Mobile B2B Strategy: The First Steps

contact_usMobile commerce has become a hot topic in the mobile world. The vast majority has been focused on the consumer. There is a massive potential for mobile B2B, but there is very little data out there around what exactly that potential is beyond B2B marketing. Even with this great potential for earnings, B2B mobile commerce has yet to generate the excitement and research it deserves. Here are some strategies to consider when considering your mobile B2B strategy.

A good app strategy should first consider the business model of your company. Who are your customers?What do you want your B2B customers to accomplish in the app? After considering these kinds of basic questions can help you figure out what kind and how many apps to design and develop.

One Multifunctional App

One strategy is to create 1 large app with multiple functionalities to allow your customers a 1 stop shop to accomplish as much as possible in one place. The app could have a mobile eCommerce channel, a channel to disseminate information about products or services, a location finder, a social network, and a way to save and organize products or services for later.

A great example of this would be any of the banking apps out there. You can do almost anything you could want to do to manage your B2B account: manage different receivable, payable, and expense accounts, deposit checks, transfer money, check interest rates, start a loan process, find branch locations, contact a represenative, and learn more about new types of accounts that may benefit a business from that app. Chase has done a good job of creating a one stop shop for mobile business banking.

This strategy enables your business to carefully create a consistent experience. The amount of functionality will rival a fully vetted desktop web app. Your customers will have one central location and experience to serve their needs.

Having a large app sometimes causes confusion and your customers aren't aware of all it can do. Potential business customers will only use your B2B app for one task. Building a large app is just like building traditional software from a project perspective. It takes a lot of time and a lot of money to create a multi-functional app.

Multiple, Targeted Apps

Another viable strategy is to create multiple, customized or specific task oriented apps to serve particular customers in different ways. There could be a smaller app that is for your sales staff to aid them during their sales trips. There could be a app create lists of replacement parts or office supplies that can be re-ordered on the go. You could target different types of information for different types of customers through different apps. The possibilities are endless. This would work well for the type of business who provides goods or services to a variety of different B2B customers.

Pros to this approach are that they are quicker and less expensive to build. You could provide customized and effective simple apps that will be more intuitive to use.

Having many customized or one-off apps could potentially lead to having too many apps to support and manage. Things break, people want new updates and functionalities, and the developers who created them move on to other projects. You could get lost in the details of keeping track of the different apps out there.

This is just one aspect to consider when thinking about creating your B2B mobile strategy. Understanding your own business model and how these apps could help drive revenue and productivity is the first step. In the next blog, I'll take a look at some mobile specific ways to market your new B2B app to potential customers, and provide some examples on mobile device features and data that can help spark some ideas to take advantage of the fast growing mobile B2B world.


About the author

Travis is a Mobile Product Consultant at Solstice focused on project and product management. He brings cross-industry experience delivering mobile-focused solutions in the Financial Management, mCommerce, Industrial Automation, and Legal Software industry. Travis believes that using agile methodologies and focusing on servant-leadership will lead any team to create valuable products for our clients. Travis enjoys being active, playing guitar, and learning to fly fish.

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