It’s in Amazon and on most business-to-consumer ecommerce sites: “Customers who viewed this item also viewed…”
Product recommendations are maybe the best-known format of ecommerce personalization. The more I browse a site, the more targeted are the recommendations that I get. However, recommendations and other site personalization should not be confused with ad retargeting, which means that the product I’ve just viewed seems to follow me all over the internet.
In this article, I’m discussing why personalization makes sense for business-to-business as well. There are two separate use cases: b-to-b commerce sites and b-to-b websites. Both can benefit from personalization.
Definition of personalization
Let’s start with the definition of personalization and a personalization engine. On a high level, this means using historical and contextual information about a website visitor and offering them content, call-to-actions or recommendations based on the information.
We at Frosmo provide a personalization engine which is used to apply rules and algorithms in the browser and to modify the presentation layer as the visitor is browsing a website. It doesn’t replace your existing content management or ecommerce platform, but is built solely to create a great customer experience at the front-end.
Personalization for b-to-b commerce sites
For b-to-b commerce sites, personalization can be even more powerful than on b-to-c sites because we might have much more information about a customer. Quite often, customers are in some type of 20/80 segments (20% of customers bring 80% of revenue) or they might represent different industries. Promoting selected products or content to relevant segments adds value to both parties. Customers find what they are looking for, and the company’s average order value increases.
When thinking of wholesale as an example case, personalization can work as follows:
- Customers are segmented across their buyer journey, starting from their first visit. For a new visitor, the personalization is targeted toward signing up and providing their user information, or serving relevant and personalized content during their second visit.
- Then the visitor proceeds to having a user account. Personalization can be offering relevant, personalized content and products based on industry and product category interest.
- For existing customers, the personalization could be about promoting campaign products, replacements or additions related to their history and interests of similar individuals.
Personalization for b-to-b websites
Why should you personalize a non-commerce b-to-b site? In most companies, the marketing team can already do really cool account- or segment-based marketing using data and predictions. Sending out highly relevant email sequences is not a big deal. But what happens when a potential customer enters the website? They might see a personalized landing page, but often that’s it. A personalization engine allows us to continue on the same experience track that was started via email.
An example case is offering relevant content based on an entire buyer’s journey:
- When a visitor is exploring their options, they might be interested in thought leadership-type content.
- In the next step, when they are evaluating options, offering a case study or business value calculator is helpful.
- In the decision-making phase, potential customers typically want to understand what happens when they make the decision. Offering content related to getting started or implementation best practices can be helpful in removing decision anxiety.
Personalization helps to meet visitors’ expectations
All b-to-b website visitors are already using b-to-c -sites, and that’s influencing their expectations regarding customer experience and good online service. We encourage you to start testing how personalization can add value to your current and future customers.
If you want to learn more about personalization, contact:
Maija Erkheikki, email@example.com
Riku Kärkkäinen, firstname.lastname@example.org