B2B Needs to Embrace the New Dimension of Selling: Visual Commerce

January 26, 2023

In a parallel universe, B2B is closing deals faster. Effortlessly.

B2B buyers are converting and not slipping into a cosmic void.

Everyone in this galaxy is winning.

How are B2B businesses and B2B buyers embracing the final frontier? Two words: visual commerce.

In this post, we’ll discuss:

  • What is visual commerce and why has it become a B2B buyer expectation?
  • What are the use cases for B2B visual commerce?
  • What solutions can bring B2B visual commerce to life?
  • How can visual commerce extend benefits beyond buyer engagement and conversion?

Let’s take a look at beaming technology.

What is Visual Commerce?

Conversion is dependent on three factors: meeting your buyers where they are, effectively appealing to their needs, and simplifying the path to conversion. Sounds simple, but let’s peel back the layers.

Over the last decade, hundreds of thousands of businesses have digitally transformed. And with digital commerce, B2B organizations aren’t waiting for buyers - they’re in front of B2B buyers, building awareness online before the inception of the buyer lifecycle even begins. 

Then of course, the Amazon-standard of making a purchase has brought B2B buyers to the table with B2C shopping expectations. Guest checkout and SSO, easy discounting, and multiple payment methods also deter cart abandonment. 

But what about that part in the middle? Engaging with B2B buyers? Well, this part is both complex and a bit more subjective.

B2B selling isn’t just about the buyer buying a product. It’s about education. It’s about guided selling. It’s about giving your target buyer all of the relevant information they need to make an informed purchasing decision in the moment. 

According to Gartner, there are six “jobs” that B2B buyers take on during the buying process:

  • Problem identification — “We need to do something.” 
  • Solution exploration — “What’s out there to solve our problem?” 
  • Requirements building — “What exactly do we need the purchase to do?” 
  • Supplier selection — “Does this do what we want it to do?” 
  • Validation — “We think we know the right answer, but we need to be sure.” 
  • Consensus creation — “We need to get everyone on board.”

In essence, successful engagement is about supporting all of these different buyer “jobs”  to lead the B2B buyer to conversion. It’s no question that B2B is looking for more effective ways to engage their buyers. And here is where visual commerce comes in.

Visual commerce is not a new concept, but its definition has changed in the digital age. Remember mailed catalogs and paper brochures? This has evolved to virtual and augmented reality experiences, a key part of a B2B businesses’ commerce strategy, engaging buyers to learn about its products in an incredible way.

Exceptional? Yes. An expectation? Also, yes. This is the number one way B2B buyers are demanding brands to properly showcase their products. These customers want more interactive ways to view products and assemblies before placing their order.

B2B Visual Commerce Use Cases

The use cases for visual commerce in B2B are endless. 

Say, an electric vehicle part can scale across micromobility and heavy duty applications. How? A virtual experience right on the website shows how the part changes in voltages to connect to any motor. See how it works specifically in your application by uploading photos of your vehicle.

From complex machinery to intricate assemblies, virtual commerce shows how products are built and can fit together, eliminating guesswork and instilling B2B confidence in a potential purchase. 

Let us put our money where our mouth is.

You can read a blog post about the impact of visual commerce. We could show you this screen shot and explain how selling plane components could be a dramatically better B2B buyer experience with visual selling:

OR, we could show you this:

With this Aircraft Engine VR Training tool designed with Threekit, users learn how to provide high-quality services based on different parts configurations.

You’ll see immediately how this interactive experience allows users to zoom in and out to see parts and automatically buy parts. This use case extends to any manufacturer.

So why is B2B still relying on paper catalogs and excel workbooks?

Best-of-Breed B2B Visual Commerce Solutions

Leading B2B visual commerce solutions close the gap between complex selling and enhanced buying experiences through interactive 3D product experiences that enhance the overall customer experience. 

Here at Zaelab, we’ve opted to partner with Threekit on many composable commerce projects that include visual commerce because of its ability to seamlessly integrate with all major digital ecommerce and content management platforms, including SAP, Shopify, Salesforce, Magento, WooCommerce and other proprietary eCommerce and CMS platforms. Beyond rapid integrations, Zaelab leverages Threekit to enable our B2B clients to:

  • Launch personalized experiences 
  • Showcase product customizations 
  • Streamline sales and operations with 3D Technology

If you’re curious to learn more about how to overcome delays in the customer buying journey and back-end operations with 3D configuration, we encourage you to watch our webinar with Threekit here

To Infinity and Beyond: More Visual Commerce Benefits

It’s crystal clear how visual commerce leads B2B buyers to the right parts, right now. But the benefits go beyond buyer engagement and conversion. 

In addition to using visual commerce to drive the bottom line, visual commerce is a hiring and sales enablement tool. B2B businesses don’t have to look to niche hiring categories to staff product experts anymore. With visual commerce, sales reps can ramp up quicker, enabled by interactive products.

Sales and customers alike can find the right parts, reducing returns and equipping everyone with long term product knowledge. 

Engage with your B2B buyers in a more meaningful way. Talk to us about how adopting a composable commerce tech stack that incorporate visual commerce can grow your business.

Take the guesswork out of B2B benchmarking.

Get a pulse on the effectiveness of your B2B customer experience. Zaelab offers a complimentary benchmarking service to evaluate your B2B digital experience against direct and industry competitors.

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