5 Breakout Trends in B2B Commerce

Chris Champlin

In the hypercompetitive B2B market, businesses must embrace evolving market trends and industry technologies to remain relevant and flourish. There are many key trends in B2B commerce and B2B eCommerce rising and solidifying. The most important ones to know for 2021 are:

Trend #1: Increasing Buyer Expectations

B2B buyers are expecting more from their sellers. Increasing buyer expectations is a choice opportunity for B2B sellers to evolve and meet their buyers’ increased expectations.

Buyers expect sellers to offer most, if not all, of their services on intuitive easy to use digital platforms. On these online platforms, buyers expect:

  1. Collaborative Commerce – Connecting Sales, Service, and Customers
  2. Rapid Quoting – Ability to rapidly quote large orders
  3. Ease of Purchasing & Subscriptions – Simplified purchases with subscriptions
  4. Connected Devices – Providing insights into replacement parts through IoT
  5. Seamless customer service – Integrated service when something goes wrong

All of these features should make the buying experiencing seamless, simple and unwaveringly reliable. B2B buyers want these digital platforms to make buying from sellers easier, not harder. And, over time, buyers will gravitate to sellers with the most easy-to-use, reliable, and convenient online platform.

Trend #2: Improved Customer Service

This trend goes hand in hand with increasing buyer expectations. Along with a robust digital platform, buyers now expect faster shipping, personalized service and premium support.

Customers want their products as soon as possible after they order them. Fulfilling orders quickly, with low-cost next-day shipping, is one of the most vital factors that help B2B sellers dominate the marketplace.

The key to accomplishing this is to adopt and implement a support system that focuses on personalized support and ease of access to this client support. On a seller’s platform, clients should be able to effortlessly access support options and receive guidance through the buying process without struggling to find assistance.

Trend #3: B2B Marketplace Growth

The growth of B2B digital marketplaces has been a trend for years. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has super accelerated this growth, making it an absolute necessity for B2B sellers to be involved in online marketplaces.

Joining an online marketplace should be a priority for most sellers. B2B buyers are more and more willing to conduct all business digitally, including big retailers and service providers.

Sellers must cultivate a presence on a B2B marketplace; otherwise, buyers will seek out a competitor with an established online marketplace presence. The business benefits for deploying a marketplace include range expansion, reduced inventory carrying costs, and revenue growth. 

There are many new and integrated technologies in this space to support the deployment of new Marketplaces or joining existing ones. One platform that provides this all-in-one capability is VTEX.

Trend #4: Impactful Content & Search

Buyer clients need to see how sellers are growing and improving their businesses. Many buyers like to see case studies and to be able to video and text chat with support teams. Displaying case studies and implementing chat functionality is a great starting point for deploying valuable content, but there is still more to do.

In B2B eCommerce, Content needs vary from their B2C counterparts. B2B buyers are seeking content that is related to the product including technical specifications, product data-sheets, service information, or other relevant content that could be required by dealers, distributors, or end-users.

Additionally, the presentation and findability of this content is important. Many eCommerce platforms search engines do not have the ability to search across the various types of content that B2B buyers might need. Evaluating other search technologies like Algolia can help provide a better search experience that utilizes AI and predictive insights.

Trend #5: Frictionless Technology

In 2021, B2B eCommerce relies on similar technological tools as B2C companies; however, there is room for B2B companies to improve on this front. B2B sellers must embrace digital analytics, data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning to compete with the opposition.

Like news, there is no such thing as bad data. Collecting, understanding and making decisions based on all the data they can get gives sellers a distinct advantage over the competition.

Utilizing analytical tools, AI, and machine learning are the most potent strategies for B2B sellers to adopt in 2021.

Embracing these technologies improves employee insight and understanding. It also allows sellers to have more meaningful and effective customer interactions.

Find Your Success Today

The expectations of B2B interactions are evolving and changing, and there are many strategies and tactics B2B sellers can embrace to find wild success. These strategies and tactics involve embracing digital technologies and tools to enhance and refine order fulfillment, sales, online presence and customer support.

Buyers are seeking out sellers with fully implemented trending strategies in their systems, leaving sellers with poorly optimized and unfriendly UX left by the wayside.

As the industry landscape evolves, sellers have time to execute these strategies. But, they must also keep an eye on continuing emerging trends and make concerted efforts to future-proof their organizations.

At Zaelab, we guide our clients through every aspect of adopting cutting-edge B2B solutions. We have the skills, experience and technology to amplify your business’s success. Give us a call at 1-877-774-8228 or contact us online to get started today.

 

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