Splitit Case Study: Introduction
The way that retailers engage with their consumers has changed dramatically so that today’s buyer-seller transactions are far more frequently digital. For the traditional B2B sales process this has meant a shift from an activity largely driven by the sales force, to a customer-initiated, digitally enabled, content-driven online journey.
This case study looks at the B2B sales activity of startup, Splitit, as it offers an innovative fintech solution that helps merchants offer greater flexibility to their shoppers.
Splitit: Helping retailers offer more flexibility to their shoppers
Splitit is a fintech start-up that provides an instalment payment solution (buy-now-pay-later), which enables the retailer to increase the affordability of higher priced items. Splitit’s differentiator is using the consumer’s existing credit card account for the monthly instalment payments.
Gaining the time and attention of busy retailers in order to explain the detail and convince them of the benefits of a Buy-Now, Pay-Later solution is challenging. Ten to fifteen years ago, this sales process may have taken place through live interaction but today that approach to selling is not feasible or effective. Technology has taken the place of many of these seller-driven touchpoints, replacing them with customer-driven contact points which are accessed at a time that suits the buyer.
This means obtaining depth of insight into the customer’s needs, recognition of the B2B customer’s multi-stage decision journey, and a sales approach which demonstrates empathy with the customer’s changing needs as they move through the stages of their learning, decision and buying journeys.
The customer journey and the changing sales funnel
The traditional B2B sales funnel (Figure 1) enables a seller to classify prospects based on the stage of decision making that they think they have reached.
Figure 1: Stages in the traditional B2B sales funnel
Recognising the challenges of implementing a shift to digital only sales, Splitit’s Director of Marketing, Lyndal Newman said: “We needed to make the shift from targeting customers to engaging buyers so that we could progress more buyers through their buying journey leading to successful lead conversions – and more sales! Mapping the buyer journey seemed the most obvious way to find out what we needed to improve.”
In order to get this right, Splitit needed to not only consider suitability of their existing content to support the buyer journey but also how to ensure the right content is made available when needed by the buyer. To give Splitit a head start in kicking off its Buyer Journey Management, Splitit turned to Odyssiant.
Designing a content strategy that addresses the real shape of the B2B sales funnel
The sales funnel is traditionally depicted as being wide at the top of the funnel becoming smaller at the bottom of the funnel. Based on these traditional depictions of the sales funnel, the number of leads at each level of the funnel might be expected to appear in a bar chart something like that shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Assumed number of sales leads per stage of the traditional B2B sales funnel
However, when Splitit’s prospects were mapped against stages of the buyer journey based on the content they had engaged with, the map looked more like that shown in Figure 3. This map shows where each prospect actually sits in the funnel based on the content they’ve engaged with. This represents the actual buyer’s journey with Splitit and not arbitrary qualification steps of a funnel.
Figure 3: Map of actual leads per journey step (based on content consumption)
This fat-bottomed funnel can happen because the content and campaigns being executed are driving customers straight to the end of the journey. If prospects are ready to purchase as soon as they reach step, then this is fine. However, that is rarely the case as Splitit’s experience proved. Rushing your prospect through to the buying stage can cause you to lose the sale if the customer is not ready to buy because they are not that far advanced in their own buying journey.
For B2B purchases, it can take time for the buyer to fully understand the value proposition, believe in the benefits for them, discuss it with other internal stakeholders and decision-makers, make their evaluations, consider possible objections, and then make the purchase.
If the marketing and content strategy pushes prospects straight to the buying stage without allowing the prospective customer to move through their buyer journey, then it will probably result in a poor conversion rate. Furthermore, if a seller does not take the time to map the impact of their content against the buyer journey, they may fail to recognise that they have poor conversion rates or notice that leads are being wasted and going nowhere.
Optimising the buying journey
With Odyssiant tracking the end-to-end buying journey, Splitit was able to access unique insight into its buyer’s journey behaviour. Splitit could see where buyers ‘get stuck’, where they were going backwards in their journey because the content was not contextually right or lacking, and what additional content and marketing activation activity is required to engage more buyers within their journey.
Implementing the “Nudge” strategy
Tracking and understanding the nature of content that is relevant to customers at each stage of the buyer journey allows Splitit to “Nudge” the buyer with the content that would best suit them for where they are. Once Splitit had created the content to support the buyer journey, they then implemented the Odyssiant Nudge AI on their website.
As shown in Figure 4, the website plugin presents the nudged content in several ways to catch the website visitor’s attention.
Figure 4: Examples of AI-generated nudge content
The Bottom Line
We can already see lots of interesting, actionable insights in the Odyssiant tracking dashboards, for example: