Business-to-business (B2B) marketing involves the sale of a company’s product or service to another company. This occurs when:

B2B is often compared with business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing which refers to the transactions conducted directly between a company and consumers who are the end-users of its products or services. The value of B2B transactions is significantly higher than B2C activity since businesses are more likely to purchase more than consumers would. For example, a car manufacturer will purchase a truckload of tires compared to a regular car owner.

Needless to say, selling to a business is different from selling to an individual. Other differences for B2B from B2C transactions include the following:

 What is B2B e-Commerce?

The B2B concept has been around for decades, going back to as early as the 1960s and 1970s but the internet took the business model to a whole different level.

B2B e-Commerce is a term has only been in use for about a decade and refers to the selling products or services between businesses through the internet via an online sales portal. In general, it is used to improve efficiency for companies. It is so widely used that more than two-thirds (68%) of B2B buyers now purchase goods online according to a report from the Acquity Group.

E-commerce sale between businesses (B2B) is changing fast. From the value of email marketing in B2B to the importance of social media in B2B, technology has altered the entire industry. But the change is still happening and the world of B2B marketing will still face a lot more changes in the near future. In order to survive in the world of business-to-business e-commerce marketing, one must understand consumers behave online.

Here are some B2B customers buying behavior that are worth looking into:

  1. The first and third-month mark is a critical point in the decision making

The first three months is an important time in the B2B buying journey according to the 2018 report by Demand Gen. During this time, the majority of the respondents does the following:

The results shows that the seller should always be on alert during this period, as all of the interaction with buyer will eventually drive them to buy or not.

Rebecca Lieb, industry analyst and author stated, “Clearly sales are the literal front line in dealing with prospects. Demonstrating a knowledge of their pain points and sharing thought leadership is critical, particularly in the early stages of the consideration and evaluation phases.”

  1. B2B buyers take a longer time to make a purchase decision

The respondents of a recent survey by Demand Gen Report strongly agree that they:

Because companies are doing more research, this has led to a delay in the purchasing process. In order to tip the buyer scales in your favor, you can provide content that would educate your potential clients reduce their research time.

  1. More team members are involved in making decisions

Another trend that has emerged in the B2B market landscape is more and more people on the buying team are weighing in on buying decisions. According to the same report, 79% of the respondents said there are between one and six people involved in the purchase process. The higher the number of individuals involved in the process the slower it becomes. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The more collaborative the buying is, the lesser the chance of dissatisfaction.

  1. Social media plays a huge role

If you are a business owner, social media is inescapable. You just HAVE to be on it in order to compete fairly in your market!

Buyers turn to social media and peer reviews when researching about products. In the Demand Gen Report’s inaugural B2B Buyers Survey in 2012, 20% said they spent more time on social media to research possible solutions. In 2018, that number has grown drastically when a whopping 54% of the respondents stated that they rely on social media to research vendors and solutions. The survey also found out the following:

  1. Content is still King

Content is King and even more so in the B2B model.

76% of all B2B buyers who participated in the 2018 Demand Gen Report expressed a strong desire for “content that speaks directly to their company.” Additionally, in terms of content and business websites, respondents noted the following as “very important”:

B2B buyers want the sellers to demonstrate their knowledge of their industry through the content they produce. That means you have to publish case studies, industry reports or partner strategies in order to impress them.