Episerver’s newest global survey highlights how B2Bs are meeting consumer-like expectations
Nearly nine in ten (84%) of B2B decision makers say increasing digital expectations from customers or partners is their top external threat according to a new survey from Episerver, the company transforming digital experiences. In the face of these rising expectations, B2B leaders look to automate marketing, ordering and personalisation with the help of artificial intelligence and key technology investments.
For “B2B Digital Experiences Report 2019: How Companies Are Meeting Rising Expectations”, Episerver surveyed 700 B2B decision-makers across the globe to learn more about their priorities, plans, tactics and technologies – and to surface their pain points, key challenges and barriers to growth.
Personalised content is top of mind with business-to-business organisations. According to the survey findings, the number one website feature/functionality B2Bs plan to adopt in the next 12 months is personalised content (36%), followed by improvements to the mobile experience (33%). As they look to the future, 82% of B2Bs agree they’ll use artificial intelligence (AI) to personalise customer experiences online in the next three years, making for more intelligent experiences for all.
“Consumers expect more from our organisations every day,” said Deane Barker, senior director of content management strategy at Episerver. “Unfortunately, the accounting department expects…well, less. Digital marketers are in a tug-of-war between rising expectations and dwindling budgets. With this report, we’ve looked at the factors pushing and pulling these teams toward their decision points. If you work in digital marketing, I promise you’ll see yourself somewhere in these results.”
With the rise of one-click checkout, buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) and next-day delivery, speed and convenience have come to define what business customers expect in their experiences with B2B brands. In response, more B2B decision-makers are looking to streamline the buyer journey with enhanced personalisation and more self-serve functionalities. In fact, pricing on website, self-service functionality and easy scheduling with a salesperson are the top three ways B2Bs can make it easier for business users to work with them online. The report shows B2Bs are already planning to open up direct, online selling paths to uncover new revenue sources with 72% of respondents indicating that by 2025 the majority of their company’s B2B revenue will come from ecommerce websites they own and operate.
Once the digital laggards of marketing and ecommerce, B2Bs are now looking to automate these functions with AI, even if that means replacing human workers. According to Episerver’s B2B Digital Experiences Report 2019, 60% of B2Bs say they are likely to use AI to replace human workers for marketing functions by 2022. Other key findings include:
- Ninety-one percent of respondents say B2Bs care about their experience or are providing a better experience when the content on the website is personalised to them.
- Twenty-one percent of B2B decision-makers believe delivering personalized customer experiences through their digital channels is a significant opportunity for their business.
- As it stands now, the majority (51%) of B2Bs currently use basic web personalisation such as displaying name on login.
“B2B Digital Experiences Report 2019: How Companies Are Meeting Rising Expectations” from Episerver explores the priorities and plans, tactics and technologies of 700 decision-makers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and Australia. Respondents are employed full-time by enterprise manufacturing, distributing, retail and service provider organisations. The survey was conducted between July 3, 2019 and Aug. 1, 2019.