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Ecommerce: It’s Business And Personal

Today, ecommerce is bigger than ever. In 2017, ecommerce revenue increased by nearly 25%, and by 2022, experts predict it will make up 17% of US retail sales.

As ecommerce activity grows in the retail sector, so does the number of stakeholders in B2B purchasing committees, thereby extending the buying cycle to over 16 months according to Gartner research.

For B2B companies, the combination of these trends presents an opportunity to connect with unprecedented amounts of anonymous buyers as they navigate their buying journeys online. However, B2B vendors are trying—and failing—to coax their prospective buyers out of hiding with strategies like gated content, opt-in newsletters, and—the most labor-intensive option—collecting visitors’ names at trade-show booths.

The modern B2B buyer has evolved mechanisms to avoid these classic strategies. In 2018, buyers prioritize gathering information themselves rather than initiating contact to learn more about the products they’re researching.Unlike traditional, brick-and-mortar commercial interactions or physical meetings with salespeople, flying under the radar means doing research on their own time while steering clear of sales until they’re ready to talk. They like ecommerce because it’s not personal.

Today, it’s the suppliers’ jobs to make it personal — without driving the customer away.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. But innovative marketers have found ways to reach more and more members of these elusive buying committees through ABM.

Coaxing anonymous buyers into reluctantly identifying themselves is losing its efficacy in B2B marketing. Through ABM’s IP-sensing technology, which is used to deliver personal account-based advertising and account-based retargeting campaigns, however, suppliers can not only identify prospective buyers early on, but steadily build relationships with stakeholders over time via customized, relevant content designed specifically for their target accounts.