In a recent EETech Media survey, participants––largely electrical engineers––revealed that (next to Google), their preferred method of searching for parts is directly through manufacturer and distributor websites.
Of these engineering teams, three of the top personalities B2B businesses will encounter are design engineers, system architects, and procurement managers.
As a supplier, it’s important that you understand the values and design process of each of these personas.
What parts do they search for on your site? What technical documentation do they need to make an informed decision? Is it simple to get their hands on small batches and development resources? What about recurring large orders?
Understanding the buyer personas who frequent your site not only helps you fine tune your offerings; it also enables you to streamline your digital business strategy.
Once a development team has ascertained a system design’s functional requirement, the next step for many design engineers is to prototype and simulate. Whether they are looking for a temperature sensor, voltage regulator, or Schottky diode, engineers will be looking for a few key documents from a supplier or distributor.
In the EETech survey, engineers reported that the top documents they look for are:
• Application notes
• Reference designs
Providing functional keyword and parametric search with an integrated backend can help these engineers quickly access the right component based on the design needs spread before them.
Design engineers are often on a tight product development cycle—especially in the early stages. For relevant component pages, be sure you have development tools at hand for them to “grab and go.” That means a designer will expect his or her dev kit within the week.
If the designer is impressed by the component during PCB layout and simulation, and if he or she had an impressive experience on your site, it’s likely the engineer will return to your site for future projects.
Like design engineers, system architects will be turning to your search tools early on in the design process. But these engineers, in particular, are involved with more big-picture aspects of these designs.
As such, you’ll need to tailor your product pages to include product suggestions. Machine learning algorithms on your site can help you monitor user behavior and make deductions about the type of project a given system architect is working on. This, in turn, may allow your system to offer customized “Related Products” pages.
Why exactly is it important to prod your system architects to try something new? According to the EETech survey, more than half of engineers will not try a new product on the market they have never used before unless their specifications call for it.
That said, another helpful tool you might offer these users is product comparison tables for any given category of component (for instance, 8-bit microcontrollers). You might also find it fruitful to offer these engineers free samples, so they can have a few options for simulation and bench testing.
When survey respondents were asked how their company prefers to purchase parts, participants said the company spoke directly to the manufacturer or distributor representatives or submitted requests to a procurement team.
While procurement specialists won’t need the technical documentation a design engineer or system architect would require, these professionals may be much more focused on the user experience of your site.
Are they able to navigate to the product pages identified by the designs teams? Once they get there, can they easily place an order in bulk? If they experience any interface issues along the way, do you offer online support––for instance, a chat bot––that can help them quickly resolve the problem?
These details can make or break your ethos. When it comes to procurement, your goal is to establish a long-standing and reliable relationship that will impress the specialist and inspire future orders.
Know Your Audience
Electronic suppliers play a pivotal role in product development for some of the all-star players of a design team.
While each of these professionals may have slightly different priorities when visiting your site, the right search and support tools, along with apt technical documentation, can streamline their buyer’s journey and position you as a trusted B2B provider.
If you’d like to better accommodate any of these three personas, Big Zeta can help. Get in touch to learn how a search strategy can elevate your digital presence.