In recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly influenced B2B eCommerce trends, which has resulted in many notable changes to the industry. While the pandemic caused many physical stores to close, online B2B sales increased by a considerable amount. Because of how popular online channels have become, many B2B companies are focusing more on their eCommerce strategies to ensure that potential and current customers are provided with an exemplary experience.
There are many recent eCommerce statistics that point towards the latest B2B trends that you may want to be aware of. For instance, online sales that occurred on B2B ecommerce websites and marketplaces rose by nearly 18% in 2021, which indicates that having a robust eCommerce experience is more important than ever for B2B businesses that want to garner long-term success.
It’s also been found that around 65% of all B2B companies have transitioned solely to online transactions in 2022. In fact, this is the first year that B2B companies are more likely to accommodate eCommerce as opposed to in-person sales. The reason for this transition is because eCommerce is the main driver of revenue since the COVID-19 pandemic began. A study by Wunderman Thompson shows that almost 50% of B2B purchases that take place in China, the U.K., and the U.S. are occurring online.
In 2021, personalization, omnichannel marketing, and mobile wallets were a few of the primary eCommerce trends. At that time, it seemed as though the increase in popularity throughout the eCommerce industry may be short-term. Now, it’s clear that eCommerce and its focus on the latest technologies has become the new normal. Visit this marketing guide if you want to learn more about the differences with B2B and B2C marketing. The following article offers a detailed look at the latest trends in the B2B eCommerce industry.
9. Next Gen Website Technology
Among the most important eCommerce trends in 2022 involves the adoption of next-gen website technology. There are many different types of technology and applications that are able to accommodate this web development niche, the primary of which include mobile wallets and the use of augmented reality to visualize purchases. The goal is to facilitate modern and convenient experiences for the end user.
Adopting this technology means that many B2B companies will be tasked with upgrading some of their older systems and applications. Even though a large percentage of businesses will only upgrade their applications and systems once they stop working completely, this can lead to issues with integrating the latest technologies later on down the road.
8. Comprehensive Ecommerce Platform Technology
When you’re attempting to improve your B2B eCommerce platform and digital presence, focus on integrating the right technology with your eCommerce platform. Nearly 35% of all B2B companies in the U.S. state that investing in modern eCommerce technology is a top priority. Keep in mind, however, that each eCommerce platform can have different needs. You won’t find a one-size-fits-all option when searching for the right technologies for your eCommerce platform.
SaaS platforms like BigCommerce provides B2B companies with most of the technologies they require to manage a modern eCommerce platform. You’ll also benefit from increased security, lower ownership costs, better innovations, and other features that allow you to run a successful B2B company. It’s important that any technology you add to your platform is properly integrated with other main business systems, which isn’t always as straightforward as it should be.
7. Customer Acquisition
More and more businesses are turning to online platforms to purchase the items, services, and equipment they require to run a business. If you’re catering to these businesses, customer acquisition will be a primary component when attempting to grow your eCommerce platform. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was common for B2B companies to focus almost entirely on maintaining their current user base. While keeping current customers satisfied is still important, the growth of the B2B eCommerce industry means that you have a unique opportunity to acquire new customers in 2022.
The programs and innovations that many B2B companies are using to improve their customer acquisition center around digital marketing strategies that use copious amounts of data. A few essential ingredients for B2B success involve search engine optimization, social media marketing, email marketing, and paid ads. These marketing techniques will help you business reach new customers. While the aforementioned strategies were once primarily by B2C companies, it’s important for B2B companies to employ them if they want to grow their audience.
6. Omnichannel Sales
For 2022, an omnichannel marketing approach is more important than ever. This multichannel approach aims to provide customers with a perfect shopping experience on all fronts, which means that communication, distribution, and promotion channels will use an omnichannel strategy. Buyers have indicated that they want to be given the choice of eCommerce, in-person, and remote channels, which the omnichannel approach accommodates.
Modern customers have many choices when it comes to deciding where they can take their business, which is why providing your customers with a fantastic and seamless experience is essential. When you use this approach, you should be able to maintain consistency across every facet of your eCommerce platform as well as the other channels that your business uses.
5. Small Manufacturers Shifting Online
As mentioned previously, around 65% of all B2B buyers, traditional sales companies, and sales teams have fully adopted remote selling. An even higher percentage has at least partially adopted remote selling. There are many benefits that come with online sales and work, the primary of which is that it’s easier for customers to make purchases without needing to travel to a store or call a phone number.
Smaller manufacturers are shifting online to make sure that they continue to have a strong presence in the market. Many of these manufacturers no longer have the capabilities needed to provide services and products in a traditional manner.
4. New Marketplace Launches
There are several eCommerce marketplaces that have accommodated the shift that manufacturers have made to eCommerce platforms, the primary of which include Alibaba and Amazon Business. Despite the advantages of joining these platforms, many large manufacturers have begun to create their own marketplaces, which is a long-term solution.
Platforms like Amazon Business don’t provide larger manufacturers with the ability to stand out from the rest. In fact, more than 70% of businesses that launched their own marketplaces experienced market share growth in 2021. Technologies and innovations like Metaverse are also providing value by showing B2B companies how to create fully digital eCommerce platforms where their customers can purchase products/services or interact with one another.
3. New Payment Platforms
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, revenues have dropped among many B2B businesses that relied on in-store sales. To weather these issues, new payment platforms have been created for the purpose of allowing businesses to make payments in installments or delay their payments.
For instance, Alibaba provides B2B companies with a program called Payment Terms, which allows certain businesses to pay for the products or services they purchase within 60 days following the receipt of an invoice. One notable advantage of using the Payment Terms feature is that there aren’t any fees or interest that the company must pay. By introducing new payment systems, B2B platforms are able to bring in new businesses and enhance the customer experience.
2. Digital Payment Negotiation SaaS
Software-as-a-service contracts use a software licensing model that allows individuals and companies to pay for the amount of software they use over a specific period of time. This methodology provides software companies with the opportunity to obtain ongoing revenues while introducing new features and security updates.
Negotiating an SaaS contract can be difficult without having access to the right tools. On the other hand, modern artificial intelligence tools allows companies to keep software licensing agreements up to date without issue.
The legal AI tools that B2B companies now have access to are able to use natural language processing and machine learning to improve and adapt over time. Once onboarding and document uploading has occurred, the negotiation platform will be able to review SaaS contracts and recommend changes in a matter of minutes. While many of these processes were once performed manually, they can now be automated. This technology is a boon to legal departments for B2B companies that need to negotiate SaaS contracts at a large scale.
1. Large Order Remote Sales
B2B buyers have started to make large remote orders at a higher rate. In fact, 7% of all B2B buyers are willing to spend over $5 million on these purchases online. More than 20% of respondents will spend anywhere from $500,000 to $5 million in a single online purchase, which is much higher than the 4% of last year. Businesses being more willing to buy large orders online allows B2B companies to expand their eCommerce marketplaces without taking on as much risk.
These eCommerce trends indicate that technology is becoming increasingly important to every B2B business that wants to maintain long-term success or grow in the near future. Improving your eCommerce platform should help you grow your company and acquire new customers. By integrating the aforementioned trends into your operations, you should be ready for any changes that occur in the B2B industry.