4 min read

Millennial and Gen Z buyers push higher expectations for B2B Sellers

Millennial and Gen Z professionals now constitute 64% of business buyers according to a new report from Forrester Research Inc. As this digital-native workforce grows, so do their expectations for B2B eCommerce. These young professionals have come to expect a streamlined, convenient online buying experience similar to what they're used to as consumers. And they're not just expecting it from big-name brands - they want all businesses they work with to provide this same level of service.

This shift is putting pressure on businesses to reevaluate their B2B Digital Commerce strategies. In order to keep up with the competition and meet the demands of millennial and Gen Z buyers, B2B sellers need to focus on providing a personalized, user-friendly experience at every touchpoint. By understanding the needs and expectations of this key audience, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and continue driving sales growth.

 

The new wave of millennial and Gen Z buyers are digital natives who have grown up with eCommerce as a part of their everyday lives.

 

B2B Digital Commerce has recently been taken to a whole new level with the arrival of digital native Millennial and Gen Z buyers. As B2B buyers, they have been exposed to eCommerce from an early age, making them comfortable with online shopping for business needs. Organizations must be aware of these up-and-coming B2B tech-savvy customers who expect the best products and self-service care delivered through convenience and efficiency - without the need to engage with anyone if they so choose. Companies providing B2B eCommerce capabilities must stay agile and adjust according to this new wave of B2B customers who know no other way than to shop via digital channels.

 

They expect the same level of convenience, accessibility, and user-friendliness from B2B sellers that they're used to getting from B2C retailers.

 

B2B companies introducing Digital Commerce are redefining their customers' expectations and purchasing experience. As the Millennial and Gen Z workforce is accustomed to getting B2C levels of convenience and accessibility, B2B sellers now need to pay even greater attention to providing these customers with a user-friendly experience. B2B brands across many industries have adapted their strategies accordingly in order to meet the new demands, leveraging modern technology to offer advanced tools for managing products and services online. In doing so, B2B sellers can attract new, more engaged customers and enjoy improved customer loyalty from this growing digital-native workforce.

 

This means that B2B sellers need to invest in modern Digital Commerce capabilities and operational adjustments that will meet the needs of these young professionals.

 

B2B Digital Commerce is undergoing a revolution, as companies are finding that in order to meet the increasing needs and standards of Millennial and Gen Z buyers, they must invest in modern Digital Commerce capabilities and operational adjustments. Millennial and Gen Z buyers expect B2B sites to have many of the same capabilities that B2C sites do, such as personalization, transparency on pricing, automatic discounts, easy checkout processes, and expansive catalogs. B2B sellers must understand the essential elements of digital commerce today and be prepared with advanced technologies that can deliver against these younger professionals' expectations if they wish to stay ahead of their competition.

 

Practical Opportunities to Maximize Performance and Streamline Processes for digital-native B2B Buyers

 

There are many practical opportunities B2B sellers can focus on that will help meet the expectations of digitally-native B2B buyers. No matter where you choose to start, the initiatives should align with one of the three most important outcomes:

  1. Increase revenue
  2. Reduce costs
  3. Improve efficiency & productivity

Use the list below to initiate a dialogue about maximizing performance and streamlining processes.

 

Opportunities to Increase Revenue:

  • Increase traffic
    • Incentivize referrals between Digital Commerce and physical channels to fuel growth.
    • Enable your sales force and customer service representatives to place orders digitally.
  • Increase conversion and AOV
    • Streamline product discovery & exploration.
    • Enhance product recommendations.
    • Provide a guided selling path.
    • Showcase product availability and estimated delivery time on the product page for a transparent buying experience.
    • Utilize customer reviews to boost credibility and improve buyers' trust.
    • Measure & Fine-tune the User Interface at critical engagement moments to prevent any lost sales.
    • Expand your payment methods by including newer, alternative payment options.

Opportunities to Reduce Costs:

  • Adjust your target market.
    • Pinpoint the most profitable customers and focus your sales efforts accordingly.
    • Tap into nascent markets to find new customers with a lower cost to serve.
  • Optimize product selection.
    • Fine-tune your product offerings to align with the evolving buying patterns of modern consumers.

    • Understand and cater to the preferences of Millennial and Gen Z buyers to ensure that your product mix is not only appealing but also contributes to cost-effective inventory management.

  • Utilize physical locations to fulfill orders and handle returns effectively.
    • Integrate physical locations strategically into your operations.

    • Utilize them as hubs for order fulfillment and returns management to streamlines logistical processes and reduce operational costs.

  • Minimize product returns.
    • Utilize accurate product descriptions and high-quality visuals.

    • Offer proactive customer support.

    • Address potential points of dissatisfaction upfront to enhance the customer experience and to reduce the financial impact of returns.

  • Optimize supply chain & fulfillment to reduce shipping costs.
    • Streamline your supply chain and fulfillment processes to minimize shipping costs.

    • Leverage efficient logistics, strategic partnerships, and technology-driven solutions to enhance operational efficiency and  meet the expectations of Millennial and Gen Z buyers.

Opportunities to Improve Efficiency & Productivity:

  • Increase sales productivity by integrating digital sales tools with existing direct sales teams.
    • Seamlessly integrate digital sales tools with existing direct sales teams.
    • Provide comprehensive training and support for salesforce empowerment.
    • Amplify outreach capabilities and foster a streamlined, data-driven sales process.
  • Build and actively communicate a Digital Commerce success story to drive internal adoption.
    • Develop a compelling success story for digital commerce initiatives.
    • Showcase tangible benefits such as increased sales and improved customer satisfaction.
    • Actively communicate success stories to drive internal adoption and enthusiasm.
  • Identify Digital Commerce capabilities that can be employed for purposes outside of eCommerce.
    • Identify and leverage digital commerce technologies for purposes beyond eCommerce.
    • Optimize internal workflows, enhance collaboration, and streamline communication.
    • Explore diverse applications to maximize the value of digital investments.

Summary

 

The new wave of Millennial and Gen Z buyers expect more from their B2B eCommerce experience. They want the same level of convenience, accessibility, and user-friendliness from B2B sellers that they're used to getting from B2C retailers. As a result, B2B sellers need to invest in modern eCommerce capabilities and tools. Doing so will help them stay ahead of the competition, ensure customer satisfaction, and provide a long-term positive effect on the business's bottom line.

Contact us today if you are looking for practical recommendations to exceed the expectations of digital-native B2B buyers. We can provide insights and recommendations to ensure your customers are rewarded with an excellent B2B Digital Commerce experience.

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