Why Leveraging Historical Customer Data is the Key to Business Success

If you are a B2B wholesale business, chances are you haven’t given a second thought to utilizing your B2B customer data. The general notion is that B2B customers don’t have identifiable buying patterns and hence, are not exactly predictable. What if we told you that the truth is far off? What if we said that you can derive actionable insights from every interaction your customer has with your website? Intriguing thought, isn’t it? Well then, get on board. That’s exactly what we are unpacking today!

There’s a journey that a customer follows while placing an order. This journey is even more complex in the B2B space because B2B buyers frequently base their purchasing decisions on rational and logical criteria such as pricing, quality, and long-term value. They may require tailored solutions and flexible contracts, and they seek to establish long-term connections. Moreover, B2B customers typically have a longer purchasing cycle, with multiple decision-makers and more complex processes. 

To reach your customers at the right time, i.e. when they are ready to purchase or reorder, you need to understand these distinctions in order to develop effective marketing strategies and deliver personalized consumer experiences. It goes without saying, there is absolutely no way to keep track of these patterns manually. There is no way to even recognize these patterns manually. But there are tools and ways to get this actionable data. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s take a step back and talk about the various patterns and behaviors B2B customers exhibit.

Types of Historical Customer Data For B2B Wholesale Businesses

1. Purchase History

Purchase history refers to the record of transactions that your B2B customer has done on your B2B wholesale website. It includes the details of the products purchased, their price points, and the quantities ordered.

2. Order Cadence

Frequency of orders obviously captures how often your B2B customer is placing an order with you. There may be several patterns under this category that you, as a B2B wholesale business, could track. Let’s take a look at some of the patterns a B2B customer may exhibit:

a) Specific months of high activity: Some customers may be interacting with your business more than usual during specific months annually because of their respective buying cycles.

b) Reordering timelines: Your B2B customers may have a recurring pattern for placing reorders based on the frequency at which they replenish their inventory.

c) Sample to order conversion timelines: There may even be a pattern in the time your customers take between asking for product samples and finally placing the order. 

d) Quote to order conversion timelines: And finally, there may be recurring patterns in the time taken between the time you send a quote to your customer and the time they place an order with you.

3. Product Preferences

Product preference data captures the types of products that your customer prefers to purchase. It includes information such as the categories, brands, features, or specifications of products that a customer frequently buys or shows interest in. 

4. Behavioral Data

Your customers leave footprints of patterns without even placing an order with you. This includes their browsing data, i.e., the products they frequently interact with on your website and the products your customers are putting in their cart or wish lists, browsing patterns, search history, cart abandonment rates, and so on.

5. Feedback and Reviews

This data is all about the ratings, reviews, and comments your customers leave for your products, signifying their experience with your offerings.

6. Interaction with Marketing Content

Interaction with marketing content involves engaging with various promotional materials through actions like clicking, viewing, and sharing. 

We can already imagine the wheels turning. If you, as a B2B wholesale business, are not leveraging all this data, you probably realize by now that you are sitting on a goldmine of opportunities. And if you are wondering how you can use this data to get actionable insights, read on.

Advantages of Leveraging Historical Customer Data: Data-driven Decision Making

1. Tailored Communication and Engagement: Enhanced CX

B2B customers are increasingly craving personalized experiences similar to B2C customers. Salesforce discovered that 69% of B2B customers demand an Amazon-like buying experience. This includes individualized product recommendations, appropriate pricing, and a user-friendly interface.

You can segment your customers based on behavioral metrics such as product preferences, buying patterns, frequency of orders, et. al, and deliver personalized messaging at the right time to make sure your customers are constantly engaged and keep interacting with your B2B wholesale business across all touch points. You can send them targeted promotions, offers, recommendations, or engaging content relevant to their specific needs. 

Moreover, with the ability to analyze your customers’ purchase history and patterns, you can know when your customer is most likely to place a recurring order with you and send them a targeted email with products they are most likely to buy based on their product preference data! Truly some utopic, sci-fi level stuff, isn’t it? 

2. Optimized Inventory Management

With insights on when your customers are likely to order and reorder, you can effectively manage your inventory. You have all the data you need to determine when you should be replenishing your inventory without having to hold it for uncertain periods. This helps you save logistical costs and increases your operational efficiency.

3. Greater Upselling and Cross-selling Opportunities

With the ability to analyze your customers’ historical data and buying patterns, you can get insights for cross-selling, substitute-selling, and upselling. This is made possible by elements such as 

a) Frequently bought together: By analyzing buying patterns and product preferences, you can send recommendations for products that are purchased together by your customers. These are called complementary products and include products that may appeal to your customers. Cross-selling increases the average order value from a customer.

b) Similar product recommendations: Suppose a product your customer wants to buy is out of stock. Instead of losing a sure shot sale, you can recommend similar products that your customer might want to buy instead. 

c) Upselling opportunities: With historical data on your hand, you can recommend upgraded products your customer is likely to buy. These products are usually more expensive and help you increase the average order value from customers. 

4. Increased Revenue and Profitability

Naturally, as your average order value increases, customer lifetime value goes up, and consequently, the revenue for your B2B wholesale business shoots up too. Moreover, optimizing your logistics by managing inventory reduces costs and increases profitability. Enhanced customer relationship management drives repeat business and ensures you have a steady stream of revenue coming in. 

From Historical Data to Actionable Insights: Implementing Data-Driven Strategies in Your B2B Wholesale Business

Now that we have uncovered the many, many advantages of leveraging historical data, let’s get you started with the ‘how’ of it. Read on.

1. Data Collection and Integration

It goes without saying, before you can start using data, you need to collect it. Now, as we have underlined earlier in this article, this cannot be a manual process. That’s why you need a tool or a platform that does it for you. An ideal data analytics platform will have the capabilities to gather, store, and aggregate data from all possible sources. This includes collecting data from CRM systems, transactional databases, marketing platforms, and more. This is why the first step is investing in a robust data analytics platform. 

2. Data Analysis

Once the data is collected, you need to analyze it to extract meaningful insights. Advanced analytics tools can help businesses uncover patterns, trends, and correlations in their historical customer data. Now, earlier in the day, businesses hired data scientists to create statistical models that they then used to forecast trends, identify patterns, and facilitate product recommendations. Now, we have AI. 

AI-driven data analytics are the great new thing your B2B wholesale business needs. Customers believe that businesses must provide cutting-edge digital experiences in order to remain competitive. 59% customers say they're receptive to businesses employing artificial intelligence (AI) to improve their experiences.

The predictive analytics software market was valued at $5.29 billion in 2020, and it is expected to grow to $41.52 billion by 2028. AI-driven data analytics platforms automate the entire process of analyzing data, identifying patterns, forecasting trends, and delivering actionable insights. You can predict customer needs and proactively take steps to address them.

3. Personalization and Targeting

Now that the actionable insights from all the historical data is at your disposal, it’s time to put them to use. As we have highlighted in the previous section, armed with insights on buying patterns, order frequency, product preferences, similar product preferences, you can create opportunities to upsell, cross-sell, substitute sell, and create personalized marketing messages. From targeted email campaigns to customized product recommendations, personalization is key to engaging customers and driving more sales.

4. Continuous Optimization

It is noteworthy that this is not a one-time exercise. Historical customer data is dynamic in nature as it keeps updating and evolving. As a B2B wholesale business, you should continuously monitor and analyze historical customer data to identify emerging trends and opportunities. By staying agile and responsive, businesses can adapt their strategies to meet evolving customer needs and preferences.

WizAI by WizCommerce: The Ultimate AI-driven Data Analytics Partner for Your B2B Wholesale Business

If you have stayed with us this far, you are naturally wondering about the best and most efficient AI-driven data analytics solution you can use to start leveraging historical data today! Well, we have got you covered. WizAI by WizCommerce is exactly what you need. Why? Because at our core, we're more than just a solution. We're your trusted partner, committed to offering tailored consultation and steadfast support every step of the way. From initial strategy to ongoing implementation, count on us to be by your side, providing practical guidance and assistance to ensure your goals are achieved efficiently and effectively. Read on to explore the countless benefits you can expect with WizAI.

With seamless integration, WizAI aggregates all the historical data from your ERPs and websites. Then, our one-of-a-kind AI-based recommendation engine gets to working, giving you a multitude of insights such as:

1. Product-level Insights

Analyzing customers’ interactions with your website can give you invaluable product-level insights. Let’s have a look at the various kinds of product recommendations you get with WizAI and how they can help you drive success for your B2B wholesale business.

a) Personalized recommendations

WizAI analyzes historical data and reveals patterns your customers shop in. It recognizes buying preferences in color, price change, material, et. al. With these insights, you can match your customers’ needs and send them personalized recommendations. This makes the buying experience a breeze for your B2B customers. 

You also get data like what a customer is searching for on your website to send them personalized recommendations and targeted emails.

b) Similar product recommendations

Product out of stock? Worry not. Our AI-based recommendation engine uses image analysis and price-matching to suggest similar products for out-of-stock offerings, so you never lose a sale.

c) Frequently bought together

Not only can you recommend similar products, WizAI also gives recommendations for products that are frequently bought together by each customer, giving you cross-selling opportunities, increasing the average order value from a customer.

It also recommends upgraded, higher priced, creating opportunities for upselling.

2. Best Bets

WizAI analyzes data inputs like order frequency, sample-to-order conversion timelines, quote-to-order timelines, browsing activity, and abandoned carts to help you segment customers based on buying intent and timelines. Using this data, you can assign lead scores, based on which customers are more likely than others to close a deal in the near future. You can then use these lead scores to determine your best bets for, let’s say, the coming week. Approach them at the right time with our personalized recommendations and targeted marketing messaging, and close the deal!

The Way Forward

That just about covers why the success of your B2B wholesale business hinges upon the strategic utilization of historical data. In this era of customer centricity, not only does it help you foster greater customer relationships, but also helps drive sales growth and revenue. It’s your key to thrive in the ever-evolving B2B landscape. And what better way to leverage historical customer data than by using a cutting-edge AI-driven data analytics partner. 

Interested in knowing more about WizAI by WizCommerce? Book a demo now!

Article published by
Shreya Srivastava
Content Marketing Associate
Interested to transform your B2B Business?
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