Traditionally, B2B purchases included a complex sales process involving several contributors and decision-makers. This frequently convoluted process involved study, assessment, and stakeholder involvement, followed by more research, evaluation, and stakeholder engagement before reaching any final judgments.

While some B2B journeys are still this complex, the system is evolving. During the pandemic, face-to-face meetings and in-person activities were halted, therefore these channels for decision-making were closed. Many of us—even buyers—now have less time than ever before in the frenzied, chaotic world that has arisen over the last few years. This means that the previously time-consuming B2B purchase journey has been simplified.

Buyers must still go through basic processes in the purchasing experience, such as defining a business need, researching solutions, evaluating possibilities, and finally making a decision. The difference today is that purchasers are conducting more online research on their own than in the past, and this research cycle looks to be getting faster and more effective.

This is a drastic change from not even ten years ago.

When you needed a printer for your office, for example, you’d look through the circulars, phone a few places, maybe ask about the best costs, and then place your order. More than likely, you’d have a long-standing relationship with an “office supply guy” who would drop by on a regular basis to see if you needed paper or supplies. Now? You don’t need “a guy,” you just need the web! And what is the web full of? Office copier ratings! You can find the best copier in a matter of minutes, see who has the greatest advertised pricing, then make a phone call when you’re prepared to buy.

McKinsey revealed in an October 2020 study that 70 to 80 percent of B2B decision-makers favored digital or remote contacts over face-to-face meetings. The top three reasons were safety, cost savings on travel, and simplicity of scheduling. From locating new suppliers to ordering goods and services, digital interactions were favored at every point of the purchase cycle.

What Do Buyers Want From B2B Online Purchasing Channels?

  • Optimized transactions

Companies now realize that simply having a website is no longer sufficient. To meet buyers’ demands and expectations, and to reduce their reliance on offline purchasing channels, e-commerce platforms must offer more than simple buy-and-sell operations.

As a result, many B2B organizations are entering what can be called the second stage of e-commerce maturity, in which improved online customer experience is the new priority. Not to mention that B2B buyers are also consumers accustomed to smooth B2C purchasing experiences. An enhanced user experience is now required for B2B online purchasing.

  • A simpler buyer’s journey

In accordance with the consumerization trend, B2B buyers anticipate a better overall online purchasing journey. Many B2B purchasers have mentioned that their most recent transaction was tough. The intricacy of the buying process itself is a major cause for this, with B2B buying groups often consisting of 6 to 10 decision-makers, each of whom gathers information irrespective of the others.

With so many components, technology is the greatest approach to simplify the B2B buying experience. Sellers make the research period considerably easier for buyers by delivering the relevant information at the right moment.

Customer data platforms, customer relationship management systems, and creative management tools, as well as technology that unifies your marketing, sales, and experience teams, enabling team cooperation across numerous products, campaigns, and markets. These tools aid in the delivery of information and data, allowing vendors to provide customized, relevant information to purchasers at the correct time. 

  • Online sales platforms as information sources

Buyers want to be able to obtain information such as shipping and return information, payment terms, price, and invoicing online. Naturally, it’s no surprise that individuals nowadays prefer to get their info online. However, consider the impact that an online information portal could have on your organization even before making a purchasing choice. 

Your online sales channel can also be used as a framework to host other critical sources of information that purchasers use throughout the information search stage of the purchasing process. Customer feedback, marketing content, and case studies are examples of this.

What Are The Advantages?

  • Cost savings

Even in its most basic and fundamental form, e-commerce tackles the cost-savings issue by removing the time and resources required to take and manually add offline sales orders. Cost reductions can be gained even further with ERP-integrated e-commerce due to decreased time and effort necessary to monitor and synchronize online store data.

  • Efficiency of transactions

If the main obstacles throughout the B2B purchasing process are data availability and order mistakes, ERP integration is the obvious solution. You can leverage Dynamics to pull real-time ERP data (such as inventory and product data) into your web store to keep your audience fully updated 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This detailed product data can also help to reduce order mistakes caused by improper products, inventory, or account record keeping.

  • Customer satisfaction

When it comes to online purchases, there will always be a margin for error, and it is likely that you will not be able to supply all of the information that every single buyer may require online. This is why, in addition to addressing existing e-commerce difficulties to the best of your ability, it’s critical to work on an effective cross-channel strategy. By doing so, you can not only reduce the number of clients forced offline as a result of technical issues but also create a streamlined experience for those customers who choose to switch between online and offline channels.

Let’s Recap

Demonstrating that you can satisfy your buyers’ needs at various stages of ecommerce offers you a competitive advantage and increases your chances of getting chosen as a supplier in the first place. Furthermore, launching an e-commerce channel can assist your organization. By providing what your clients require online, you will reduce the pressure on your sales and support employees. This provides them more time to concentrate their efforts on expanding your customer base, target markets, and, ultimately, revenue. 

Investing in an e-commerce platform is a win-win situation for both your company and your customers. Fortunately, you can work with experts like Friends of Commerce to ensure your digital transformation gets you there. 

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Ready to get started? Tell us a little bit about your company, the challenges you are looking to solve, and we’ll be in touch right away, and follow our blog for more tips and trends on digital transformation and B2B commerce.

Consider being a mom-and-pop shop in America in the early 1980s. At the other end of town, a massive mall has unexpectedly opened up. Forty-plus years later, we’ve all seen how the majority of these stories ended. With the emergence of Walmart, Costco, and Target, the tradition of local, family-owned businesses began to dwindle swiftly. Why are we discussing this now? Because the e-commerce platform is to our generation what malls were in the 1980s.

As your average B2B buyer becomes more technologically sophisticated, the need to transition your company to a more effective, efficient, and scalable e-commerce offering cannot be overstated. Homegrown methods that have worked for some organizations are adequate up to a point, but because the name of the game these days is scaling, oftentimes these homegrown systems simply lack the capabilities to maintain consistent expansion cost-effectively. 

Those companies still sitting on the sidelines of digital commerce because they believe their market is more traditional and that their buyers aren’t interested in executing some part of their engagement online, are placing themselves behind competitors and losing out on cost-savings and revenue growth. This is truly impacting their bottom line

Landscape and Trends in B2B Commerce

Scaling up is more than just a math problem. It also entails using new technologies and solutions that will allow your digital commerce company to maintain its ground and hold its own in a sea of competition, ongoing innovation, and technological disruption. These current changes in the B2B commerce scene will help you understand why now is the time to adapt.

Raised Expectations for More Personalized Online Experiences

This is a trend driven by both B2B buyers and the evolving technology that underpins digital commerce. Because businesses frequently have repeat consumers, having predictive algorithms allows a company to build unique purchase patterns for each buyer. This adds another element of satisfaction to the customer’s experience and encourages them to make repeat and periodic purchases.

The Path of Least Resistance

While there are other advantages to investing in B2B  e-commerce, these three stand out owing to their relevance for a wide range of B2B setups rather than specific firms.

  1. Reduce costs across all channels

Significant cost savings can be realized by replacing manual operations that require staff’s time and also introduce the possibility of producing errors. This is true for all channels, including phone, email, 3rd party marketplaces, DTC, and even face-to-face interactions. Having the correct technology foundation that can enable efficiencies across your channels is paramount to managing costs, effort, and risks. 

Today’s modern eCommerce platforms can assist firms in replacing manual operations without investing heavily in customization and maintenance. This is especially true for platforms that are designed to serve B2B sellers right out of the box, allowing firms to get up and running quickly. More orders can be captured through the digital channel, resulting in less reliance on homegrown or legacy systems, which are not only costly to maintain, but have the added burden of security and privacy risks.

  1. Create easy-to-use purchasing experiences to improve customer satisfaction

Because the majority of B2B buyers are corporate representatives who are frequently repeat clients, the time required to conduct these transactions should ideally be low. The emphasis should be on providing efficient experiences for busy buyers, allowing them to find what they need online without having to call a sales or service representative.

E-commerce platforms, with the capacity to give customized navigation and precise product information, aid in the creation of a smooth path for B2B buyers. They can also help to reduce the time it takes to identify the proper product by using straightforward catalog browsing and simplifying repeat orders with reorder buttons and saved order lists.

Assisting consumers in discovering products and answering queries on their own time will result in a degree of customer satisfaction that will set your company apart from the competitors. The laggards that don’t embrace the efficiencies of technology and force clients to be reliant on middlemen and sales pitches will see their slice of the market shrink.

  1. Make your customer adoption strategy even better

Another significant advantage of e-commerce systems is the ability to track and optimize customer uptake. With the ability to see how buyers use and engage with the site, insights may be used to tailor the site to their specific needs.

Buying behavior data is very important. The good news is analytics may be tracked down to the individual level, and route analytics can be used to visualize their user journeys through the site. Furthermore, buying trends can be examined throughout different times of day to acquire a better understanding of their purchasing habits.

High customer adoption rates contribute to a higher margin and a higher return on investment (ROI) on marketing initiatives. 

How Do You Ensure the Success of Your E-Commerce Business?

Businesses who are considering Investing in B2B e-commerce, whether for the first time or to improve the performance of their channel,  should be aware of these helpful hints.

  • Implement a cross platform strategy

Because individuals are more tech-savvy these days, there is a high probability that potential prospects and clients will be engaging with your company on more devices than just their desktop. They may look for things they need on their phones or other portable devices, and then complete the order later from their workstation. This is why a company should implement a cross-channel e-commerce strategy to ensure that its content and catalog are available to potential customers across numerous devices and that experience is consistent.

  • Be up front on costs & offer flexibility 

Being upfront and transparent about the overall cost at all stages of the purchasing process is important. Typically in B2B, different clients are assigned different “price books” (discounts) based on purchase volume. With B2B, people could be buying things that are difficult to ship (think heavy industrial parts) or take time to assemble ahead of time (shipping time). So giving the client the flexibility to select the shipping method that saves them the most can be very important.

Why Are E-Commerce Platforms So Important Right Now?

In today’s B2B environment, your company’s customer-facing platforms must effectively hold the attention of potential buyers while meeting their expectations for world-class customer care and customized purchasing experiences. Custom configuring and quoting is also a very valuable B2B eComm component. Investing in an e-commerce platform that can manage all of these criteria is critical for businesses looking to scale and become future-ready. Fortunately, you can work with experts like Friends of Commerce to ensure your digital transformation makes an impact on your business. 

View our video on this topic.

Ready to get started? Tell us a little bit about your company, the challenges you are looking to solve, and we’ll be in touch right away, and follow our blog for more tips and trends on digital transformation and B2B commerce.

 

     

Expanded services focusing on B2B & B2C customers provides a one-stop eCommerce solution across the customer lifecycle

Laptop with Marketing Dashboard

SAN DIEGO, CA, June 21, 2023 Friends of Commerce, a B2B & B2C eCommerce consulting and solution implementation agency announces an expansion of their eCommerce marketing services to serve B2B & B2C organizations looking for a faster, optimized technology solution driving ready-to-buy traffic and increasing ROI.

“We are excited to be able to offer our customers this suite of eCommerce marketing strategy tools,” says RJ Stephens, CEO/Co-Founder of Friends of Commerce. “The world-class eCommerce program allows our customers to scale their business faster and see results quickly.”

Friends of Commerce started to fill a gap in the market by providing honest, authentic, and expert-level high-integrity consulting and development services to both growing and new retailers, brands, and manufacturers at a fair and reasonable price. Our many years of experience and expertise in almost every online/commerce situation allow us to provide proven solutions that lead to becoming a trusted advisor, i.e. Friend, and transparent partner.

“Being able to map out a client’s full eCommerce journey to anticipate future-state requirements is critical in order to develop and optimize systems that position clients to achieve their business objectives,” said RJ. “Our goal is to provide the best solution to our customers at every point of their eCommerce lifecycle−from the earliest planning stages to the bottom-line outcomes. Adding our marketing suite augments our current offerings and allows us to continue to provide what our customers need to be successful.”

For more information on Friend of Commerce’s marketing offerings, visit services.

ABOUT FRIENDS OF COMMERCE

Friends of Commerce is a B2B & B2C eCommerce consulting and solution implementation agency, located in San Diego, CA. We focus on upper mid-market B2B and B2C companies needing to embark on digital transformation for the first time or moving off legacy systems. We work with our clients to ensure a transparent, full-service, end-to-end solution to grow their business. Friends of Commerce care about making our customers successful by providing a high level of expertise, engagement, and experience at an unmatched value. Learn more at www.friendsofcommerce.com, www.twitter.com/CommerceFriends, www.facebook.com/commercefriends, www.linkedin.com/company/friendsofcommerce

The Top Three Mistakes Businesses Make When Implementing B2B Ecommerce

Far too often, businesses fail to invest the time necessary to develop a comprehensive set of criteria for their digital commerce system, based on a thorough knowledge of business goals.
B2B ecommerce has surged to become a major economic force in the United States, as well as an innovative new selling avenue in many traditional industries.

According to Forrester Research, the B2B digital market was worth $889 billion in 2017. That figure is expected to exceed $1.8 trillion by 2023. B2B commerce has silently grown to outnumber the more noticeable B2C ecommerce marketplace, accounting for 2.5 times the amount of B2C online purchases today. While it may come as a surprise to many, the volume of fasteners, medical supplies, electrical hardware, and other company-specific products sold online surpasses the amount of footwear, make-up, and music sold to customers through the Web.

Acknowledging this volume, an increasing number of traditional industry manufacturers and distributors are beginning to launch B2B ecommerce channels. Unfortunately, many businesses do not conduct adequate research before embarking on an ecommerce campaign. This leads to subpar ecommerce platform integration, inefficiently constructed organizations, and wasted opportunities, all of which create weaknesses and stifle innovation. This usually necessitates the need to re-platform, which can be a lengthy process.

By recognizing these pervasive blunders, you can escape the shortcomings, and enjoy the advantages associated with B2B ecommerce implementation. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three of the most common blunders businesses make when introducing B2B ecommerce—and what to do in order to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Failing to Clearly Define Your Requirements

All too often, I see businesses fail to invest the time necessary to develop a comprehensive set of criteria for their ecommerce system, based on a thorough knowledge of the business objectives. By doing so, these businesses significantly increase the likelihood that they will select the incorrect platform, preventing them from fully capitalizing on their ecommerce opportunity.

Getting started in eCommerce can be a time-consuming process, especially if you have not implemented a similar project in the past. The last thing you want to do is roll-back or scrap your B2B commerce project soon after launch because you made the wrong decision in the first place.
When so much is at risk, it is critical that you find the correct platform and strategic partner the first time—a platform that can grow with you for the next five to ten years, if not longer and a partner that can help guide you strategically and cost-effectively. The only method to guarantee this is done properly is to thoroughly document your requirements in advance. Include details concerning your buyers journey, key functionality, features, workflows, price books and discounts, project support, flexibility, integrations, and other aspects.
Because your company is unlikely to be an ecommerce expert, picking the correct platform from the outset can be a difficult and time-consuming procedure. As a result, many businesses consider outsourcing these duties to businesses that are professionals in the field. It does require more initial cost and time, but the return on investment and reducing risk quickly make it a worthwhile and viable option.

Mistake #2: Undervaluing Consumer Experience

I’ve noticed that B2B companies have a bad habit of putting up tricky-to-use ecommerce storefronts, add-ons to their existing ERP systems, and simply waiting for orders to show up. When they don’t, they either start blaming their clients or conclude that ecommerce isn’t a realistic choice for them.

They are incorrect on both counts.

When developing a digital commerce channel, it is critical to prioritize the consumer experience (UX). Today’s B2B buyer wants the digital user experience to facilitate their work and reflect consumer-like shopping experiences. How can you expect customers to use your website if the UX is badly constructed and the subsequent website is difficult to use?

Take into account that business buyers’ demands are shaped by their personal encounters purchasing from the world’s most advanced ecommerce sites. Retailers such as Amazon continue to raise the bar for online retailers, which includes your business, whether you want it to or not. While B2B websites must support B2B buying workflows and subtleties such as consumer pricing, custom catalogs, and billing on credit terms, the fundamental elements of a B2C website must also be included. Your ecommerce site will be ineffective if the search, navigation, item details, listing pages, shopping cart, and checkout are not streamlined to live up to the standards of modern digital buyers.

Customers will return if you invest heavily in creating a desirable UX.

Mistake #3: Failing to Engage Your Sales Team

Your sales force is tense. When they hear the term “ecommerce,” they immediately think of competing with others and losing commissions.

In the vast majority of cases, fear is unwarranted. Regrettably, numerous B2B replatforming initiatives are launched without considering the sales team’s input, at least in terms of planning and delivery. As a result, a large percentage of value is lost, and sales staff will fight against ecommerce adoption among your client base once your site is live.

In reality, ecommerce increases the sales team’s productivity by enabling team members to devote more time to strategic issues with key accounts. A good ecommerce website saves time spent on low-value, routine tasks like entering orders or responding to order status concerns. Furthermore, if sales team members are paid a commission on ecommerce sales made to their accounts, economic incentives are connected too.

Don’t limit your re-platforming efforts to a few senior executives or to the marketing division. Instead, make strategic use of your sales team. When selling channels are in sync, real value unlocks are available, and involving the sales team early in defining your requirements and setting objectives will improve your return when you launch.

Advantages of Successful Re-platforming

Every day, the B2B ecommerce market expands. In 2023, an estimated 17 percent of B2B sales are expected to be generated digitally. Consider what this level of sales penetration could mean for your company. Ecommerce sales are not only more cost effective to process, but they frequently have higher gross margins. Online sales frequently represent incremental revenue, either through increased share of wallet from existing customers or new customers.

Obtaining these outcomes for the business necessitates a substantial investment of both external and internal resources. Companies that prepare for and start executing on this opportunity, on the other hand, can see a real return on investment. If you do it correctly, you’ll soon be able to eat your slice of the pie.

While many B2B verticals continue to employ physical and online sales channels, the extent to which they do so differs. In any case, digital is increasingly playing a key role in assisting B2B companies in growing and retaining their customer base. In 2020, the global B2B ecommerce market size was valued at USD 6.64 trillion and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.7% from 2021 to 2028. The biggest reason? Millennials. They not only expect, but demand a personalized ecommerce experience through streamlined, digital channels. In fact, 73% of millennials are involved in the B2B buying process. That’s huge. And this dynamic is driving many of the trends we are seeing.

 

B2C-like experiences are the Zeitgeist

Whether B2C or B2B, online behavior is driven through highly similar user expectations. The B2B buying process tends to take longer to play out and can involve multiple people, but at the end of the day the customer still expects an experience that is tailored to their needs. We all know that B2B buyers do a lot of pre-purchase research on a manufacturer and its products, just like B2C buyers do.  In fact, they typically conduct at least ten online searches before making an order. Creating your B2B site with clear navigation and intuitive user journeys is no longer optional.  As clients and prospects are in research-mode, those companies that enable easy access to critical product information are going to realize more success.

 

Your Margin for CX Error is Evaporating

Today’s customers have been conditioned to have limited tolerance for less than ideal Customer Experience. Nowhere is this more crucial than in your digital channels, as your competitors are a mere click away and they are making investments to grab your market share. Customer’s expect an intuitive customer experience online that enables them to find the products and content  that they desire quickly and efficiently, and to feel like you know them.  A growing percentage of Customer Loyalty has been replaced by consistency in Customer Experience.  This is not a “one and done” fix, but needs to be an ongoing focus for your business in order to generate repeat business and  maximize Life-Time Value.  Mapping out your customer journeys by persona and identifying any friction points, then creating a CX improvement roadmap based on an impact / effort matrix are investments that will pay off many times over.

 

B2B Mobile Commerce is Critical to Get Right

Millenials and mobile…they go hand in hand. Literally! 50% of B2B queries now are made on smartphones. In fact, mobile drives over 40% of revenue in leading B2B companies. So getting your B2B business online is the first step, but making it mobile-friendly is important. The first step is putting yourself in the shoes of your customers and asking yourself, “what are the top five most important things we want our customers to do in a mobile environment?” You have limited screen “real estate”, so the features and functionality you offer will have to be prioritized and focused.

 

Launching a Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Channel

DTC gives you more control and connection with your customers, but it’s a big challenge to implement. It’s also a big trend. A DTC channel opens up many new opportunities across the board. The benefits of direct-to-consumer (DTC) ecommerce are substantial. From a revenue perspective, DTC tends to have much higher margins.  Developing an end-to-end relationship with your customer not only gives you greater control, but you also have access to more first-party data that can be utilized to make critical business decisions,  as well as seeing a significant increase in repeat purchases and Life-Time-Value of customers. you own the end-to-end relationship  and it’s an additional sales channel that tends to have much higher margins.

Smart manufacturers and brands are investing in their own B2B channel where they can further build direct relationships with their clients, have all the behavior data (upsells, subscriptions, bundled offerings). This also insulates their current clients from being exposed to competitive offerings by 3rd party marketplaces. In order to effectively execute a direct B2B channel you need the entire company bought into the benefits, including sales, client services / support,  and product marketing.

 

It’s all about the content.

Cold calling, brochures, and catalogs are being phased out in favor of digital initiatives in the marketing world. B2B marketers will see high-quality leads coming from SEO, site content, emails, and virtual events, even as in-person events return.

According to a study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 90 percent of respondents used short articles/posts for content marketing in the previous year. Email newsletters, long-form articles, and podcasts all grew in popularity in 2021, and we expect this trend to continue in 2022.

During the year, in-person events lost the most, although virtual events also lost a few percentage points. This demonstrates how difficult it is for B2Bs to articulate their brands and create relationships through webinars. However, marketers have frequently failed to deliver the material that users desire. In 2022, content must demonstrate that vendors are aware of and capable of resolving issues.

 

Optimizing revenue

Customer acquisition, retention, and upselling are all goals of revenue optimization. It’s like customer retention on steroids: you want to implement techniques that help consumers stay longer and spend more money with you.

Marketing must retain a focus on existing clients as recurring revenue arrangements become more common. To enhance customer lifetime value, leaders should focus on maximizing LTV (Life-Time-Value) in the B2B channel  by collaborating with both sales and customer success operations.

Making high-intent buyer personas is a good place to start when it comes to revenue optimization. Regardless of whether your sales staff is focusing on acquiring, keeping, or upselling clients, this ensures that your brand knows who your target consumer is and that you don’t waste time on low-quality leads.

 

Optimizing Investments

Many technology investments are the by-product of short-sighted tactics previously implemented that ultimately painted the company into a corner and saddled them with technical debt.   Obviously some future requirements simply cannot be forecasted, but positioning your technical investments in a way that enables flexibility to adapt to future requirements is a paramount consideration that many companies undervalue in the short-term. It can be easier in the short-run to implement closed all-in-one platforms, but that comes at much higher cost down the road.

Savvy B2B technical buyers are looking for a blend of customizability, scalability, and flexibility to power their digital channels today, tomorrow and into the future.  One of the trends that addresses this need is the growth of API-driven and open-API platforms that enable adaptability to future third-parties applications that enable non-native functionality to be effectively leveraged without requiring the equivalent of open-heart surgery that comes with a full replatform.

 

Companies are putting more emphasis on sustainability.

As worldwide awareness of climate change grows, more businesses are launching sustainability efforts. These objectives are not only good for the environment, but they are also good for business. Customers are 4.3 times more loyal to eco-friendly firms, according to surveys, and conversion rates can improve by up to 20%.

Finding ways to be more ecologically friendly, whether it’s through packaging, product materials, or reducing energy use in production, is a major trend.

 

Commerce in the social space

By 2025, social commerce sales are predicted to quadruple. In China, over half of internet users make purchases through social media platforms, compared to only 30% in the United States. In 2022, a big trend will be for businesses to be able to promote and sell things on social media so that customers can make purchases without ever leaving the platform.

Essentially, this allows B2B businesses to create an eCommerce store directly on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

AI-driven personalization

Personalized experiences were a hot topic in 2021, but in 2022, we’re taking things a step further. Personalization will always be here, and the way companies approach it is changing.

Artificial intelligence will be a high priority in 2022.

In 2021, there was a global poll of consumers done to learn how they felt about various brand interactions. The findings: Consumers care less about the quantity or location of contact and more about whether the interactions are relevant. For example, 27 percent of respondents stated inconsistent brand messaging irritates them the most, while another 27 percent said irrelevant marketing irritates them the most.

Businesses had to shift priorities fast and work with fewer resources last year. When it comes to digital commerce technologies, B2B organizations value customization and flexibility (87 percent), according to the study. The demand for out-of-the-box B2B functionalities (65.2 percent) was not far behind.

B2Bs will be more aware of technology developments and how they fit into vendor product roadmaps in 2022. Technology leaders will seek solutions that will not only function for their company today but also adapt to changing markets and customer expectations in the future.

 

The metaverse strategy

In a nutshell, the metaverse is an online environment where humans interact with in a digital landscape through avatars. It’s as though the physical world had a virtual extension. Online games like Roblox and Fortnite are popular metaverse locations.

But, how does this relate to your B2B ecommerce business? Creating a location for your brand in the metaverse may not yet be at the top of your to-do list, but it is worth keeping on eye-on if you want to keep up with the ever-growing digital channels.

Company’s have the ability to improve brand awareness and engagement by establishing online venues for enterprises to check out things before they buy. The possibilities are unlimited, and as eCommerce technology develops and evolves, we’ll see even more possibilities emerge.

 

Summing up

The pandemic was still going strong in 2021. However, economies all across the world have proven to be resilient. Worker shortages and delivery delays wreaked havoc on many companies as the year progressed. Despite this, businesses and households continued to spend. As investment and value creation continue to rise, the business outlook remains overwhelmingly positive.

Many of the problems that plagued 2021 will persist in 2022. The epidemic, inflation, and supply chain issues will all continue to be a problem. However, demand is high and going to stay there. For those companies that embrace innovation and seize the opportunity, there is plenty of upside to be had.

Keep these B2B eCommerce trends in mind so you can start adopting them in Q1. Making sure you’re up to date on new marketing ideas and approaches keeps your company in front of clients’ minds.

Global eCommerce growth has transformed attitudes about digital modernization across a wide range of B2B companies. B2BecNews polled 218 manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors in 2018. While 61% of manufacturers and 38% of wholesalers were not interacting online, 75% of these surveyed companies planned to build their own eCommerce platforms over the next two years.

Organizations that are averse to integrating eCommerce are doing themselves a disservice. Not integrating eCommerce into your business is placing them behind competitors who are aggressively adopting new technologies. To persuade key decision-makers of the advantages of digital commerce, a compelling argument must be made that appeals to business aspects such as strategic outlook, cost-savings, and revenue growth.

Even if a major digital player has not yet entered your business, it is only a matter of time before one does. When this occurs, your reliance on phone and email ordering methods will have a detrimental impact on consumer loyalty. Indeed, Amazon Business and other digital-only firms are directly targeting several B2B industries.

Amazon is anticipated to take 10% of the US B2B market and 5% of the international market by 2023, with sales of $33.7 billion. Amazon continues to spend extensively in refining its B2B services, providing corporate purchasers with a wide range of simple features and capabilities.

  • Competitive “business-only” pricing
  • Integration of an e-procurement system
  • Purchase cards, credit lines, and tax breaks are all supported.

 

Digital Leaders Succeed

Embracing change and investing in digital leadership provides your organization with real, measurable benefits.

 

Cost Savings Visualization: Going digital eliminates drains on business resources.

The most effective approach to save money is to avoid losing it in the first place. Costs related to order processing, human entry errors, and customer assistance costs are negatively impacting your bottom line right now. Today’s eCommerce technologies can automate internal operations while also fostering a self-service client experience, freeing up staff for more productive company goals.

 

Order processing costs are reduced thanks to eCommerce.

Providing a quick, frictionless ordering experience is one method to cultivate client loyalty. By enabling self-service transactions, faster quote management, and assisted selling, a digital commerce platform can drastically lower order processing expenses. Freeing up the internal resources that were previously required to manage orders manually will provide the added benefit of allocating those resources towards growing client relationships and revenue.

 

Quote Management Simplified

Customer quotation creation can be managed using a streamlined, fully documented process that tracks all important parts and allows purchasers to check out online after an agreement is reached.

 

Online ordering reduces error rates, resulting in increased profitability.

Throughout the manual ordering process, errors are common. These errors not only waste time and resources; failing to deliver on time has a negative impact on client satisfaction and trust. By implementing a digital self-service option, for those clients that prefer the efficiencies and convenience of digital self-service.

 

Automated SKU Verification

Before an order is placed, each SKU is checked to be genuine, in stock, and available, eliminating errors and minimizing time spent managing returns.

 

Self-service for Customers Ordering

As the customer can enter and evaluate an order before confirming it, it eliminates transcription errors, sales rep confusion, and the selection of the incorrect address, among other things.

 

Support costs are reduced by using an online customer portal.

Investing in eCommerce results in savings that go beyond the transaction processing. You can dramatically reduce inbound queries across many regions by providing your clients with a consolidated service portal to manage their most typical tasks. With less support demand, you can cut operating costs and devote more resources to growing your business faster.

Customers can use a self-service site to:

  • Access invoices and return products.
  • Check inventory levels by stock location.
  • Check the status of the order and the status of the shipment.
  • View overall spending reports and data for the company.

 

Including eCommerce Increases Customer Satisfaction and Retention

Understanding and resolving your clients’ pain concerns before they get vocalized is part of revenue growth. Inefficient B2B processes such as delayed purchase procedures, lack of responsiveness, and limited account control are addressed and corrected via digital commerce. Companies can improve customer happiness by simplifying these components, which has a significant impact on retention and financial performance.

According to McKinsey, the most common service complaint among B2B buyers is dissatisfaction with delayed response times, which is expressed by 40% of their buyers.

In their research with IT infrastructure buyers, Harvard Business Review discovered that responsiveness is a top three loyalty factor.

 

Customer Spending Increases Due to Omnichannel Commerce

Omnichannel provides additional channels for clients to interact with your business and purchase the products they require. Customers are driven to spend more overall when they engage with numerous channels, according to Forrester. You can begin implementing features that drive client spending by establishing a digital commerce channel.

  • Conveniences such as 24-hour purchasing, simple purchase list set up, and no wait times to connect with sales are available.
  • Quote requests are processed quickly, stock levels are visible immediately, and order status updates are provided in real-time.
  • Sites intended for browsing and discovery make it easier to find products than scanning spreadsheets or hardcopy catalogs.
  • Cross-sell and up-sell options enable you to promote additional purchases in advance.
  • Offers such as free delivery or other incentives for greater buys are more likely to be targeted.

 

Last Thoughts

The majority of business-to-business (B2B) commerce projects revolve around the concept of change management. Even after the recommended methods have been approved by the leadership team, you must continue to promote the benefits of digital integration throughout the firm. You want to lay the groundwork for ongoing, critical investment in this channel.

It’s human nature to be cautious about change. However, by regularly sharing your vision and combining like-minded individuals who can assist share the value of change, you can lessen the fear of change. Most crucial, keep the consumer experience at the forefront of your mind at all times during the planning process. Focusing on the greatest approaches to exceed client expectations will draw attention to the significance of your activities.

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