B2B ecommerce is growing faster than ever and it is expected that B2B online sales will reach to 6.7 $ trillion by 2020. “B2B e-commerce in the U.S is expected to grow from $825 billion in 2016 to $1.13 trillion in 2020” Forrester forecast report reads.
Considering the vast amount of figures involved in this business, it becomes essential for B2B sellers to stay updated about the latest trends. You will put your business at a greater risk if you are not prepared for it. We have brought you the top B2B ecommerce trends for 2018 that will help you to stay ahead of your competition and succeed online.
Artificial Intelligence — How Can We Use it for Ecommerce?
With the surge in popularity of Artificial Intelligence, ecommerce businesses are welcoming AI elements on their websites. Increasing number of businesses are employing AI tools because it has the potential to learn from the customers, segment databases, assess their shopping practices, individual requirements and even adapt according to the search results as well. Whether it is the usage of Smart Search, Chatbots or Advanced Personalization, AI has proven to be highly helpful to not just boost the customers’ shopping experience but also bring new leads to the website. Don’t forget to check about How Artificial Intelligence Can Benefit Ecommerce Businesses
The Use of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Ecommerce
By 2018, it has been estimated that around 200 million people will be using AR and VR. Thus, it becomes vital for businesses to employ this technology in order to fulfill the customer expectations. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality is remodeling the customer shopping experience and proves to be the perfect platform for ecommerce because more and more people are using them. It brings endless opportunities to ecommerce businesses and customers as well. Before making any purchase, the customers now will be able to assess the product and compare it in real time with the 3D view made possible only because of AR and VR.
New Social Media Marketing Tools — How To Use Them Right?
Social media is a platform that opens your business to endless possibilities and in order to make the most out of it, it is important to use the marketing tools wisely. You must select the right elements that will fit in the Expiry social content category such as Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook story. The content remains there for a limited amount of time and you must know how to use it in the right manner. Live streaming video is yet another excellent tool to engage with the audience. Another great way to involve the customers is to use product tagging. For example, many brands on Instagram repost the images of customers who have tagged them in the photographs of their product. This reinforces the customers, creates satisfaction and builds engagement.
B2B sellers are incorporating multiple channels to sell such as mobile, web and catalog. B2B buyers have high expectations while visiting ecommerce sites as they look forward to an extensive shopping experience the likes of which they get inside a brick and mortar store. Thus, it is paramount for B2B sellers to fulfill these expectations of customers by providing them with excellent search functionality, customer reviews, feedback, and tools.
Mobile Commerce and Responsive Design
An increasing number of B2B retailers are emphasizing on mcommerce in order to make the shopping experience of customers as swift as it can be. This is because customers are using their mobile devices to make purchases. Magento recently said that more than 50%+ of a website’s traffic will come from mobile applications. Thus, B2B companies must make it a priority to have a mobile-friendly/responsive website so that it can be viewed on all devices including smartphones, tablets, iPhones & PC.
It is a complex affair to process digital payments for business sales however B2B platforms present an extensive assortment of payment forms involving e-checks, purchase orders, purchasing or commercial cards or physical checks. A B2B seller is deemed successful only when all these tools of payment work properly. If you do not provide such options, customers will not take a second to switch to another website. It is essential that you must incorporate these authorization and PCI compliance in order to establish trust and credibility among your customers.
With a large amount of information that is being shared by the customers on different devices, their expectations with the ecommerce company become high and they expect to be given personalized shopping experience. That is why ecommerce businesses must keep in mind to provide the customers with personalized interactions as well as recommendations so that the customer receives the very thing they are looking for wherever and whenever.
It is important for businesses to know that the B2B customers are ought to be considered as individuals with their individual requirements kept in mind. You must provide the customers with an option of purchasing on an account, handling a diversity of pricing arrangements and provide various shipping choices.
Gear up for the above-mentioned B2B ecommerce trends for future and implement them to stay a step ahead of your competitors.
Zahoor Bhat has over 10+ years of experience as an online editor and media manager. He has worked with major online news and content sites as a media manager. He is well versed with major content management systems and web platforms such as WordPress and social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google Business, Yelp, Instagram & Linkedin. He is an expert in content creation, proofreading and finally making it live. Being a social media expert, he is able to make relations with social media influencers and make sure to generate leads and grow business via different social media platforms.