redboxB2B is expanding further and further into automating its marketing and functionality to deliver a personalized user experience which will drive sales and form new relationships with clients. However, many are still being slow to adopt this form of automation, creating an imbalance in the market with a few big players which are quick to exploit. Hence, to survive, B2B eCommerce retailers need to be more informed about the latest developments in this area, and will have to adapt their strategies to cope in an environment of increasing automation.

To gauge the current state of B2B automation, Smart Insights, in collaboration with CommuniGator, produced a survey of 228 B2B professionals which had them rate, among other things, the effectiveness of their web-based automation techniques.

According to the report, landing pages were the most commonly used technique, with over 81% rating these moderately or highly effective.

It was expected this would be the most commonly used technique, but it was surprising how rarely other techniques were used, for example, fewer than 50% of businesses used rules based personalization of content and offers on site.
Of the more advanced techniques, 50% of businesses used IP-based detection of businesses visiting their website and this was rated positively by the majority. Predictive analytics was used by just 35% of businesses, but the majority rated it highly. The comparatively low rates of adoption, but high rates of effectiveness, suggest an opportunity for early adopters of B2B automation to gain an edge over their slower-to-change competitors.

With up and coming companies favoring technological solutions over a large, dedicated sales force, advanced and personalized systems must be implemented by any and all companies wishing to remain relevant and profitable.

By merging and combining the customer's in-store and online experience, it is possible to create a journey which will drive sales, engagement and loyalty. The dream retail trifecta, Redbox Digital highlights, providing at the same time five useful methods you could use to bring your online and offline experiences together.

1. In-store Technology: Physical installations in-store bring together the two worlds, which can include kiosks connected to the shop database, with a custom UI to display all available products and features, or beacons that interact with personal devices at a very short range. These can provide additional functionality to the user directly to their phone or tablet, negating the need for a kiosk or screen installation at all.

2. Click and Collect services are becoming more and more common due to their convenience to a busy shopper who can't wait for deliveries. In addition, they also drive customers back to the store, where up-selling opportunities are abound.

3. Store Apps are already a major part of the eCommerce ecosystem, but the majority of them are stand-alone, for shopping online only. Store Apps can be developed to accompany the users throughout their shopping experience, they can sync with Beacons, be updated with the latest special offers in real time, offer alternative payment methods, or can just provide more detailed information on in-store products.

4. Customer Reviews are the single most influential tool people use to make their shopping decisions, so why not bringing the process in-store? Beacons or QR codes could be placed on the product display and recent customer reviews could be sent directly to the browsing customer's personal device via an in-store app. Once purchase is complete, customers can be encouraged to leave their own feedback, increasing the likelihood of further sales for that product.

5. Content is the simplest method to bring online and in-store experiences together. Most people will research products online before heading in-store for service and purchase. Creative storytelling and content is a great way to encourage them to bring their online experience in-store.

Through novel employment of the techniques above, you can drive sales, increase loyalty and make headlines in both the Ecommerce, and retail worlds.

By Redbox Digital