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How B2B businesses can master personalisation at scale

Is personalisation in ecommerce really that tough a nut to crack across B2B? 

With innovative technology enhancing shoppers personalised journey experiences, our shopping habits have evolved and our commerce expectations have significantly increased.

This has shifted expectation levels in the B2B world as businesses don’t just expect personalisation from their ecommerce journey, they demand it!

According to research from Adobe and Forrester Consulting, 66% of B2B customers expect the same or better personalization in their professional lives compared to their personal lives.

Savvy B2B merchants have recognised this need quickly and are striving for hyper-tailored experiences across the product journey from first click to fulfilment. 

So how big a challenge is it?

Connected, tailored and hyper-personalised experiences

Personalisation is utilised in different ways across different industries. For instance, Manufacturing uses self-service capabilities for elements such as accessing personal data, notifying delivery tracking and placing orders on omnichannel platforms that remembers users activity. The fast-moving Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) world takes on AI learning systems to help recommend appropriate products and solutions.

The B2C ecommerce experience easily connects the dots between businesses and consumers but there’s no reason why B2B buyers can’t have all the connected and tailored touchpoints that a B2C buyer would get to empower their working lives.:

A recent McKinsey study on “How B2B winners grow” showed that the use of analytics to deliver highly personalised interactions was helping to win B2B business. By using sophisticated actions such as predictive analytics they were able to anticipate a customer’s needs quickly, helping to keep them engaged and on point. The study found that B2B e-commerce has taken the lead as the most effective sales channel with customers increasingly willing to spend big on e-commerce transactions.

Personalisation at scale

Bringing hyper-personalisation into a connected and tailored experience needs careful consideration on how it’s scaled. To keep it simple think of ‘Personalisation’ as simply delivering a customised experience to the right customer on the right channel. ‘Personalisation at scale’ is being able to do that for every customer on every channel in real time, in a way they demand.

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Designing these experiences so that they are tailored to work across different channels and places helps keep customers empowered and gives them confidence across a variety of situations. For example, leaving orders unfinished on one device and picking them up later on a different device with all information still up to date. The challenge is that the data that is being received comes through in a disjointed fashion and needs managing accordingly. Third party cookies are soon to be eliminated (phasing out from Google chrome by mid-2024) which will mean even more reliance on first party data and new strategies to be implemented.

There are naturally some challenges that will need to be overcome to implement this methodology:

  1. Building tangible business cases and defining a clear ROI is the biggest hurdle to jump with data and analysis from this investment not easy to come by.
  2. Bringing data into one integrated platform is problematic with much of that data siloed and tricky to integrate to build a full customer profile.
  3. The resources needed in-house typically exceed the available bodies and software required

The knock-on effect is personalisation at scale is tricky to achieve and subsequently there is an inability to act quickly on recommendations

CDP and real human engagement

The best way to extend personalisation knowledge beyond the basics and know everything about your customer is to utilise a customer data platform. Here you can bring together everything you know about your customer from marketing strategies to online sales and interactions. Feeding the correct first party data inputs (and third where necessary) into a CDP, gives you a 360-degree view of every customer and gives you a better chance of delivering that hyper-personalisation that they’ve been craving.

Add this to the advent of the ever-developing world of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and there is a wealth of tools and support ready to be discovered and unleash across the world. 

Hyper-personalisation is a game-changer for businesses

Single, multi-channel commerce platforms with a unified back end and a flexible, customisable front end will help you deliver exceptional, hyper-personalised customer experiences to every audience. Australian company Signet wanted to grow its e-commerce sales across a varied customer base, chiefly by replicating its personalised service experience of other sales channels to increase exposure to its wider product portfolio. Adobe Commerce self-service capabilities proved transformative for Signet, with customers making repeat purchases of essential equipment and supplies, in a few clicks. This has led to 6 in 10 Signet customers now buying online, boosted lucrative SME customers using the ecommerce site by 35% and increasing both web revenue by 25% and shopping sessions by 18% respectively.  

Today’s customers want more than just products. They crave personalised experiences that deliver real human engagement. By delivering on these experiences, customers will keep returning again and again. Make sure you stay ahead of the game with partners that have key expertise teamed with future-ready technological solutions to deliver experiences that truly matter.

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Scott Rigby

Scott Rigby

Scott Rigby, based in Sydney, NSW, AU, is currently a Chief Technology Advisor and Principal Product Manager at Adobe

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