Although it took some time for B2B technology to reach the levels of responsiveness common to their B2C counterparts, the gap is indeed closing, CEO said. Brandon’s Lance of the B2B payment company TreviPay noted.
B2B has always lagged behind B2C for the simple reason: building an effective system is much more complicated, explained Spear. In B2C systems, there is a single decision maker, while B2B expenses impact budgeting, purchasing, and additional departments.
The pandemic has changed that and has contributed to a massive digital acceleration in the B2B payments space, he said. With more people working from home, this revealed the inefficiency of manual processes.
A second factor is who makes the spending decisions. More and more decision-makers are from Generation Z or even the youngest. They grew up in a world where service expectations are high and they apply those standards in the workplace.
“The level of expectation of the B2B buyer’s customer experience has changed dramatically over the past three years,” said Mr. Spear.
If you’re an online trader and you don’t realize it, you could be left behind, Spear warned.
There are several ways businesses can make their B2B systems more convenient, Spear said. They can start by making sure that all the data that the various participants in the receiving company will need is on the invoice. This includes purchasing, budgeting, information and accounts payable. Provide all of this in a format that can be absorbed directly into the company portal – no pdf or fax, it just got easier.
“If you can adapt to that, if you could do all of these things, then you can basically become a more buyable trader than the next person,” Mr. Spear said.
If you are a B2B merchant, you are probably offering your customers the best payment terms. Carefully consider terms that are flexible, but also get you in business, such as lines of credit. This can be a difficult task for a small business, so TreviPay can help with onboarding, underwriting, acquiring, settling, and producing an invoice that their customers can easily consume and pay.
Such weaknesses have come to light during the pandemic, as there has been a massive migration to e-commerce channels. Traders couldn’t keep up and were forced to incorporate manual processes into their digital strategies.
Pandemic or not, a successive digital commerce strategy is now a table issue for the B2B environment.
“Basically being digital first, being able to evolve those processes, being able to acquire customers online and offer them all the terms that make sense to you as a merchant… all of these things have become essential but more difficult to scale. for business when you deal. through an e-commerce channel, ”Mr. Spear said.
It’s also difficult to make sure that customers have the same seamless experience, regardless of which purchasing method they choose, Spear said. Apps can help with this, but present challenges like customer validation and the risk of a divide between digital and in-person experiences.
Businesses will always need a mix of human and digital services, and the smarter ones will find ways to leverage that physical presence, Spear said. Best Buy, for example, targets school systems with hands-on programs that quickly get them new computers when a unit fails. By working with TreviPay, they can offer amenities such as SKU limitations where staff can only use the company account to purchase specific items, reducing the potential for fraud. They can also add tools like budget tracking so that the company’s collective spending across all locations cannot exceed a specific amount. This convenience encourages loyalty because the only way such monitoring programs can work is to spend the entire amount at the retailer providing the service.
“This is an example of if you do it right, if you’re different from the next player down the road you can add value, you can align the way sourcing processes work, you can direct a greater share of that customer’s spend to that merchant in particular, ”Spear said. noted. “We’ve seen it with the clients we’ve worked with.
With the amount of data now available, an industry security concern has shifted from finding relevant data to verifying which company a company is doing business with is who it claims to be, Mr. Spear. It is a question which is not much discussed but which is very relevant. Scammers can mimic websites and email addresses with only very granular differences, not always visible to the naked eye but only by machine.
When looking to improve the B2B experience, there are three current priorities, Mr. Spear said. The first is to improve the subscription experience by constantly researching new sources of data and considering speed and reliability. The second is to create ways to encourage customers of a business to use these lines of credit. If, for example, a specific customer still has 30-day terms but in a specific case needs 45 days to overcome a cash shortage, provided that this convenience encourages both loyalty and spending. The final area for improvement is integration, which can be made easier through pre-built integrations.
When considering a vendor to manage your B2B systems, ask a few important questions, Spear advised. Remember that you take the collective individual default risks of each customer and that you group them all. Can they evolve? Can they meet different payment terms? What is the source of their funds? How much money is on their balance sheet? Several small players ran out of money during the pandemic, Mr Spear said.
“If you don’t answer these questions, you risk not getting paid. “