As with all changes in business, it also brings opportunities for new business models to thrive, that are more efficient, convenient and simple for the end-user. The jewellery trade is no exception to change and is seeing a shift with many new technology services and buying opportunities with companies like Diamnet, Cadfolio and The Jewellery App-Connect.
If we were to get down to a few of the top reasons behind the relatively recent shift in the B2B buying process, we’d have to go with the following:
- New technology services
- Time and convenience
- Customer expectations
- Cost of the route to market
- Trade show attendance
ROBO, Research online and buy offline
ROBO in terms of the jewellery trade potentially disrupts the whole traditional jewellery business model of one to one buying. ROBO is the new way to find either suppliers, service provider and products online, this is the business model of The Jewellery App-Connect which is a global business directory for suppliers contact details and products.
Jewellery buyers typically do a lot of research before deciding to purchase a specific product or service but this is via trade shows and contacts, however, this trend is different in most other industries.
The trade is not known for being digitally enabled so information on suppliers and products can be hard, if not impossible to find leaving the buyer with limited choice. This is one of the many challenges that The Jewellery App-Connect is tackling.
Buyers will still depend on referrals
Referrals—be they from a friend, colleague, or unknown peer—are incredibly important to the B2B customer so by offering a service that buyers can ‘rate’ or write a review will become as important as they are with Amazon, something like 60% of consumers read the Amazon reviews before making a purchase, this should be the norm for B2B.
Case in point, B2B News Network reports that 84% of B2B decision-makers start the buying process based on a referral.
(These referred customers, in turn, convert at higher rates, convert quicker, and have a higher lifetime value than their non-referred counterparts) This kind of transparency is only available via a marketplace type service and can be a tremendous motivator for businesses to perform well and keep on top of customer service.
Reviews and ratings in a B2B model for the jewellery trade will become one of the most important parts of researching, it helps buyers make decisions on whether to make contact or even to buy.
Buyers will still want more personalised service
The relationship between the B2B company and customer has always been a bit more personal in nature especially within the jewellery trade, an online platform doesn’t need to or want to change this, ROBO is about doing research online and marketplaces are about bringing all buyers and sellers into one place to make it easier and transparent to find each other and information whilst giving the widest possible choice.
It’s worth considering that 50-70% B2B consumers typically reach out to vendors after researching online, means consumers might not be getting the truly personalised service they really want.
After all, if a provider doesn’t know a prospect is even interested in the first place, how can they personalise the service they provide?
Buyers want authenticity
Along with a desire for personalised service, modern B2B consumers want authenticity.
That is, today’s B2B consumers want to know that the companies they do business with actually care about providing top-notch service to them and helping them achieve their goals so its not enough to just have products, suppliers should be thinking about how they can help the retailer sell more, artwork, social media content or even promotions are key to a better relationship.
ROBO and the importance of agents
Daren Daniels and Michelle Daniels CO-Founders ‘TJA-Connect isn’t just about online research, with the need for personalised service and authenticity an online platform can only solve part of the sales process, agents will become even more important to both the supplier and retailer. B2B buyers who reach out after researching online are likely want to have contact with someone, even a visit or see samples before committing to any purchases.’
Touch and feel isn’t dead, the start of the buying process is evolving and we could see a new role develop for agents in the coming years as The Jewellery App-Connect opens up the global B2B market to all who embrace it.
Whether you are a retailer, supplier, service provider, wholesaler or work within the trade use TJA-Connect as a tool for researching online.