess. Therefore, the next logical step in the evolution of omnichannel commerce was the establishment of a growing number of omnichannel platforms that all the technical tasks could be outsourced.
These platforms offer their services in the engineering of the necessary software in accordance with the company’s marketing and trade needs, and in maintaining the software’s operation across the company’s existing trade channels. Naturally, their services come at a price, but the investment makes sense in terms of the consequent increase in customer satisfaction and in the reduction of trade costs.
Finally, there’re some free tools customer retention may be improved with, the most effective of which include:
- personalized contact with the customer, including recommendations and offers,
- attractive loyalty programs,
- convenient notification system,
- high-level security of your payment gateways,
- feedback channels from the customers,
- continuous and responsive support.
Business and trade in the modern world continue to become increasingly more diverse, inventing new options almost on a monthly basis. In order to attract and retain buyers, modern commerce has to exert continuous efforts to provide their potential customers with as many options as possible. By integrating all the channels and options into a unified and automated software system, companies can simplify the complexity, make it more exciting for the customers, and actually reduce its costs for themselves in the process too.