Our everyday lives have become a lot more mobile over the past years: Most online shopping is now conveniently done ‘on the go’ – thanks to dedicated apps from the big e-commerce providers. But “mobile first” is no longer solely a B2C-approach: With procurement professionals increasingly making purchase decisions on their smartphones, the status quo in B2B is changing as well. To keep up with this development, suppliers also benefit from new apps to generate leads and manage enquiries right in the palm of their hand.
As consumers, we have long become accustomed to the convenience of doing our shopping on our mobile phones, ordering products and groceries, booking our next vacation and so on. Many of us expect that same ease of use in our professional lives. Unsurprisingly, B2B app adoption is on the rise. In fact, the demand for B2B mobile applications is expected to grow to $140 billion by 2023. This development has been vastly accelerated by pandemic, with remote work becoming universally accepted in most industries and work places.
Even before COVID, mobile saw an upsurge in the business-to-business sector: In 2017, the Boston Consulting Group found that 80% of B2B purchasers are using mobile at work. More than 60% reported that mobile played a significant role in a recent purchase. Moreover, 70% of B2B purchasers increased their mobile usage significantly over the three years prior to the survey, with 60% expecting to continue to increase their mobile usage.
Changing requirements in B2B
It is no surprise, therefore, that dedicated purchaser apps are gaining in popularity as a way to easily and quickly get in touch with suppliers. But what about the suppliers themselves? Visibility on the (mobile) web has become more important than ever to generate leads and to garner the interest of procurement professionals around the world.
Once an online presence is established, for instance on B2B platforms, requests need to be managed and replied to. And with more and more purchasers sending inquiries on the fly, suppliers need to be a lot faster as well. After all: in a competitive market environment, a quick reply to a purchaser enquiry can make the difference between closing a contract or losing it.
Daniel Keller, CTO at Visable, explains the changing requirements for suppliers: “The use case for our platforms EUROPAGES and wlw is becoming a lot more mobile, both on the purchaser and the supplier side. Managing requests and swiftly replying to inquiries on a smartphone or tablet allows for much higher flexibility and helps to increase overall engagement with potential customers.”
Request management “on the go”
Mobile app developers are continuously looking into ways to account for this new dynamic. Visable has extended its mobile portfolio to include the Visable App for suppliers. With it, users can effortlessly edit their company profiles on wlw and EUROPAGES and update their product portfolios on the go.
Extensive reporting capabilities offer valuable insights into the target group, as users can easily access details of the companies who have visited their profiles in real time. This helps companies to focus their marketing efforts and enables the supplier’s salesforce to actively approach prospects in a targeted manner. The app also sends notifications in case of any activity or incoming request, so that suppliers can quickly reply to and engage with interested purchasers.
“In our everyday lives, we have all become accustomed to certain conveniences, when using digital services,” explains Daniel Keller. “For instance, when we book a trip, we don’t individually e-mail the hotel, the airline and the airport transport. Instead, all communication takes place on the travel agency’s website or in the app.” For this reason, the Visable app includes a dedicated “Message Center” which centralises all communication between supplier and purchaser in the app.
Is mobile the future? App-solutely
It is safe to say that the mobile experience has not only become a necessity in B2B, but also a major convenience. Mobile apps help to account for changing requirements in procurement as well as in sales and marketing and will continue to gain in relevance for B2B professionals around the globe. The future is mobile!