B2B ecommerce has specific business model and process challenges which require customized solutions or special software platform. In this whitepaper we'll provide top 5 challenges that B2B ecommerce websites face and their best solutions.
The B2B ECommerce Trends of 2016
Technology investments are set to grow. The latest development trends of B2B e-commerce marketplaces have made them a more favorable option for wholesalers, rather than retail stores. B2B companies have become robust and very adaptable to changes. Let’s take the example of Virto Commerce e-commerce platform. It is very affordable and flexible to use. Investing in integration of platforms like this will allow your business to grow rapidly as well as give you the smoothest experience of expanding your outreach.
B2B e-commerce has gone mobile. One of the biggest B2B eCommerce trends of 2016 is the accessibility of marketplaces on mobile platforms. M-commerce is accessible to its customers and is now becoming a fast-growing platform. It is easy to use; the client can access the platform anytime and from anywhere, and place orders on his product quickly. On top of that, it does not take a lot of resources to open a mobile app for a platform. As recent Frankwatching research suggests, around 52% of B2B customers prefer to buy their products using their smartphones. It represents half of all clients and is a huge number to deal with. To provide the best experience for your customers, you need to invest in mobile research and marketing heavily. This trend will most likely continue to evolve in 2017 as more and more purchasing decisions will be made through a mobile device.
The customer experience is essential. The UX should be the primary focus for the retailers who sell their products at B2B marketplaces. Good UX helps with conversion of by passers on your web-store into loyal customers and promotes your website as one that is convenient to navigate. This B2B e-commerce trend plays a big role in differentiation and profitability, as buyers always demand for high-resolution product images, an exact description of the product, rich content, including many answers on F.A.Q.s, etc. Use your platform not only to sell products but to educate and inform buyers about the industry.
Multichannel. There are two main sales models in the B2B industry. You may have your well-designed website and sell your product locally, but still not reach maximum profits. Allow your business to reach out to big platforms that connect thousands of manufacturers and are now becoming a vital place for the online presence for B2B sellers. Besides creating a responsive and perfectly-designed website, we highly recommend dedicating some time to Omni channeling your online presence as the marketplaces have become much more attractive to manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors.
B2B Ecommerce Trends in 2017
Despite the fact that 2017 has just recently started, we can already point out some of the most prominent B2B eCommerce trends on the market. Following them is crucial in a rapidly-developing market, so let’s look into some of them.
Omni-channel customer care. Following the trend of great customer experience that was present in 2016, omnichannel customer care has appeared. The customer service that was present only via e-mails is now totally unacceptable. B2B customers require even more attention than B2C ones and to provide that, websites need to have online customer service chats, the availability of web calls and focus on individual customer experience. This includes optimizing navigation for customer’s needs, adding search filters and other helpful perks. Smartly personalized B2B buying experience will be the way to go for the vendors.
Video Marketing. Video content marketing strategy is gaining more and more prominence in the increasingly crowded B2B marketplace. It has become a standard for increasing audience of the websites and has played a great role in attracting and retaining customers.
Switching to open-source. As all of the B2B e-commerce companies have to adapt to an ever-changing battlefield, making them open-source will most likely give them the out-of-the-box functionality and make them easier to configure and update. We can see this clearly with the example of Virto Commerce, which has recently become one of the prominent open-source platforms, serving various customers, ranging from wholesalers and distributors of complex products to those who sell only maintenance products.
Focus on global markets. The most important thing for an owner of a B2B e-commerce platform is to concentrate beyond his local area, beyond the existing customer base. In return for the risks that may appear, the business can gain millions of potential customers from the ever-growing Asian markets. This bold move may entail selling the products in local currencies, accepting local methods of payment, and provide an entirely different customer experience that is oriented towards a different culture, with different laws and government regulations.
Fast implementation & integration. Implementation speeds have increased drastically in the recent years. It no longer takes months to implement a B2B e-commerce platform. These days you can complete the entire process in just a few weeks. The platform itself offers sophisticated technology that allows customers to review their past purchases, monitor inventory levels in real-time, place and track orders, and more.
Flexible payment options. Being able to process a variety of digital forms of payment for business sales can be very complicated, but is absolutely critical for e-commerce companies these days. Not offering a buyer the flexibility to pay with their preferred method is likely to result in the loss of a sale. B2B platforms offer a variety of payment options, like PayPal, invoicing, e-checks, purchasing or commercial cards, physical checks, purchase orders, etc.
These were the trends that were mostly discussed in the mediaweb. The B2B market with massive online catalogs, complicated payment methods, and extremely diverse customer needs, there’s a layer of intricacy that’s not found in traditional consumer sales is more complex than the B2C. But if a company can get ahead of emerging trends and implement them into their working process it becomes their competitive advantage.
So adopt these B2B ecommerce trends to always stand on top of your game!
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