Manufacturers, Distributors, and the Group Purchasing Experience

by Mark Weirich on March 15, 2016

B2B_Program_Manager_Banner_Group_Purchasing.jpg

If you are a Manufacturer or Distributor you have both individual buyers and group buyers who frequent your website(s). Individual buyers typically go through the standard eCommerce experience with your public facing site for a typical transactional buying experience. The Group Buyers are a different type of entity as a whole and that is my focus of today’s post. Group Buyers order in bulk for larger organizations and are very consistent in their purchase patterns. This in turn, instigates the need for creation of a dedicated buying experience for Group Buyers.

The great thing about group buyers are they are consistent and predictable. This consistency and predictability should assist you in crafting an individualized experience that will keep them coming back and purchasing more.   In general, there are some main points to take away when creating a dedicated buying interaction with your Group Buyer.

Group Buyer Points:

  • Showcase products that are relevant within their buying scheme and history
  • Present upsell products that they will likely have interest in for future purchase
  • Look to ensure marketing and advertising is relevant to their experience
  • Functional navigation, they should be able to search your product catalog and place an order in a fluent fashion
  • Track purchase habits, and then accentuate their probable use of a favored payment method by utilizing further buying group segmentation
  • Make use of buyer history and make recommendations
  • Analyze time on the pages and viewership of certain products, and then engineer an experience that will facilitate the likelihood of purchase
  • Analyze price points which are frequently purchased and viewed, then present purchase options that are exclusive to data

Believe it or not you may want to segment buying groups within buying groups for a further enhanced experience. A more granulated site experience shows not only that you know your Buying Groups, but you are also giving them what they actually want. Buying is about interaction and experience, which is created both emotionally and logically. If you create an environment that caters to emotion and logic you breed two things…sales and loyalty. Remember emotion is all about the encounter, and the logic is all about the content. You want to reduce the probability that your buying groups would explore other options as much as you can.

You are going to have many different kinds of customers as a whole. It is your job to get to know them and provide exclusive solutions to the challenges they currently have and will probably have in the future. The segmenting of buying groups is the first step in addressing this. If I came to your store to buy nails, and you are showing me shirts, and hammers, while I have to look for the nails that is a burdensome experience.  It is logical to have the store within a store experience where I can go and just get my nails and all the pertinent ancillary items I would need for my excursion to be complete.

Remember your group buyers are unique and should not be treated the same as your individual transactional buyers. Try to make the group buying transaction relevant, memorable, functional, and pleasurable. The Group Buyer is already separated from the pack, so treat them as such.

Topics: B2B Group Purchasing, B2B Buyer Centric Ordering, B2B Websites