Changes in B2B company buyer demographics and advances in technology have impacted the B2B e-commerce industry. Millennials are more digitally savvy and technology dependent, while Generation X buyers have taken on the majority of executive positions.
As a result, B2B e-commerce has seen remarkable growth and the industry is evolving every day. Today’s B2B customer buys on e-commerce sites and values convenience, speed, security, and personalization.
Here are some ecommerce trends B2B should look out for in 2021 for business success.
#1. Digital marketing
In recent years, marketing strategies have included cold calling, trade fair appearances or marketing materials. However, advances in technology have caused these traditional marketing programs to be phased out in favor of digital such as social media and eBooks.
Today, the typical B2B consumer does several researches before deciding to buy from a particular company. As a result, more and more marketing budgets are being channeled into digital endeavors that provide a personalized shopping experience.
Many e-commerce companies rely on artificial intelligence such as search engine marketing and chatbots to gain a competitive advantage. Augmented and virtual reality are expected to play a major role in marketing to improve the customer experience. More and more companies will introduce AR and VR in their virtual events in order to integrate experience elements into their marketing campaigns.
# 2. Teaching material
More and more B2B companies are relying on SEO to drive traffic to their companies. This has resulted in more and more B2B companies providing a wealth of educational materials and articles about their products and services. More and more companies are trying to gain the trust of their customers by proving that they are indeed experts in their respective industries.
Some companies are now using video and graphic content to showcase their products and their benefits. This strategy has significant results in attracting potential consumers. Sharing educational content on social media helps B2B companies stay visible to their target customers.
# 3. Customer personalization
The customer experience is an essential factor in B2B e-commerce. B2B consumers looking for suppliers usually value personalization. It’s a major factor in deciding whether or not to buy from a brand. Well, personalization certainly comes at a price. But it’s a worthwhile investment.
To get the most out of their personalization efforts, companies rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning. They also use customer data to create more specific buyer personas. There are several ways you can personalize customers to attract more customers to your business.
For example, you can give your consumers recommendations based on their previous purchases. Offer services based on the customer’s location or send personalized follow-up emails.
# 4. Internet security
One of the biggest challenges ecommerce companies face in digital transformation is security concerns. The digital transformation has many advantages, but is constantly threatened by cyber attacks. The increasing shift to e-commerce has made it a mature target for criminals. Customers are also becoming aware of the importance of data security.
They feel more secure when they interact with companies that assure them of their privacy. For example, your company could purchase the cheap, yet premium GeoTrust Wildcard SSL to secure your multiple first-level subdomains within the same certificate. An SSL certificate secures the data that is transferred between the web browser and the client server. Malicious cyber criminals cannot intercept the connection.
# 5. Loyalty programs
Customer loyalty programs are no longer a reserve for B2C companies. Loyalty programs are becoming increasingly popular in the B2B e-commerce world. They are a great way to cross-sell, up-sell and acquire new customers. I mean, it’s easier to keep an existing customer than to get a new one.
That requires a reward system to keep current customers coming back. Returning customers are even more likely to spend more because they know the product has been tried and tested. You could use a referral program where a customer receives a bonus for referring the company to other new customers. You can also get rewards for your customers’ first purchases.
# 6. Diverse payment options
More and more B2B companies are offering their customers a variety of payment options. Companies are upgrading their payment methods to include digital wallets. Technological advancement has shifted the game from traditional paper checks to faster electronic transfers.
B2B companies were slower to catch up on the trend, but are now quickly appreciating the improved cash flow these new payment options offer. The diversification of payment options ensures that no potential customer is locked out. Also, make sure your ecommerce is secure so that users can trust it. You can do this by purchasing an SSL certificate.
# 7. Environmental awareness and sustainability
The future of B2B companies seems to be one in which companies are careful to minimize their environmental impact. More and more people around the world, of all demographics, are becoming aware of environmental problems. And they are interested in doing their part to protect the planet.
Companies that prioritize ethical and sustainable solutions in their manufacturing processes stay ahead of the competition. B2B e-commerce companies are optimizing their delivery and other processes to reduce their carbon footprint.
#8th. Faster deliveries
Millennials are an instant gratification generation. This results in the need for speed in possibly all processes. Customers appreciate fast shipping options just as much as they do with B2C companies. With ever increasing customer demands, faster order processing is a surefire way to reach customers.
B2B companies can optimize their fulfillment processes with order management software that is ideal for reducing the complexity of the supply chain and for managing orders from different platforms. Alternatively, fast-scaling companies can choose third-party fulfillment software to manage their orders.
# 9. M-commerce
More than half of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices. Therefore, B2B e-commerce companies need to optimize their stores to be more mobile-friendly. Creating a remarkable mobile experience is likely to lead to more conversions.
There are so many trends. Some trends can add significant value to your business while others may be too expensive to switch or may not be the best for your target market. For example, if you have a website with numerous first-level subdomains under one primary domain and you want to expand in the future, you will need to start your website with a Wildcard SSL Certificate.
Activating an SSL certificate moves your website to an HTTPS domain that makes customers and other potential customers feel safe when interacting with it. However, just starting a website is not enough. It would be best if you gave cybersecurity a priority all the time. To determine which trends are worth investing time and effort, you need to stay up to date with your industry reports, solicit feedback from your customers, and evaluate how well the trends are performing with your competition.
Published on July 24, 2021