Price and Promotion have long been two of the marketing Four Ps (Product and Place being the other two), but the COVID-19 pandemic has surely emphasized the importance of pricing in omnichannel business-to-business (B2B) commerce. The pandemic has caused an increase in the number of corporate buyers who are purchasing primarily through digital channels and who are demanding the same level of self-service simplicity of business-to-consumer (B2C) scenarios.
These corporate buyers often report being challenged by slow responses and lack of transparency by their suppliers. They are all too often unable to easily configure/customize their orders in a self-service manner. They also regard the offered pricing as non-competitive (or not reflective of the current market), inconsistent, and highly variable over the multiple channels, assuming what they are ordering is even available through digital channels.
Not surprisingly, B2B customer loyalty has become fleeting. The typical reasons we hear for buyers preferring other vendors are:
One of the most urgent needs we’ve observed from manufacturers and distributors amid the pandemic is the need to make it as easy as possible for their own customers to do business with them. This can be via e-commerce, an online self-service portal, or inside sales teams. With the forced channel switch away from in-person sales, each of these channels must be equipped to offer the right product, at the right price, and at the right time.