Table of contents:
- Omnichannel Experience
- Data Analytics
- Digital Supply Chain Management
- Personalized Customer Experience
- Mobile Wallets
- Artificial intelligence
- Progressive web apps
- Voice search
- Conservative budget spending
- Direct-to-consumer growth
B2B Ecommerce Trends
B2B ecommerce refers to selling goods or services between two businesses using online channels. U.S. business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce transactions are expected to grow up to $1.8 trillion by 2023, according to Forrester.
- 95% of purchases will be made online by 2040. (Nasdaq)
- 44% of internet retail minutes were spent on a smartphone. (ReadyCloud)
- A quarter of B2B organizations allocate only 5% of their total budget to marketing (Statista)
- Spending on digital advertising is set to reach $375 billion by 2021 (eMarketer)
- 50% of the time consumers spend online is spent engaging with branded content (Content Marketing Institute)
- 89% of B2B researchers gather information about potential purchases through the internet (Google)
Therefore the B2B sellers need to be aware of the latest trends shaping the industry that will give them the competitive edge, drive more traffic and convert that traffic into paying customers.
The following are the latest B2B ecommerce trends for 2021 that can be incorporated into your B2B strategy.
1) Omnichannel Experience
Companies must provide a seamless omnichannel experience to users. They use different channels and devices which has made it more competitive to attract and engage them. Today’s B2B ecommerce landscape demands making omnichannel an essential part of the business strategy as it can be a real game-changer to provide seamless and omnichannel experience across all touchpoints.
2) Data Analytics
Analytics is an essential ecommerce solution used by businesses to accelerate their market growth as well as simultaneously improving their customer experience.
Customer analytics can be integrated into the business models of B2Bs so that they can adjust each aspect of the marketing mix frequently for their audience or persona in real-time and focus on providing improved personalization at scale.
One of the methods to engage customers is offering targeted product recommendations. It is important to integrate real-time purchase data of the customers with their historical purchase data to be able to make particular recommendations.
3) Digital Supply Chain Management
The global supply chains have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic revealing the loopholes of most B2B ecommerce companies especially those whose supply chains depend a lot on a specific country to complete their requirement for finished products.
Now B2B ecommerce companies are decreasing their dependence on particular countries and increasing the capacity of their current centers.
The focus of the B2B leaders throughout all industries should be to converge their foundational supply chain capabilities with the latest digital strategies to avoid global supply chain abnormalities and stay competitive.
4) Personalized Customer Experience
Categorizing customers by demographic data is just the beginning. Try to understand the behavioral and attitudinal attributes of your customers to improve the personalization of your customers’ experience.
It will also help you to provide personalized, seamless, end-to-end experiences, and how, when, where, and why consumers shop can also be monitored with it.
Build some discrete moments to increase customer loyalty. It will increase your brand loyalty and make your customers remember you.
5) Mobile Wallets
B2B customers are also consumers. They also want a seamless online experience provided by their favorite brands. Fulfilling such digital requirements is important to stay in the competition.
B2B is transforming rapidly. Mobile wallets are offered by many B2B companies as one of their payment methods to their business customers.
6) Artificial Intelligence
With the latest technologies being introduced now and then, marketers have many options to improve their B2B campaigns. Artificial intelligence is one such technology that continues to lead digital marketing efforts. The technology is so sophisticated now that it becomes difficult to make a distinction between humans and bots. AI will ensure that your data sets would be less obfuscated by artificial noise and enable you to develop a more robust marketing campaign.
7) Progressive Web Apps
Progressive web apps (PWAs) work like mobile apps but are made with regular web technologies that are present on nearly all mobile devices.
PWAs are easier to maintain plus they are web-based which means customers can simply go to a website instead of downloading the latest version from app stores.
PWAs can be used by businesses to:
- Support their remote sales teams
- Provide customers quick access to online resources
- Unlock many features by integrating them with smartphone functions like the camera and messaging
8) Voice Search
2 in 10 searches on Google are done by voice command. Customers use AI speaker at home and voice search to find a local business. Voice search is still associated with mobile and mobile users search for recommendations using AI voice on their phones.
Businesses are going to increasingly use it for their solutions as the algorithm becomes more accurate. Launch your content marketing strategy keeping in mind the importance of voice search to drive B2B traffic and sales.
9) Conservative Budget Spending
Things went wrong during the pandemic halting some business seriously. Companies are scaling down their budgets while accessing the situation some more. Businesses that reduce their marketing spending can struggle to get back their momentum, as it takes some time for marketing investments to become effective while the companies that went ahead with their spending can have a quicker turnaround.
10) Direct-To-Consumer Growth
The line between B2B and B2C commerce can blur. Businesses that usually sell to distributors and retailers can directly connect to consumers. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) selling can increase the possibility of greater channel conflict but it can be handled in a way that works for companies throughout the supply chain.
These are some of the B2B marketing trends that will help you to design an effective strategy. Customers tend to be more particular with the type of online service they expect as they have many options to choose from as well. Rookie mishaps can make them go for other available choices. Devise your game plan focusing on the buyer’s experience and ensure a tailored customer journey throughout several platforms and channels.
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.