The future of business travel remains uncertain for the foreseeable future. With fewer trade shows, conferences, and face-to-face meetings, B2B sales leaders around the world are now forced to find new ways to interact with potential clients and showcase their products in an engaging, meaningful way—without in-person meetings and physical product walk-throughs.
The digitization of B2B buyer journeys is already underway. According to Forrester Research, B2B eCommerce transactions will reach 1.2 trillion by 2021.1
The demand is there—but how do you capitalize? While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, many B2B businesses and manufacturers are beginning to realize the enormous value in immersive 3D eCommerce and digital AR/VR product experiences.
By undergoing a digital transformation and embracing a direct-to-consumer, customer-first approach, you can empower your teams to win sales from virtually anywhere. Here are 3 factors that will shape the future of B2B Sales and 3D eCommerce:
The Changing Face of B2B Buyers
The B2B buyer journey is quickly changing, and so is the B2B buyer. With more than half of B2B buyers being ‘digitally native’ millennials, your company’s sales strategy must cater to this growing audience. As more millennials become involved in the B2B decision-making process, they are more likely to respond to personalized, immersive digital experiences—similar to how they currently
interact with their B2C counterparts.
The B2B buying process usually involves multiple stakeholders and the process is typically longer than B2C purchases. By creating a digital product experience that multiple stakeholders can easily access and share with others virtually, you help eliminate the back and forth between teams and instill buyer confidence.
3D Product Visualizations and AR/VR Experiences
A recent study shows 38% of business buyers reported that AR would accelerate their buying cycle. As a sales enablement tool, AR and VR enables potential customers to “experience” your products digitally or in their existing physical environments using CGI and 3D product models, so they can make more informed purchasing decisions faster.
While creating 3D product experiences may seem like a large undertaking, newer technologies like the VNTANA platform can take your existing CAD data and automatically create web-based 3D experiences with built-in AR. This out-of-the-box solution enables your clients to see how the product fits into their manufacturing plans, lab studies, workspaces, and more.
Salespeople and marketers are taking notice. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide spending on AR/VR is forecast to grow to $18.8 billion in 2020, an increase of 78.5% from 2019. Here’s why:
- Creating a 3D Digital Showroom enables virtual, interactive sales environments and eliminates the need for physical prototypes and sales travel Showcasing 3D product models online can double conversion rates and increase engagement by more than 25% AR can be used to “place” products in a manufacturing setting or supply chain to show how a tool will fit in the production
- 3D models enable a virtual “try-on,” which helps decrease product returns and improve overall customer satisfaction
By enabling a customer to visualize your product or solution digitally—whether in a virtual space or their physical environment—you make it easier for them to visualize how they can use your product and how it fits within their current environment.
Pretend you’re a B2B buyer for a moment. Which would you prefer: an email pitch and a product one-sheet, or a digitally immersive experience where you can inspect a product, dig deeper on certain features, ask questions, and perform a virtual “try-on” before making your decision? It’s a no-brainer.
Personalized, Omnichannel B2B Experiences
As B2B eCommerce grows, so will
omnichannel sales and marketing strategies. The term “omnichannel experience” essentially refers to your ability to deliver a consistent, seamless customer experience across all channels—and all devices. Research from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that 80% of B2B buyers are using mobile at work, and more than 60% report that mobile played a significant role in a recent purchase.2
The world is more connected than ever. Delivering a beautiful web experience, but an awful mobile (or tablet) experience, can hinder your growth opportunities. Omnichannel strategies require a customer-first approach and a buy-in from all your teams. For omnichannel to work, you need to bring everyone in your organization up to speed and provide them with the technologies, tools, and data they need to provide memorable, consistent experiences at every customer touchpoint.
As more and more B2B buyers move online, they’ll expect convenience, immediacy, and personalization. An effective omnichannel strategy should deliver all three.
The B2B buyer journey is always changing. With all the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the race for your prospects’ attention in the digital world has never been more competitive. You need to lay the digital groundwork now to prepare your business to thrive under these new circumstances and adapt quickly to consumer needs.
By embracing omnichannel strategies and utilizing immersive 3D products in AR or VR environments, you’ll empower your teams to streamline and personalize communication, instill buyer confidence at a personal level, and shorten sales cycles.