Did you know that 90% of B2B buyers would turn to a competitor if a supplier’s digital channel couldn’t keep up with their needs. What’s more, 87% of buyers would pay more for a supplier with an excellent eCommerce portal. These findings from Avionos demonstrate the pressing need for b2b companies to embrace digital change and offer a great eCommerce experience.
If you want your b2b business to thrive, master these 5 b2b eCommerce trends and keep ahead of your competitors.
1.Develop a digital transformation strategy
Don’t keep upgrading the same old system. According to Wunderman Thompson, a whopping 89% of companies in the UK and US find buying online more complicated than offline . If you’re just making do with your legacy system and you don’t want your customers to switch supplier, it’s time for a rethink. Don’t let your digital strategy be guided by the limitations of your existing technology. Start from scratch and develop a digital transformation strategy which is guided by your business goals and visions, alongside your customer’s wants and needs.
2. Invest in a b2b specific ecommerce platform
Research by McKinsey shows that more than 80% of b2b companies say they hold their e-commerce channel to the same or higher standard as other channels. Your b2b ecommerce platform is at the centre of your digital presence, so it’s essential to get it right.
Make sure you work with a provider who is skilled in b2b specific ecommerce platforms. If you don’t, you might end up with a solution which doesn’t integrate with your other business systems or offer b2b specific features. Allowing businesses to facilitate trade/credit accounts through your site is an essential feature. Another useful feature is for customers who place regular bulk orders to be able to upload a simple CSV file containing stock codes and quantities.
3. Personalise the b2b eCommerce experience
Personalisation is a big growth area in b2b. A website which offers a personalised experience is going to be miles ahead when it comes to customer retention. The option to have a personalised account, save a basket and have ‘top’ items listed in their ‘Your Account’ section makes it easy for your customers to repeat orders. Triggered emails, automatic optimisation and real-time messaging also help to retain customers and increase the likelihood of purchases.
4. Focus on product discovery
Making sure product discovery and information is easily accessible should be a top priority in your digital transformation strategy. This should go hand in hand with personalising your eCommerce experience, so product discovery is tailored for each customer based on their previous purchases. According to Wunderman Thompson, 46% of global B2B buyers say that product customisation ranked top as a purchase factor.
5. Aim for fast fulfilment
With quick and easy delivery an expectation in the b2c world, the same people are expecting fast fulfilment in their b2b lives as well. Shipping can be complex in the b2c area, but for b2b with large orders that may involve pallets, it is even more complex. Make sure your shipping options help to simplify your shipping charges whilst still recovering costs. An effective self-service platform will give you the flexibility to set up shipping by weight, value, number, product or postcode.
Once you’re implementing these changes, use your platform analytics to make sure your business goals are being met. You can also survey your customers to help answer more probing questions you can’t get out of your website analytics. Most importantly, stay open to digital change and keep re-assessing what you’re doing online, especially compared to competitors. If you need help with a b2b specific eCommerce provider, GOb2b is an eCommerce system for wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers which focuses around customer retention. Our unique b2b eCommerce platform integrates seamlessly with accounting systems to provide a LIVE bi-directional flow of data. This delivers a feature-rich, highly personalised experience for your customers.