B2B eCommerce is changing fast. In 2022, we’ll see more buyers want more content, and they’ll be able to get it quickly. We’ll see more omnichannel strategies as buyers look for ways to shop seamlessly across multiple channels. And as more companies adopt digital transformation strategies, they’ll need platforms to keep up with the pace of change. So what does this mean for you? It means it’s time to start thinking about how your current B2B eCommerce strategy can evolve to meet those changing needs—and what tools will give you an edge over the competition in the future.
How is B2B eCommerce Changing in 2022?
B2B eCommerce is changing fast, and the changes are sweeping across the industry. In 2022, you’ll see:
- An increase in omnichannel sales tactics. If a buyer can buy from your company on their computer, smartphone, or tablet—or even a voice-activated smart speaker—they will expect to be able to do so at every point of interaction with your brand.
- More digital engagement with buyers. The days of mailing out sales brochures are over; customers want more personal interactions with businesses they buy from (which means they need more time with their sales teams). Artificial intelligence technology can help automate these processes so that agents don’t spend hours doing repetitive tasks like printing paperwork or entering data into spreadsheets. Instead, they can spend more time talking about products directly with potential customers!
- Greater personalization based on customer preferences – if someone buys product A before buying B, then odds are good that this person will also purchase C compared to other options available on Amazon Marketplace. Similar items like A & B may not appeal as much since there isn’t any history of interaction between them.
What is B2B eCommerce?
B2B eCommerce is the buying and selling of goods and services between businesses. It’s a subset of B2B commerce, which also includes sales to other businesses’ employees (for example, if you sell office supplies to a company’s employees).
B2B eCommerce is proliferating, with an estimated $18 trillion in transactions taking place annually. If you’re looking for new opportunities in this market, it helps to know what makes it unique.
Field Sales Teams are Shrinking
As a B2B eCommerce manager, you may have heard that the number of field sales teams is shrinking. If that’s not already part of your daily conversations with colleagues and customers, it will be soon.
However, this trend has many nuances, and they don’t point in the same direction. Businesses that can successfully navigate these changes will benefit from increased productivity and profitability—which means more money for their bottom lines.
Why have Field Sales Shrunk?
Field sales teams are shrinking because they are no longer needed to generate revenue for most businesses (although exceptions exist). This stems from two main factors: The growth of online marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba; and automation technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that automate repetitive tasks once handled by humans alone or in teams of humans-plus-software (such as chatbots).
Virtual Events Will Fill The Gap
Virtual events will fill the gap between B2B eCommerce and B2C eCommerce. Virtual events are becoming more popular for engaging with customers and prospects. They can be used for training, sales, marketing, customer support, or product demos.
The key is that they’re online, so you don’t have to worry about travel costs or find a venue at least an hour away from home (preferably farther). So if you’ve been thinking about getting into virtual events but haven’t done it yet—or if you don’t have time for one-on-one meetings with customers—you should consider setting up a webinar in 2022.
More Buyers Want More Content
Buyers want more content. They want to find out all they can about a company and its products, and they’re not only going to look for this information on the company website anymore.
With the rise of personalization, buyers can see what other customers have said about your product and how it fits their needs.
In fact, 69% of B2B buyers say that customer reviews affect their buying decisions—and if these reviews aren’t listed on your site, you could be losing sales because potential customers aren’t aware that you even offer certain things.
To avoid missing out on potential sales due to a lack of customer reviews or other buyer-friendly content (such as FAQs), make sure that you include links from your website that take shoppers straight over to third-party review sites where they can read up on what other people think about your products before making a decision themselves.
An Omnichannel Approach is Essential
To succeed in 2022, retailers must move toward a truly omnichannel approach. This is good news for B2B retailers who have been slow to adopt eCommerce because they’re worried about everything from logistics and inventory management to payment processing. But it’s also an opportunity for B2C companies currently only selling online—and there are plenty of those around.
The first step toward achieving this is creating a unified brand experience across channels: web, mobile app, social media, and email marketing campaigns should all reflect the same voice, style and personality so your customers feel like you know them personally (even if you don’t).
You should also make sure your product pages are optimized for both consumers searching on search engines or browsing through an online store. Since some people prefer one over another when shopping online (according to research by Demand Metric), it’s important not just how well they convert but which ones perform better in their particular demographic groups as well as what kind of content resonates best with each audience segmentation channel like age, gender, marital status, and more.
Digital Transformation will Accelerate
In the next five years, digital transformation will be a crucial differentiator for businesses. As the pace of change quickens, companies are finding themselves unable to keep up with their competitors regarding technology and innovation. Digital transformation transforms your business by integrating a digital strategy into your business model. Every aspect of your company—from customer experience to supply chain management—should be designed around digital capabilities.
Digital transformation isn’t something you do once; it’s an ongoing process that requires continuous attention from leadership teams across all departments at all levels within your organization.
For example, A retailer may decide to implement artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities at its fulfillment center so that items ordered online can be automatically shipped out immediately after purchase instead of waiting for human workers to manually sort through inventory before they can send them off in trucks or planes.
What are the benefits of B2B eCommerce?
The benefits of B2B eCommerce are numerous. Here are just a few:
- Increase in sales
- Increase in customer satisfaction
- Increase in customer loyalty
- Increase in customer retention
How can you tell if you need a B2B eCommerce platform?
So, let’s say you have a business that sells to other companies or institutions. You may think, “I don’t need a B2B eCommerce platform because I only sell to one buyer at a time, and I don’t have many suppliers.” Here are some signs that it’s time for a B2B eCommerce upgrade:
- You’re selling to multiple companies instead of individuals.
- Your customers aren’t happy with their experience shopping on your website.
- You’re not able to target specific audiences with customized messaging.
eCommerce is not just for B2C businesses. B2B eCommerce and commerce services can be an essential part of your growth strategy. The business and challenge of B2B eCommerce are very different from B2C. Businesses must know their customer’s preferences, financials, inventory data, product information, and other details to sell effectively. The most successful B2B eCommerce platforms also offer sales and marketing automation tools that allow you to reach out to your customers and help them build long-term relationships with your business.