Buying Behavior: 7 New Insights for B2B Leaders
Shifting buying behavior isn’t new.
For as long as there have been buyers, there have been behavioral shifts. But the pace of that change has accelerated, fed by development of net new technologies and cultural evolution. Until now, changes in buying behavior have been limited to consumers. That’s no longer the case. 75% of the workforce now consists of millennials—many of whom now have decades of experience—with an additional 4.5m Gen Z employees joining their ranks. B2B companies no longer have the luxury of serving exclusively boomer and Gen X buyers at the expense of millennial and Gen Z buyers. To protect market share, companies need to design and execute digital business plans designed for this new purchasing behavior as soon as fiscal year ’24.
By 2026, millennials and Generation Z will be the majority demographic of both B2B and B2C decision makers. In this post, we will explore seven key insights you can leverage to protect your market share during this shift in B2B buying behavior.
- Understand the Shift in Demographics
With millennials and Gen Z comprising 75% of the current workforce (and eventually the majority of B2B buyers), we must consider their impact on buying behavior and technology needs. What do they want? How do they go about shopping? What blockers keep them from purchasing? As a business owner, you’ll need to adopt a customer-led and technology-oriented approach to cater to their expectations.
- Embrace Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is no longer a choice. It’s a necessity. Both B2B buying behavior and B2C purchasing behavior now lean towards digital interactions due to their familiarity with technology. To meet buyer preferences, your B2B company must take on the challenge of providing seamless, personalized, and relatable experiences across all channels.
- Incorporate Personalization
Addressing this shift in consumer buying behavior requires integrating technology into your strategy. By leveraging first-party data and personalizing online offerings, you can create a unique value equation that resonates with the needs of your target audience, yielding surefire, customer-led results.
- Consider Mobile and Social Media Influence
Nearly 60% of inspiration and search is now conducted on mobile devices, with 32% of this influenced by social media. Optimize your website for mobile and leverage social media platforms to drive awareness and engagement.
- Transition to Self-Serving Buying Decisions
As the market moves towards self-serving buying decisions, we need to evaluate how to protect market share during this shift. 75% of B2B buyers say they prefer a rep-free experience. Paradoxically, self-service digital commerce has the highest percentage of buyers who report purchase regret. To deliver the most value to customers, combine digital and human interaction for rep-assisted digital commerce.
- Execute Meaningful Digital Experiences
It’s important to remember that it’s not just about using digital tools but about creating a meaningful experience for the end consumer in this new era of buying behavior. This can be achieved by aligning your purpose with the needs of your target market and utilizing data, digital communication and content to provide a comprehensive solution and stay ahead of the curve. These relationship-building tactics will help future-proof your operations and achieve long-term, sustainable business growth.
- Future-Proof Your Business
To achieve long-term, sustainable growth, it is crucial to develop future-proofing strategies. Understanding the weight of the demographic shift and its impact on your business is essential. By engaging in early conversations, evaluating your digital transformation roadmap, and capitalizing on digital business planning, you can thrive in the face of change.
By embracing digital transformation, personalizing experiences, and leveraging technology, you can cater to the millennial and Gen Z buyers who will hold the primary buying power. Here at DEFINITION 6, we can help you navigate this new era and create compelling thought leadership that ensures your business’s growth and success. Together, we can master changing B2B buying behavior to secure and grow your market share for years to come. Contact us for more information.