This blog has spent a substantial amount of time discussing the increasing similarities between B2C and B2B customers. Merchants processing B2B payments have adjusted their operations and offerings as a result of this trend, but it is still a very new concept and some merchants have been slow to adapt to the new needs of their business customers.
However, the idea has gained credence with the coining of a new phrase: business to individual. The idea of B2I eCommerce speaks to the need to cater to individual buyers, whether they are consumers or procurement specialists. A blog article from Derek Edmond, a B2B marketing professional, spoke to the idea that merchants need to understand who their customers are, how they behave as customers and how they need to react to this information.
"In fact, the whole buyer consideration process is changing – especially as you look at it from the customer buyer journey," Edmond wrote. "The buying process is not only much more self-directed, but influence has fundamentally changed from just five years ago."
He went on to say that today, individuals are doing extensive research on their own and when they finally do enter the sales and marketing funnel, they may be further along in the process than the traditional standard. For example, the classic B2B sales approach required patience and the slow development of a relationship between merchant and customer. These days, the buyer might know a great deal about a particular industry, or even a specific organization within that industry, and might be more prepared to buy than you are to sell.
Catering to this individual need requires adjustments from your sales and marketing teams, but it also requires an investment into the right payment solutions. Obtaining a proper payment platform can help service customers who want to pay quickly, among meeting many other needs of individual customers.