Do you want to make sure your business is on top of the B2B industry? For sure, the answer is "yes." So, let me rephrase the question...
Do you know how to ensure your business is ahead of the game?
As a business owner, you know that consumer behavior and eCommerce trends are changing. Not only that, but the B2B industry is also growing.
This means that the strategies that worked in 2020 might not work in 2022. If you have little to no idea what trends to look out for, don't fret! And that's why we're here.
Because these are the things you'll learn today...
- What is B2B eCommerce?
- What are the main reasons why you should learn the B2B eCommerce trends?
- 7 B2B eCommerce trends you need to know.
Let's deep dive!
What is B2B eCommerce?
B2B means business-to-business and is a type of business model. So, B2B eCommerce is transactions between businesses.
For example, you're selling your products to other businesses, including wholesalers, retailers, distributors, or manufacturers.
It can also be your service. Say you're providing branding services to other business owners who want to establish their brand identity.
As long as they're transactions between businesses, it's called B2B. And just like in other types of business models, B2B has a lot of emerging trends.
But before we get there, let's talk about...
Why do you need to learn the B2B eCommerce trends?
Keeping up with the B2B eCommerce trends will help you...
1. Take better business actions
By knowing the trends, you'll know what strategies will impact your business better.
You don't need to spend time and a huge budget on some developments that you're not sure your customers would like.
Because these trends give you insights on the necessary things you can improve on. This way, you can also...
2. Enhance customer experience
Customer experience is essential for your customers. It helps them decide if they're willing to come back to your eCommerce store and show customer loyalty.
For example... what if B2B customers prefer mobile-responsive websites? And your online store is only desktop-friendly and doesn't work well on mobile?
That won't give them a great experience while on your website. So, you can enhance the customer experience by being updated with the trends.
As a result, you can...
3. Be ahead of the game
Before other B2B brands make a move, you already did. Before they make their websites mobile-friendly... yours is already making online sales through mobile.
And that sounds amazing, right? That's why you should keep up with the emerging trends in the B2B industry.
Now, I'm sure you're waiting for these...
7 B2B eCommerce trends you should look out for
One of the first things you should note is...
1. Personalize the customer experience
Personalizing customer experience helps customers have a seamless experience with your brand—no matter where they are on their journey.
Customer journey is how customers engage with your business from the top of the sales funnel to the post-purchase.
To achieve this, you need to create personalized content for each journey.
For example, potential customers signed up for your newsletter. It means they're aware of your brand and considering purchasing from you already. But they might need a little more push.
So, this is where content marketing and customer data come into play.
You need to create content based on where they are. It can be by sending emails about your products or highlighting customer reviews.
Another thing that can help you is customer journey mapping.
Customer journey maps will help you understand your customers more. You can see how they interact with your brand and identify the digital touchpoints you need to have for each journey.
For example, you noticed existing customers stopped returning to your eCommerce store. You can develop new strategies to encourage them to purchase again.
The next B2B eCommerce trend is...
2. Fast order fulfillment
Regular consumers don't like slow shipping and delivery... the same goes for other brands purchasing from your business.
Your target customers want fast order fulfillment as well. This means you need to streamline your fulfillment process.
This includes investing in software or logistics that will centralize and manage orders even if they come from different sales platforms.
You must also reduce your supply chain complexity and have efficient fulfillment processes. This will also allow you to meet customer expectations.
Something that can help you with this is giving your customers...
3. Omnichannel experience
Omnichannel means branding, marketing, inventory, and all your online channels are centralized. This will give your customers a more seamless experience when shopping in your eCommerce store.
An omnichannel strategy for your business is essential nowadays because it's convenient for business buyers and regular consumers.
For example, a customer has sent a complaint over the phone. If you choose to address them via email, omnichannel ensures that customers don't have to repeat themselves from the start.
Why? Because all your customer service platforms are integrated. The same goes for your inventory management.
If you are selling on digital commerce platforms and a physical store, the inventory must be integrated to reflect the accurate number of stocks on both.
Of course, you also need to invest in omnichannel retail and marketing tools to help you.
Some examples are social media management, customer relationship management, email marketing, and SMS tools that will streamline everything.
Another B2B eCommerce trend is...
4. Social commerce
Did you know that eCommerce sales directly from social media platforms are forecasted to reach $2.9 trillion in 2026 globally?
This proves that social media platforms aren't just for promoting your brand. You can sell your products, too. It's called social commerce.
You can give your target customers more convenience if they can shop directly from social media platforms.
You can set up your social media platforms and explore shopping tools to achieve this.
TikTok Shop and Instagram Shopping are excellent options. These allow your customers to shop your products directly via Instagram and TikTok.
Pinterest Shop is a great option, too. While Facebook also lets your customers browse your catalogs via Facebook ads.
To make shopping more convenient, you need...
5. Mobile-responsive websites
There are currently around 5 billion mobile users in the world. And your target customers are part of them.
So, your website also needs to be mobile-responsive. This makes it handy for potential customers using their mobile phones while shopping.
You can achieve this by optimizing your website for mobile phones.
The purpose of having a mobile-friendly website is for your customers to have options. Whether they use laptops or mobile phones, they can shop on your online store without trouble.
This can also increase customer satisfaction. Speaking of convenience...
6. Digital payments
Digital payments will make transactions smoother and trouble-free. Usually, in a traditional in-person sales setting, customers can pay however they want.
And you should give the same to your B2B customers. You should give them options. Why? Because if their preferred payment method isn't available, they might not finish transacting with you.
So, what should you do? Set up digital payments on your eCommerce store.
Some payment methods are:
- Apple Pay
- Amazon Pay
- Google Pay
- Debit Card
- Credit Card
Make sure to check with your eCommerce platform to see what payment methods they support. And lastly...
7. Sustainable supply chain
In 2020... it was reported that around 45% of consumers were interested in sustainable and environmental-friendly brands.
A sustainable supply chain isn't limited to the environment but to humans as well. One thing you can do is release brand transparency and sustainability reports.
Another is by looking at your supply chain process and seeing what you can improve.
If your business is not yet extensive, you can totally start small by sourcing your products ethically or recycling them.
An example of this is the company Oatly. Every year, they publish their sustainability report to show customers the effort they take to make an impact.
So, it's time for you to...
Improve your business with these B2B eCommerce trends!
These trends will help you develop business strategies that your customers need! As we all know, customer behavior changes over time.
How they interact with businesses is changing, as well as their demands when shopping. And you need to keep up with them.
So, growing your business with these trends is one thing. But another way to become discoverable is to...