There are some pretty big changes afoot in the B2B sector when it comes to purchasing decisions. It’s now less about how they’re being made and more about who’s making those decisions and the process in which they’re happening.
Conventional thinking would have you believe that it’s people at the top of an organization who make the all-important purchasing decisions. That, to an extent, still holds true. For example, 64% of the ‘C-Suite’ still have the final say. But there are 24% of non C-roles that now also have the final decision (Think with Google, 2015).
So, you might ask: what’s the big deal? Nearly half of this group – B2B researchers – are millennials (18-34-year-olds). A whopping 70% increase since 2014 alone (Think with Google, 2015). Digital is in their DNA. Mobile is a way of life for them. They don’t know a world where the internet didn’t exist. Which means if you’re not talking to this group via a mobile device, then you’re in real danger of missing some of the most important decision makers out there.
42% of this group use their mobile device during vital stages the B2B purchasing process, with a jaw-dropping 91% of this group using them throughout the entire path. They’re using their mobile device while they’re mobile, not just sat at their desk in the office. They’re busy comparing prices, products, and contacting retailers. Purchase rates on mobile are up 22% in the past two years (Think with Google, 2015).
Here are some tips to ensure you provide this digital, mobile-savvy group with the kind of experience they expect.
Clear, Concise Content is Critical
As you now know, it’s more likely than not that you’ll be talking to a digital native. So don’t complicate your content – whether it’s in an email or on a landing page. Short sentences that get straight to the point and clear signposting (i.e. headers and subheaders) will help users to navigate through your content as they’re quickly swiping up or down.
Keep Menus and Navigations Simple
A mobile device has less screen real-estate than a computer. That’s why it’s essential you create the kind of communication that can be read, seen, navigated and acted upon, easily and quickly. For example, the hamburger menu icon is a common symbol used on mobile sites to store navigational links and maximize space.
Responsive design makes webpages and emails work and look great at any size. Implementing this tactic is essential when you consider how many different sizes and types of devices are used nowadays.
Design for Touch
Screens have got smaller (if you’re looking at the shift from desktop to mobile) but people’s fingers haven’t. Designing for touch includes making buttons in emails and on landing pages easily tappable for users.
Keep Web Forms Minimal
Filling out forms or completing payment details is a drag on a mobile device. The B2B world is full of forms (and probably always will be) but by adopting ‘progressive profiling’, you can collect small amounts of data over time – a much nicer user experience.
To sum up, the demographic of B2B purchase decision-makers is changing. They’re getting younger. The means by which they’re making these decisions is shifting. They’re using mobile more than ever before, and they’re not always stuck at their desk. Using a mobile device, to them, is second nature and you should make it your priority to understand that.
Jonny Dixon is Global Head of Magento Channel for dotmailer