Going Mobile In B2B: A Passing Fad Or Here To Stay?
Our mobile devices, be it smartphones or tablets have become an extension of ourselves. They have been rooted into our everyday lives as a necessity and have changed the way we shop, eat, bank, and ultimately live. Where brushing your teeth was the first thing you did after waking up, now checking your phone has become the primary morning ritual (more than 50% of cellphone users get on their phones right after they wake up).
This drastic change has impacted not just our personal lives, but the way business is conducted as well. According to a report by Forrester Research mobile is estimated to account for 49% of e-commerce i.e. $ 252 billion in sales by 2020. While these numbers are not purely indicative of the B2B mobile commerce market, they paint an optimistic picture. In fact, the gap between B2B and B2C mobile commerce is closer than you’d think; a Gartner study reports that B2B mobile channels generate 19.4% of digital commerce revenues, as compared to 22.6 % for B2C.
Mobile is the new virtual office
Smartphones are now our portable business centers. According to Usablenet’s infographic, on an average around 50% of B2B customers use their phone for work related tasks, be it researching products for business, reading reviews, comparing prices, or consuming work related content.
Additionally, 16% of B2B sites receive mobile traffic. Combine this data with the fact that 61% of users who have issues with viewing a mobile site were unlikely to visit it again, and 40% go to a competitor’s site instead, and you’ve got a compelling reason to go mobile and do it right. Think of your website as your virtual office, if in a bad shape or poorly located, it will be that much harder to attract, let alone retain customers.
Ability to reach your customers where they are
Even if you were to ignore the hard numbers presented above, you can’t overlook the single biggest benefit that going mobile offers: Mobility. For both buyers and sellers, work can be done on the go: lead capturing, data gathering, and customer engagement. Your customers are always reachable on their smartphones, through calls, messages, and emails. In fact in today’s digital age, with millennials (18-35-year-olds) replacing the previous generation, they expect it. A Regalix survey found that 84% of millennials in B2B segments consider their mobile device essential to their work.
Case in point
A simple yet extremely effective use of mobile to boost business is illustrated in a case study on Marketo, a marketing analytics software provider, documented by Rob Peterson (advertising and marketing professional). He states in his article, “The company recognized webinars as a key piece in the marketing toolkit to promote thought leadership and generate leads. As with many webinars, people registered but didn’t always attend. They used a simple, recorded phone message reminder in addition to email. Although the phone reminder added $2 for every registrant, it increased conversion of people who attended from 26% to 48% and, according to Marketo, was well worth the investment in terms of sales results.”
Harnessing the potential of a simple mobile feature made a huge impact.
Don’t be left behind
The list of facts, numbers and live examples to make a case for mobile technology in B2B is fairly long, and they all point to one thing: A mobile strategy in our digital era is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. It is a reality that B2B marketers must accept and exploit for their benefit. And with every passing day newer mobile tools, applications, and automated software are rolled out that make embracing mobile technology that much easier while making companies more efficient. Safe to say, mobile technology is here to stay.