Step Up Your Business Game: Embrace B2B Omnichannel Commerce Today!


B2B organizations often have complex buyer journeys with multiple sales channels. Even where digital channels are prioritized over traditional face-to-face contact routes, there are challenges compared to the B2C counterpart. Techwave understands that when working with B2B customers, not only do they want to individually connect to suppliers over multiple sales channels, but they also want to be able to connect via multiple channels in any single buyer journey, better known as omnichannel solutions.


In the current digital landscape, B2B customers want the same experience as B2C customers; in other words, they expect an omnichannel experience. Techwave understands the complexity of B2B buyer journeys with multiple sales channels and the demand for connectivity in a single journey.

What does this mean for a business with a B2B customer base? This means recognizing the need to enable customers to follow a buying journey across different touchpoints and channels, both digital and traditional, until the end of a successful purchase and delivery.

This kind of seamless multi-channel experience is B2B Omnichannel Commerce.

Let’s take an example of a B2B client experience:

Bob owns a successful restaurant in Boston. He finds our client, a B2B distributor of premium organic food, via their digital commerce store and registers online.

Bob’s online registration initiates a manual internal account approval process. The information collection process kicks off with emails exchanged and progresses to phone calls to the sales office for volume expectations and rate negotiations. This ultimately results in the visit of a senior regional account manager, Jeff, to seal the deal face-to-face.

Bob negotiates a discount and delegates tasks to his new employee, Sarah. Sarah is tech savvy and not a big fan of ‘old fashioned’ email – she is happy to make orders online, but she also wants to make changes, updates, or account queries on the fly via our client’s on-site chatbot and track orders on her smartphone. She frequently starts making an order on the computer in the restaurant’s back office and then completes the order that night from home on her phone.

Eventually, Sarah brings in Dave to manage day-to-day orders. Dave prefers phone calls and email. Their technological misalignment results in unnecessary discrepancies. This leads to Bob needing to contact the account manager to sort things out.

Bob’s team needs to be enabled to make decisions with all the information available – they need to be able to find products, create orders, submit those orders, and track the progress of order delivery – in real-time, on any device, via any available channel, whenever they want.

This is B2B omnichannel commerce. Enabling B2B organizations to meet their customers wherever they are (omnichannel customers).

Much of the scenario above meets what has become an emerging B2B buying journey, sometimes called the “rule of thirds”, where the average B2B buyer uses a mixture of 3 primary channels:

  • Traditional sales contacts (face-to-face, in-person meetings)
  • Remote voice-led contacts (phone discussions and virtual meetings)
  • Digital enabled self-service

The latest B2B Pulse research from McKinsey shows that two-thirds of U.S. buyers opt for remote human interactions or digital self-service at various stages of their decision journey, such as identifying, searching for, reviewing, and evaluating new suppliers, as well as ordering and reordering.

While this shift is partly driven by Covid-related lockdowns and distancing requirements, it is in tune with a larger trend that predates the pandemic. Over the course of the past five years, the number of channels that B2B buyers use has doubled, and more than 90% of survey respondents said that a B2B omnichannel sales model is as effective as, or more effective than, the previous sales model.

During the early stages of the pandemic, many B2B companies considered remote interactions a temporary phenomenon – a way to stay in touch with customers while sales reps were confined to their home offices. Now, it’s becoming clear that omnichannel is here to stay, and businesses need to be prepared for this permanent change.

Businesses that get omnichannel B2B e-commerce right attract new customers and increase their ability to retain existing ones – resulting in higher revenues, lower acquisition costs, improved customer satisfaction scores, and reduced churn rates.

The message that comes through clearly is that B2B buyers expect the same level of omnichannel service and flexibility as they get when they shop in their personal lives. They want to be able to hop from channel to channel as they advance in their buying journey. When questions come up, they want to be able to open a chat, call a sales representative, or receive a call back within a few hours, and they expect the sales rep to be up to speed on their history.

Many B2B players struggle with the implementation of omnichannel interactions because they treat channels as silos (“multichannel”) rather than as a set of interconnected tools a customer may want to use at various stages of a decision journey or at different points in the relationship with a supplier (“omnichannel integration”).

To enable seamless end-to-end omnichannel commerce solutions and journeys, B2B players must create a comprehensive view of each customer and deliver consistent messages across all channels (omnichannel customer service).

In our next article, we will address some of the details of the systems and processes that B2B organizations need to put in place to deliver an Omnichannel customer experience.

In the meantime, if any of this has sparked your interest or made you think about how you can achieve or improve your B2B omnichannel services, reach out and contact our CX experts and see how Techwave can help.