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Definitive Guide To Stand Out in $7.6 Trillion Online Industry Using B2B eCommerce Trends

Laxman Prajapati
March 01, 2019
B2B Ecommerce Trends

The millennials have whole-heartedly embraced the B2B eCommerce model. It is expected that this business model will hit the market with $7.6 trillion by 2020.

With such an alluring and action-packed big numbers, it is now necessary to understand the trends that will reshape the B2B eCommerce.

Still not thinking to invest in the B2B eCommerce business? Remember, this can end up being a costly mistake, and potentially losing out on millions of dollars in return. This may result in a rapid fall against competitors.

B2B eCommerce is continuously evolving and shifting from the phone line to online and is no more treated as an afterthought.

Do you need more information to make the shift faster? Let’s have a look.

  • It streamlines and automates the sales process;
  • Cut downs the costs;
  • Reduces order errors;
  • Allows placing an order round the clock.

It is imperative for all enterprises to adapt to these trends to cope up with the fastest moving digital landscape.

Start treating B2B as B2C:

Host some of the best practices from B2C business model.

  • Use high-quality product images and video
  • Provide social proofs. Show reviews and ratings
  • Provide better customer service
  • Offer flexible shopping options
  • Robust onsite search facility
  • Personalize based on past purchases

It would be quite a surprise to know that the essentiality of the above practices as reported by Forrester, MarketingProfs, and SAP Hybris:

  • Onsite search: 62%;
  • Reviews and ratings: 56%;
  • Personalization: 54%;

Knowing the fact that around 98% of B2B buyers do at least some online search, it is necessary to increase the onsite search functionality and also provide other essential features.

Improve Onsite Search functionality:

Having a large catalog of products to sell is good but what if your buyer is not able to pick the right product from the heap?

Improve Search Functionality

Customers who can easily find the right product in no time are likely to purchase on your site. This makes the site more consultative than transactional.

“Your online relationship should not give a feeling like the one between a salesperson and a prospect” said Mark Roberge.

You can include key search elements like part number, manufacturer or brand, product title, item details etc.

This helps users to find exactly what they are looking for and helps in generating repeat purchases.

Include Customer Ratings and Reviews:

Customer Reviews & Ratting

Reviews help to build trust. It’s one of the important factor taken into consideration by customer’s buying online. People have started relying on user-generated content more after the rising popularity of apps like Zomato and Yelp.

A poll conducted over 283 business decision makes revealed that 84% of online buyers seek input from peers or previous users.

The role is just not limited to decision making but has precedented the traditional sales tool like case studies and testimonials.

To summon up, your best sale rep is a happy customer sharing honest feedback.

Simplify the Wholesale Process:

For the customer’s buying in bulk or in good quantity expect a special discount or a free shipment offer.

“ People still believe in the greatest myth around eCommerce wholesale that it is difficult to get your sales channel up and running” said Pierre Verrier.

Customers are looking forward to B2B online store to be mobile optimized and include custom pricing list for the specific customer.

B2B should offer full visibility of the order the customer has placed, this will be a great time and cost-saving step.

Remember, it is of paramount importance to know what your audience wants and expects!

Recognize your Deal Breakers:

B2B eCommerce experience different obstacles and involves multiple people in the decision making tree. In this situation, it is really getting important to know the talkers and the action takers.

Talkers talk much and act less resulting in fewer sales. Like talkers, there are “antistakeholders” called “blockers”.

They have proven to be the biggest enemy in the B2B sales who try to avoid any changes or prevent initiatives to change the process.

It is necessary for B2B eCommerce to recognize the sales killer and if required, remove them from the process and simplify it.

Shift your focus from supplier-centric to supplier-agnostic:

It may sound a bit confusing. Isn’t it? Let’s simplify it.

In simple words, write content addressing the customer and not your product. The content should appeal to the reader and the advertisement should be based on readers-benefit.

The traditional content creation procedure is changing. To market successfully and generate more leads it is getting important to offer content that identifies or focuses on the pain point of the customer.

The traditional method of content creation only involved information that elevates your product, or your value proposition making the content look like more about you.

But customers are inherently self-interested and it is better to adopt the supplier agnostic approach soon.

Keynote to all B2B eCommerce marketers: Lead generation has to start with the customers and not you.

The Rise of Self-service:

Is Do It Yourself (DIY) extending into the buying process? The traditional obsessed process of thought Leadership is changing. B2B is shifting to teach commercial insights to the customers.

Customers of B2B are self-educating themselves by talking to the salesperson learning more about the products and services.

This approach may lead to one million US B2B salesperson to lose their job.

This is the most startling trend being followed in B2B eCommerce development.

Thought leadership may drive a buyer’s attention but driving more sales revolves around two ingredients:

  1. Teaching customers about their own business need and challenges;
  2. Providing strong reasons to compel users to take actions.

Know when and what content to provide:

The above-mentioned supplier agnosticism might give you an inference that customers no longer want product specifications or demos.

False.

Product information, demos are the table stakes- the baseline information necessary to be present while addressing the product. But, buyers confirm the final decision based on the broader information provided.

Live demo

So it is very much necessary for the persons dealing in B2B eCommerce to understand, what type of content to provide and most importantly When to provide.

Humanize, include Social Media:

Social Media the third most critical tactic B2B marketers are using reported Content marketing institute 2017.

Though primarily Social Networks like Facebook and Instagram were viewed as direct-to-customer channels are now becoming important even for B2B sales.

Buyers are now looking forward to social channels to get more information on the product from their peers and broader networks.

The final decision making is like creating a consensus. Why? Because it is about people and people connect to people more.

Include personal gestures and go beyond “just business” relationships:

Though B2B buyers are pretty satisfied groups, it is necessary to build a longevity relationship. Give your B2B platform an authentic face, personal gestures and a reason to go just beyond business.

The conclusion? B2B buyers are looking for more than just business relationships.

Offer buyers with price personalization and negotiation facility. Give them an opportunity to close the deal with their satisfaction first and your later.

An Opportunity to Improve? Final words:

To succeed online with B2B eCommerce, it is really important to mix well the bells and the whistles of B2C eCommerce. Opportunities are enormous. It is now necessary to leave behind some of the traditional B2B trends and adopt the new ones.

However cliche it may sound, Put your Customers always first. They are important faces behind the $ 7.6 trillion B2B eCommerce market.

We hope these B2B eCommerce trends insights were useful. Elsner provides both, B2C and B2B eCommerce development on various platforms like Opencart, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Shopify and Magento development.