Amazon has been planting its roots in many different industries, and the largest U.S. online retailer doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Outside of the individual consumer market, Amazon is expanding at a rapid pace into other commercial markets such as business supply and procurement—all driven by its innovative new approach to selling, delivering, and customer service. So, what happens when your industry gets, “Amazonified,” and what does it mean for your business?
Let’s Take A Peek Back at the Beginning
There isn’t one particular definition of “Amazonification”, but the basic concept is when a disruptor like Amazon overtakes an industry, businesses must turn to innovative methods to keep pace with the new titan. At the beginning, it wasn’t apparent that Amazon would become the giant it has become today. Starting in 1995, Amazon competed with the likes of Barnes and Noble and Borders Bookstore, but in the years since then, its growth has been a logical, well-thought-out plan for e-commerce domination. By identifying particular market opportunities, Amazon’s expansion has benefited not only their company but buyers as well. From its humble beginning selling books online to today’s plethora of items, it’s evident that there is no category, business—even industry, that Amazon isn’t willing to serve.
As an innovator and a disruptor, Amazon’s drive to push the envelope isn’t going to stop. Amazon’s success lies in serving up relevant suggestions and exceeding customer expectations, all while maintaining profitability. With endless peer-reviewed options at their fingertips, ready to be delivered to their doorstep in just a few days—or in some cases, hours—the bar on consumer expectations has been raised. By establishing a radically new buying experience, Amazon has challenged other businesses to stay relevant to survive.
What Does B2C Expectations have to do with B2B Buying?
Take a look at the big picture—your prospects, even your current customers—are most likely Amazon customers. Not convinced? Have you purchased anything from Amazon in the last three months? That’s right, whether you want to realize it or not, Amazon is changing customer expectations, especially when it comes to the number of available options (Amazon Business and B2B eCommerce), the ease of purchasing, and customer support measures. Today, B2C buyers want a digital-guided buying journey, which is aligned with what they want, what their needs are, and quick access to the product and its’ support.
What’s taking industry suppliers by surprise is that B2B buyers are also shifting to this B2C mindset.
What kind of experiences do B2B buyers want?
- Personalized: Remembered preferences, tailored suggestions of things you might want or need based on browsing and buying habits.
- Quick Access: Information related to recent purchases and personalized suggestions which are easily findable with a search bar.
- Collaborative: Other buyers provide reviews, allows you to search by the most highly-ranked peer-reviewed products.
- Consultative: Offer suggestions "Amazon's Choice" and best seller while also providing range and variety.
Today’s buyer wants a digital-guided buying journey—aligned with their needs—and quick access to product information and reviews.
As much of B2B buying and selling is done in consultative manner (and the process over the course of almost a year or longer), having a strategic, collaborative take on customer experience is important. To make buying easier for your prospects, look at putting some added trust back into the customer. Provide this value through ideas, insights, and collaboration while ensuring you have the right sales tools to get the job done. Tools that your sales should be using include, CRM systems, analytics, search engine optimization (SEO, lead generation and nurturing, and email management.) Knowing you need the right tools and having them are two different things. So, how do B2B companies compete? Businesses must stay relevant.
How to Stay Relevant in the World of Amazon?
Amazon has a particular edge over companies who stick with a traditional sales strategy. If a company wants to stay relevant in today’s digital world, take a note from Amazon’s book. How are they succeeding? Customer experience—it’s that simple. Amazon is not afraid to put their customers at the forefront of their operation. By recognizing that buyer expectations are changing, companies must change to keep up the pace. In order for businesses to survive, adapting and innovation is key.
Beyond relevance, businesses need to be innovative to succeed. As the B2B buying process changes, those who incorporate added social channels and technology into their organization will see a more significant transformation to attract more prospects and retain customers.
The market demands a particular type of change to attract prospects whether that’s powerful messaging, a new way to showcase brand recognition, or sometimes, that innovation comes with the product you’re selling. Even if you aren’t able to innovate the product itself, you can innovate the way that you sell it. Whether that innovation comes in the form of a digital platform or you opt for a sales and marketing alignment strategy, there are many ways to innovate the process.
Platforms like Modus Sales Hub are the way to survive Amazonification. Modus is a revolutionary technology for sales and marketing: a fully branded app to communicate from everyone to customers and distributors. With completely customizable display options, the app is able to conform to brand guidelines, keep all relevant and most up-to-date sales materials in a single place, and provide a customer-driven sales meeting experience for the prospect.
“Building platforms has been the secret recipe for success in Silicon Valley for the last 20 years. But now the secret is out, and the time is right for B2B distributors to embrace platform innovation.” —Applico Inc.
By utilizing innovative software designed primarily to enable marketers, sales teams, and distributors to succeed by beginning to close more leads. An engaging, customer-centric sales platform accelerates the sales process and gives sales teams time to process and close more sales.
Prepare Your Business for the Future
Amazon perfecting the B2C buyer’s journey and breaking into the B2B market with that same mentality, means that no industry is off-limits. It’s crucial to position your business to be a strong competitor in the changing marketplace. Some of that success is built through the use of engaging sales platforms and technological innovation. This customer-centric shift isn't going anywhere, and it’s continuing to evolve. If you’re able to harness digital advances to match your buyer's expectations, you’ll be one step ahead of the game.