Current technology developments such as voice commerce or chatbots redefine the shopping experience for customers on the Internet. Whether this change from the consumer sector will also show in the B2B trade of the future, however, is questionable.
Automation in the B2B purchasing process is particularly relevant for systems that can communicate and act directly with each other. Pure demand coverage will be automated in the future. No need for interaction – whether via voice, chat or shopping in the online shop. Marketing should also rethink content and previous strategies.
Ordering via platforms – cost-effective, efficient and proven practice
Almost everywhere that is produced today, procurement takes place automatically. Without highly automated processes, just-in-time and just-in-sequence logistics would not be possible. In the past, you had to connect your own procurement systems at great expense directly to a manufacturer or supplier system. This meant developing expensive interfaces in order to make the own inventory management system compatible. There was a great deal of anxiety about being dependent on individual manufacturers or suppliers. In the meantime, shopping platforms in the form of marketplaces, which allow access to many suppliers at once, have become increasingly important. The deciding factor is who operates the platform: The platform operator has direct access to the customer – and anyone who knows the customer wins.
The AI knows what is needed
Automating procurement more and simplifying processes is a trend. The B2B purchasing processes of the future will be IoT-controlled. In the future, procurement systems will be completely self-sufficient and can trade with each other. This means that the warehouse itself recognizes which items need to be reordered via sensors and AI. Machine Learning is making automated sourcing increasingly intelligent – so the warehouse not only knows what to reorder, but also under what circumstances more orders are needed than usual. Crucial is: Voice Search, AR glasses or chatbots will not act as main, but only as additional interfaces here. Automated procurement almost does not require human interaction anymore.
Where does the journey go in marketing?
In the B2B marketing, in the future, automation will be about three things: added value, transparency and customer focus. Companies have to position themselves in such a way that they supply not only products but also services that the competitor does not deliver – and then talk about them more specifically. For example, specialized market participants offer same-day delivery or have gigantic storage capacities, none of which are known today. In addition to the digital, the internal transformation is of great importance. Companies are well advised to intertwine their teams even more. For example, marketing through its in-depth understanding of the market and target groups is a good in-house consultant if you include it in the processes. This is crucial to designing all end-to-end business processes – both starting with the customer and ending with the customer. Organizational Forms, Roles and Responsibilities – simply the entire work routine has to be put to the test.