Admittedly, the fast shift from offline to online has resulted in numerous business performance changes, regardless of the model you’re operating.
The wholesale customer journey is difficult at all stages, from approaching selling channels to order placement and delivery: B2B registration; negotiation process; order placement to delivery. B2B customer data management also challenges store owners and related departments to adapt to those significant adjustments.
In seeking the best solutions to collect and manage the client database, you must have considered many options available in the current market. If you’re bewildered by too many sources and information directions, then congratulations, you have landed the right place.
Here, in this post, we will walk you through all the details on customer database management in B2B eCommerce, why it’s indispensable in the wholesale operation, how to optimize the B2B customer database management process and the hottest B2B eCommerce tools for Magento stores.
*Warning: a reservoir of knowledge on B2B customer analysis is waiting below. Take your time and consume it right away!
An Introduction to Customer Data Management
No matter what platform your website functions on, Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, or anything, it’s a must to comprehend the concept of client data management if you long for building a long-term relationship with your corporate customers.
Managing customer data for stores, especially online ones, is essential to operate efficiently. Tracking customer information is the basis for sales planning and provides the opportunity to raise revenue for your stores.
Nevertheless, managing customer data effectively remains a conundrum for shop owners, including B2B and B2C.
This section will help you understand the basics and the importance of customer data to your company’s development.
We put here an article about the necessary B2B features you might not have known for those running a Magento website.
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What is Client Data Management?
The Definition of Customer Data
Customer Data is considered the most valuable asset of any corporation in diverse fields. Implementing exploitation, research, outreach, collection, and customer data storage plays a crucial role in capturing customers’ hidden needs.
For more details, customer data encompasses information on leads showing interest in or ever using products/services, collected in business and marketing activities. Basic information includes contact, demographics, purchase history, and transactions. Moreover, depending on each field or profession, we can build other fields such as interests, financial ability, etc.
Generally, customer data is the basis for businesses to build their target audience, capture their needs, and then have research and analysis to bring about the best sales and marketing campaign.
Particularly, when you’re a wholesaler, getting customer insights is a prerequisite for gaining competitive advantages over hundreds of competitors outside.
A B2B customer’s characteristic is to buy in bulk, and the purchaser represents the whole business. As a result, their shopping journey is much more complicated than that in B2C.
DIVE IN B2B vs. B2C Marketing Differences to get yourself useful methods to approach these two customer groups.
If you don’t communicate with your wholesale clients well, they don’t even bother initiating a relationship with you through the B2B registration form. Without their filling form, there will be no customer data for you to manage.
About Customer Database Management
Surprisingly, many people misunderstand that customer database management is software. Clear that thought away immediately! We agree that some tools support you in simplifying this, but that isn’t all.
Put customer data management is a whole process. In this, store owners and in-charge departments will collect, store, and do B2B customer analysis. These tasks aim to define buyers’ desires and pain points, thereby finding a solution to their problem.
Simultaneously, smooth customer database management also helps ensure superior customer satisfaction and engagement level.
In other words, B2B customer database management consists of collecting, analyzing, organizing, and sharing customer information throughout your wholesale company.
Hold on! B2B customer database management isn’t just a list of customer names, phone numbers, or emails. You need to do more! For instance, you have to divide your customer list into groups based on different criteria, such as age, gender, and loyalty.
Depending on your selling purpose to these audiences, your customer groups will receive appropriate incentives to lure them to return to the store next time.
If you’re offering products for different customer groups, your customer database management apparatus’s optimization should be promoted.
Imagine that you collect 2 different types of customers through the same input. You will spend time and resources on B2B customer segmentation. What a cumbersome processor, right? Why don’t you classify customers right from the registration step when you’re able to do so?
Customer Database Management Is Vital for B2B Companies
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Customer Data
Let’s look at the following real story to understand customer data’s importance and efficient management to your B2B business’s advancement.
You’re a supplier of beverages for tons of wholesalers. After a period of operation, you realize that most of your customers prefer buying lemon juice. This allows you to define your future business strategy, focusing on promoting lemon-flavored products by remarketing with old customers and generating new leads.
This time, customer data brings its benefits into play. If you don’t store the customer database carefully or cannot have a large enough database, on what basis do you decide on the most popular drink?
Get Closer to Your B2B Customers
That way, it can be easily noticed that customer data helps you to understand your customers better. Collecting and building a customer data system will facilitate businesses to personalize the interaction and maximize customer satisfaction.
In the context that B2B eCommerce is proliferating, wholesale customers require a convenient yet professional purchasing process. This poses challenges for businesses in data management and an opportunity to get a variety of customer information to perform analysis and make judgments about customers.
Evaluating results means the enterprise has grasped the insight of customers’ needs. Thus, the next thing a B2B business needs to do is to work out a marketing strategy that can “hit” on that insight to conquer the audience you want to reach.
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Rocket Interaction During Negotiation
Customer data is crucial to the success of businesses. Not only helping B2B store owners and departments, but customer data management also helps salespeople increase interaction in the effective sales process.
You can leverage customer data to attract leads. It’s one of the most profitable ways to improve sales and increase conversion rates thanks to UX improvements.
Unlike B2C, normally, B2B customers will need to go through a price negotiation session with the salespeople or store owners to close the final deal. While this does require a mutual interaction, online selling creates an impediment to trade.
However, once you build an intelligent and smooth data management system, you can keep track of customers’ information and quickly offer price points tailored to their needs, increasing your online conversation’s efficiency and speeding the negotiation process.
Allow You to Modify Sales Tactics Timely
Customer database management helps store the latest information about your customers, which is essential to adjust programs and services to meet their needs.
Building and managing customer data is a needed task in every business. Without understanding customers, B2B sellers cannot succeed. An invested customer data system will help boost sales and improve products based on customers’ desires.
Real Numbers Cannot Lie
Do you still doubt the authenticity of our assumptions? Then take a glance at the figures below to have a stronger belief in the importance of customer database management to wholesale ecommerce in general and Magento 2 B2B in particular!
- The testament to client data management’s potential claimed that 95% of senior executives regarded data as a pivotal part of their business strategy development.
- After enhancing client data management, a business witnessed a rise in customer experience, which brought an average revenue boost of $823 million over three years.
- According to a recent study, 49% of marketers took advantage of data to improve the customer experience.
Obviously, the statistics and experiences gathered in a long time working with B2B partners have proven how a smooth customer database management flow positively affects online B2B companies’ flourishing.
How does the customer data management process work?
Oh, reading until here, are you eager to know how to manage customer data effectively for your B2B store? Calm down! Let us show you the working mechanism of this management process to visualize your next actions.
Reasons You Need a Customer Management Process
To come first in this fierce ecommerce marketplace race, every business, especially B2B ones, will need to perfect its customer management process to increase market share, improve products, and gain competitive advantages.
You won’t regret investing the effort, time, and resources into your customer database management process because it pays off in no time, with a tremendous increase in customer retention. You know, a loyal customer base is an invaluable asset to any B2B business.
The Functionality of Customer Management Process
This demonstrates how a B2B organization performs activities around the customer. The process will focus on strategic planning, marketing, personalized experiences for wholesale customers, and management tools.
All of these are intended to ensure the best experience for your customers. The more dissatisfied customers feel about your service, the more they will forget your site. And vice versa. The more happy your customers are, the more likely they will use your product in the future and even turn into brand advocates.
Any B2B store owners will go through the following steps in managing customer data processes.
Perform Market Research and Marketing Actions
From the first days of building your Magento 2 B2B site, you had to research competitors and perform advertising activities to generate leads. This is like the foundation of a house that helps build a solid customer network.
Collect Information through B2B Registration Step
After you have attracted Internet users to your site, navigating them to the sign-up page is the next essential step in gathering customer information. If you don’t take care of your registration form, chances are the abandonment rate will happen frequently.
In other words, the registration step acts as the first link between 2 businesses. It’s an opportunity for you to express your professionalism and trustworthiness with your potential partners.
Especially for those businesses serving multiple customer groups, the B2B registration step helps you classify customers just before merging into your management system. Don’t underestimate it! Dozens of workloads and time will be reduced if you do this well.
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Update Customer Database in the Backend
Common platforms, including Magento, save registration information in the backend so that store admins can easily manage customer data and capture buyer personas.
Based on company details and interests that customers provide through your B2B registration form, you will be able to devise pricing and incentive policies tailored to each customer group.
Raise Customer Satisfaction & Engagement
The customer always comes first. If you crave a successful online B2B website, all your sales, and product offerings need to revolve around customers. We call it customer-centric.
It’s necessary to assign all of your management activities to the customer journey. One key factor is always to deliver extraordinary support, which roots from a good customer data management process. Only in this way can the B2B business retain customers and maintain a lasting relationship with them.
Come up With Relationship Management Strategies
The last yet equally important step of a customer database management process is B2B relationship enforcement.
It may take a lot of your time to see the results, but the returns are well worth the effort.
Producing effective relationship management strategies will help your brand increase credibility and encourage customers to become advocates for your online store.
In short, your B2B site will reap the fruits of your labor when customers get what they want from your store. Today, a comprehensive customer database management process and relationship maintenance are compulsory to retain B2B clients.
Online B2B & Customer Data Management – The Unbreakable
Frankly, customer database management is crucial for every company. But it mostly shows off its importance when we mention B2B businesses.
As a Magento store owner, you probably understand that customer quantity in the B2B model will be less than that in B2C one. Nevertheless, the former’s relationship quality is superior to the latter.
Wholesale customers are not merely coming to buy once and then go. Instead, they tend to go back more often than others and can develop lasting transactions with you.
Thus, it will require more insight into customers’ needs to deliver precisely what they’re looking for. To achieve that, you need to take full control of customer data to exploit each customer’s preferences and characteristics.
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You’re Dealing with a Company, Not One Individual
Dealing with wholesale customers for a long time, you must also understand their characteristics, such as group decision-makers, consulting demands, and the obsession with professionalism.
To ensure the above factors work together, you should absorb all customer details through smart customer database management. Have you ever had a dilemma communicating with a prospect, but you only know their company name? How do you know their hidden needs to give them accurate advice?
If you’re in the same shoes, it means your store failed to take full control of the client database. Thus, customer database management’s professionalism is the first factor in reinforcing the connection between that process and your Magento 2 B2B store.
Client Data Management Maintains A Firm Customer Relationship
A sound management system often focuses on humans so you can dig deeper into their moods and needs. Only when they feel your store understands and responds to what they need will they be engaged with you.
A neat customer data management process with powerful support tools will be a great combo in providing you with deeper insights into your audience. From there, you can make scientific judgments about consumer trends because B2B clients always make logical-driven purchasing decisions.
Correct application of customer database management is the key to success for your relationship with wholesale customers.
B2B Marketing Needs Client Database
Here presents another critical factor that strengthens the link between our two audiences: B2B marketing campaigns are attached to your client data.
First, marketers need a large enough customer base to build the most accurate buyer personas, which will help B2B businesses tailor their products to market demands.
Second, a brilliant customer control process assists marketing in segmenting and personalizing. You know, a campaign will hardly succeed if you target the wrong audience. So, when you leverage the customer database to categorize your customers and personalize their experience correctly, your marketing plan can go in the right direction and generate many leads.
In fact, the above are just two evident proofs of client data’s necessity for B2B marketing actions. There are also countless evidence pieces for our conclusions that you – a B2B store owner – may recognize during the development and implementation of your campaign.
In short, it’s no exaggeration to say that the deep connection between B2B eCommerce and customer database management makes it easy for you to win over the hearts of customers, even the strictest ones.
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Best Practices for Effective Customer Data Management in B2B eCommerce
Gather Customer Data Precisely
This type of data includes name, date of birth, company name, tax, address, phone, social link, accounts, etc.
By collecting the customer’s identity data, you will be able to visualize your business customers. That way helps customize communication to their specific niche throughout their certain stage in the customer journey.
Customer activities, such as filling out payment information, registration, and subscriptions, contribute to your customer data source. Thus, pay more attention to your B2B registration forms, discount, pre-order, checkout step, and loyalty programs.
Following the first approach, quantitative data is the information collected in customer journeys such as online transactions, cart abandonment, customer service, website visits, product pages’ unique pageviews, etc.
The ultimate purpose of this data type is to comprehend the decision-making process of B2B customers. You can take advantage of some tools like Google Analytics, cookie duration, and social activities to track it.
You use this data type to get information about demographics that help paint a more comprehensive picture of your customer. Some good examples are family, lifestyle, industry, interests.
However, gathering descriptive data is not a simple task. It’s quite tricky to involve B2B customers in activities like surveys, personal discussions, group interviews because they have billions of jobs to handle.
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Leverage Social Media
Newspapers and television are beneficial communication means, which can bring you a lot of potential customers. If they regularly hear about you, they may consider your products when they have a demand.
Set Security as Your Priority
Wholesale customers especially prioritize information security because their transactions have a broad impact on the whole organization. When you gather personal client data from their home phone numbers and address details about their company financials, make sure to keep that information private.
It aims to gain customer trust and can save your business from the trouble of information leaking.
You can invest in a backup system and carefully train about customer data management for your employees. Caring about your data security is an investment in your B2B company’s future.
Perform Follow-up Calls or Feedback Forms
These actions happen at the post-purchase stage. Even if your customers have bought your products, don’t ignore them. Maintaining a relationship with B2B customers is never a loss.
Reconnecting with them from time to time by calling, surveys for product feedback will facilitate product improvement and enhance customer satisfaction.
You can refer to some follow-ups after processing the support tickets or when the customer has been selling products for a while. In case your customers are too busy and unwilling to join the call, use Yes/ No questions to save time for them.
“Are you doing well with our products?”; “Can you rate your experience from 1 – 10? ‘, Something like that.
Optimize Popup and Registration Forms
Furthermore, don’t forget to idealize your website’s experience, especially at the registering and checkout steps. Find yourself reliable tools to build an engaging and get-to-the-point B2B registration form. Not too rambling but still full of necessary fields – it’s the model for an ideal sign-up form.
Putting that form in the popup or on a separate page is a wise choice. This will help stimulate your visitors to join the partnership with you.
>>> CHECK HERE to find out the Top 9+ Tips To Increase User Sign-Ups On ECommerce Store!
Keep Reassessing Which Data Contributes to Business Outcomes
Finally, once you have set up a neat customer data management, bear in mind to recheck its performance.
Set up clear metrics and track what data meets them. And make sure the data sets continue to drive actionable insights.
An arisen challenge is that you must know how to use customer data cleverly to capture their insights and drive their engagement.
Must-have Magento 2 Customer Data Management Solutions
Finally, after a long trip, we’ve landed on the last ground to grab the best customer database management tools for your website enhancement.
Don’t miss these essential virtual weapons if you’re running a Magento 2 B2B store. The extensions in this list have always been considered powerful arms, reinforcing your customer database management.
Magento 2 Force Login
We put this module first because this is the gateway that leads clients to join your store’s membership.
When providing items to both B2B and B2C customers, you must have wanted guests to receive different price points and separate access to products/ categories, compared to the logged-in. This is to ensure fairness for all customer groups.
If you spend specific products and preferential prices only for your wholesale customers, leverage this Force Login for Magento 2 extension. Its main usage is to restrict guest access to specific pages on the website, which will help you optimize your sales strategy and classify customers effectively.
This force sign-in action can direct B2B customers to come closer to your next goal by luring them into the registration step. That way, you can build your customer database.
Magento 2 B2B Registration
So, what if they don’t have an account yet? At this point, show them the B2B registration form in front of them. Depending on how many types of customers you supply your product to, you can display both registration forms, one for B2C default and the other for B2B sign-up.
Magento 2 B2B Registration module enables you to create a basic registration form with necessary information fields that make your customer data management more convenient and smart than ever.
For instance, information fields such as name, company, Tax/ VAT, and so on will help you get closer to your customers.
The prominent benefits you can realize from this module’s first use are enriching your B2B customer data, reducing the number of B2B registration spam, and effectively categorizing B2B vs. B2C customers.
Magento 2 Customer Attributes
This is for store owners who want to personalize their registration form even more. Customer Attributes and B2B Registration are perfect matches, generating unique registration forms, and gathering more customer information.
In addition to the provided fields, Magento 2 Custom Registration Fields extension allows admin users to create additional fields to your B2B registration form. Thanks to that, you can know your potential buyers right from the first time they connect with you.
Imaginatively speaking, if the B2B Registration extension is a tree trunk, Customer Attributes are the leaves adorning that tree.
>>> YOU SHOULDN’T MISS OUT this A to Z Guide for Dummies: Magento 2 Customer Attributes!
Magento 2 Company Account
The account registration step is indispensable for B2B management. Hence, you may have noticed that the Magento 2 customer data management tools mentioned here are primarily serving the buyer’s initial approach to the seller.
Fully compatible with Magento 2 B2B Registration extension, Company Account will help B2B store owners allow customers to have multi-user accounts.
B2B’s unique nature is trading with a whole business, so our wholesale customers are prone to need a team to manage transactions with you and with their own customers.
On your customers’ part, they can have shared accounts and access their organization‘s data resources.
On your side, it’s also easier to manage your business accounts. The information of sub-users is saved in Magento’s backend as customer data. Thus, you – B2B store owner – absolutely have the ability to capture the information of your entire customer management team.
What could be better than dealing with one person yet gaining data from other related people?
Magento 2 Sales Rep
While the Company Account is mainly to lessen the troublesome for your customers, Magento 2 Sales Rep extension helps you reduce your own customer database management workload.
Although you can still perform well on a small scale, what happens since your customer database continues to expand? The reality is that you cannot embrace all of your work on your own.
Now, the B2B sales representative team will act on your behalf to perform transactions with their assigned customers. Magento 2 Sales Rep module was born to help you manage your sales rep, and the sales rep team manage their customers.
As a result, the customer data management process becomes smoother and more personalized without losing the B2B business’s professionalism.
Salespeople will catch on to customers’ preferences and concerns to provide prompt advice and support. As a result, wholesale customers feel they are cared for and appreciated by your business. Once they’re happy with your service, their engagement will be only a matter of time.
We’ve gone through a pretty long journey together to inspect B2B customer data management.
Hopefully, with a detailed explanation of concepts, tips for improving customer database management, and recommendations on the best Magento 2 extensions, you can quickly achieve your website development goals, connect better with customers, and increase profitability.
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