The hottest B2B eCommerce trends in 2021 included mobile wallets, personalization, and omnichannel marketing. Are you wondering where the B2B industry is heading this year? Here are 10 B2B eCommerce trends that are hot right now.
Since 2020, what started as a crisis response for eCommerce has become the new normal, affecting buyers and sellers alike. The rippling impacts of this shift were never foreseen, but they are becoming evident now.
A compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.7% is forecast for the global B2B eCommerce market between 2021 and 2028.
The year 2021 saw several trends establishing a solid foothold in B2B eCommerce and making their way into the industry. Mobile wallets, omnichannel selling, and personalization became popular trends.
The B2B marketplace is not only increasing its online presence gradually, but it is also mirroring some key B2C eCommerce strategies.
The following trends will shape B2B commerce and assist business leaders in delivering better, seamless customer experiences.
Trends that will steer B2B eCommerce in 2023
As a result of the pandemic, many physical stores have closed.B2B companies, however, are expected to see an increase in online sales, requiring them to rethink their marketing strategies.
To attract, delight, and serve their customers, B2B commerce companies need to leverage the full capabilities and offerings of platforms. As a result, differentiated digital experiences must be prioritized. As the world slowly returns to normal, ecommerce is no longer limited to providing an emergency buffer to what is happening, but delivering ultimate long-term value to customers.
The article examines the benefits, challenges, and impact of B2B eCommerce trends in 2023.
1. Experience across all channels
Omnichannel isn’t just for B2B buyers. They have arrived. When given the option of in-person, remote, and e-commerce channels, buyers have shown they want them all.
In today’s digital marketplace, customers are kings. Online and offline, they have access to endless information and shopping options. For B2B companies, customer experience is more important than ever.
As customers use different devices and channels every day, attracting and engaging them has become more challenging than ever. Today’s Darwinian B2B eCommerce landscape demands a seamless and consistent omnichannel experience.
Make omnichannel a part of your business strategy if you haven’t already. The B2B eCommerce solution ensures consistency across all touchpoints. As a result, customers can easily navigate the website and other channels without losing context when making a purchase.
2. Commerce on social networks
In the United States, 30% of internet users complete purchases through social media, compared with 50% in China. Keeping your customers hooked to your brand by promoting and selling products through social media channels is a major game-changer in 2023. Therefore, it makes more sense to understand why social commerce sales will likely triple by 2025. The eCommerce store can be set up directly on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest for B2B businesses.
Bulk Bookstore offers an excellent example:
There is no longer a need for dedicated websites for buying and selling. A business can sell its products on social media platforms that suit its niche without compromising the overall customer experience.
3. Management of digital supply chains
COVID-19 exposed many B2B eCommerce companies’ loopholes, particularly those whose supply chains rely heavily on China to fulfill their final product needs.
Over 60% of B2B eCommerce companies reduce their reliance on specific countries such as China and increase the capacity of their existing centers.
B2B leaders across all industries must integrate their foundational supply chain capabilities with trending digital strategies. As a result, they can defend against global supply chain abnormalities and remain competitive. Our experience suggests that affected B2B eCommerce companies should consider building a robust digital supply chain framework. In this way, they would be able to successfully navigate challenges like inventory management and providing a personalized customer experience.
4. Customer Experience That Is Personalized
Demographic segmentation of customers will no longer be useful. Taking your customers’ experience to the next level of personalization requires a deep dive into their behaviors and attitudes. You can also deliver tailored, seamless, end-to-end experiences by tracking how, when, where, and why consumers shop.
Building customer-centric moments, making them remember you for a long time, and increasing brand loyalty will boost customer loyalty. Track the Return on Experience (ROX) measurements to ensure your experiences produce the desired results.
5. Wallets for mobile devices
B2B customers are consumers as well. In today’s crowded market, even B2B buyers demand a seamless digital experience. eCommerce brands that fail to meet such digital demands will quickly lose market share.
The unavailability of a mobile wallet checkout option caused one of my potential buyers to abandon her shopping cart.Pranav Jain, Head of Business Development, Adinath Dyeing Finishing Mills.
B2B needs to transform digitally, and it’s happening now.
6. Sustainability is a priority for companies
Sustainability is becoming a central aspect of everything a company does, so more companies need to adopt a similar approach. Sustainable goals are not only beneficial for the environment, but they are also beneficial for businesses. Studies indicate that eco-friendly businesses attract 4.3 times more loyal customers than others, and their conversion rates increase by 20%. An eco-friendly approach and direct involvement of your customers are two things you can achieve through sustainable packaging.
In their B2B eCommerce business, Avery Dennison—a label manufacturer—mastered the tactic to ensure a satisfying customer experience. Each time a brand purchases from them, it is satisfied to buy from a more eco-friendly brand.
Depending on your customer service offerings, the approach may differ. It is important for you to look for a sustainable and environment-friendly solution for the future, whether it is product material, packaging, reducing energy consumption in manufacturing, etc.
7. B2B transactions that are automated
In a colossal business segment like B2B, automation is essential to ensure a smooth customer experience and enhance the reputation of your online marketplace.
eCommerce trends here will enable more automation, including accounts payable, receivable, reordering, and fulfillment. B2B payment automation tools are beneficial for the following reasons:
- Streamlining data entry saves business resources and time
- Automating payments in a frictionless manner
- Improved control over payment processing
When doing business with other brands and companies, leverage the latest technologies to solve their most pressing problems.
8. Visualizing purchases using augmented reality
In response to the pandemic, more companies and consumers have turned to eCommerce, and AR marketing has emerged as a major emerging trend. “Online retailers can increase conversion rates by twice and cart sizes by 60% by incorporating augmented reality into their existing eCommerce platforms.”
Co-founder and CEO of VNTANA, Ashley Crowder
Research suggests that by 2023, 25% of enterprises will integrate augmented reality into their operations, while the remaining 70% will begin using it. The new couch will fit into the living room ambiance without customers having to wonder how it will look. In addition to flooring, workspace artwork, and clothing items, brands can also try on a product virtually by using smart devices.
Business owners will prefer AR experiences to save themselves from unwanted hazards. Therefore, if you haven’t added AR to your current concurrent list for 2023 and beyond, it’s time to do so.
9. Fast B2B order fulfillment is in high demand
In a post-Amazon world, millennials are driving this demand, as 73% of them participate in the B2B buying process. As more B2B businesses cross the digital threshold, efficient and fast fulfillment processes are essential.
Businesses can appeal to their buyers by streamlining order management software’s fulfillment processes in order to meet growing customer expectations. A B2B company can use this software to manage orders across different sales platforms, centralize information, and simplify supply chains.
The B2B sector is integrating mobile wallets into its business model, one of the key B2B eCommerce trends for 2022.
10. Metaverse brand strategy
If you’re keeping up with the significant transitions of 2021, you must have come across Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitious goal to pioneer the Metaverse and his company’s rebranding itself as “Meta.”
How does Metaverse work?
As opposed to the internet, which is two-dimensional with text and images displayed on a flat screen, imagine the Metaverse to be three-dimensional with multi-sensory (including touch).
In the coming years, businesses will need to adapt themselves to platforms that will engage more with their target audiences. A virtual extension of our physical world, the Metaverse is where humans interact with avatars. However, it isn’t new: gaming platforms like Roblox and Fortnite have appeared in the meta-universe before.
What does this have to do with businesses?
To keep up with the ever-growing digital channels, you must create your brand’s space in the Metaverse.
In the future, B2B online retailers can benefit from this trend in several ways (and there will be as the Metaverse and its access expand). Brands can increase sales in B2B marketplaces quickly by creating online spaces where customers can try out their products before making a purchase.
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