The B2B eCommerce trends 2021 are primarily based on a worldwide survey, conducted by Net Solutions, of high-performing B2B leaders.
This survey aims to analyze how B2B eCommerce leaders integrate marketing and technology strategies into their organization’s broader digitization plan to build a digital commerce blueprint and turn a crisis year into an opportunity.
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With B2C eCommerce sales growing exponentially, the B2B industry has also followed suit. Not only is the B2B market gradually increasing its online presence, but it is also doing so by mirroring some key B2C eCommerce strategies.
Our B2B eCommerce survey presents the exclusive strategies, trends, and frameworks that will shape the B2B Commerce environment and help business leaders deliver better and seamless experiences to their potential customers.
6 B2B eCommerce Trends that will Steer 2021
Net Solutions’ State of B2B Commerce survey highlights that despite the uncertain business environment, B2B companies are expecting an increase in online sales by more than 25%, which is why they are planning to invest aggressively in their technological and marketing strategies.
An anomalous catastrophe is upending B2C/B2B eCommerce, creating difficulties for some online businesses and opportunities for others. On the one hand, the pandemic has resulted in the closure of many physical stores; on the other hand, B2B companies expect a surge in their online sales, thereby pushing them to overhaul their marketing messages.
Today, B2B commerce companies are becoming more dependent on their digital commerce strategies to make it through this tough time by shifting their commerce priorities, not just to build an emergency buffer to what is happening but to deliver ultimate long-term value to customers when the world eventually returns to normal.
The survey identifies 6 key B2B eCommerce trends 2021, exploring their benefits, challenges, and impact on the B2B landscape.
1. Omnichannel Experience
Customers are the real king in today’s digital marketplace. They have access to endless information and are surrounded by different shopping choices, both online and offline. Customer experience is crucial for B2B companies like never before.
Attracting and engaging customers is more competitive than ever as they use various devices and channels every day. Providing seamless and omnichannel experience across all touchpoints is the real game-changer in today’s Darwinian B2B eCommerce landscape.
82.2% of B2B companies are planning to integrate omnichannel strategies into their business models. tell a friend
If you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon already, it’s about time to make omnichannel an integral part of the business strategy: one of the key B2B Commerce trends for 2021. This b2b eCommerce solution ensures consistency across all touchpoints and helps customers navigate freely over the website and other channels without losing context when planning to buy a product.
2. Data Analytics
The most vital B2B eCommerce solution for businesses to increase their market growth while enhancing their customer experience is ‘Analytics.’
B2Bs are planning to successfully integrate ‘customer analytics’ in their business models to concentrate on providing better personalization at scale by constantly fine-tuning every aspect of the marketing mix for every customer audience or persona in real-time.
Net Solutions’ B2B Commerce report highlights that 63% of B2B leaders plan to prioritize capturing a 360- degree customer view to deliver personalized experiences to their customers.
Sending targeted product recommendations is one of the ways to keep customers engaged. To make specific recommendations, it is vital to integrate customers’ real-time purchase data with their historical purchase data.
3. Digital Supply Chain Management
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected global supply chains by exposing most B2B eCommerce companies’ loopholes, especially those whose supply chains are highly dependent on China to fulfill their needs for finished products.
This is one of the primary reasons why more than 60% of surveyed B2B eCommerce companies are reducing their reliance on specific countries such as China and are increasing the capacity of their existing centers.
Net Solutions’ State of B2B Commerce survey highlights that nearly 8 out of 10 B2B companies face a minimal to severe impact on their supply chains due to COVID-19.
B2B leaders across all industries must focus on converging their foundational supply chain capabilities with trending digital strategies in order to defend against global supply chain abnormalities and remain competitive.
In our experience, affected B2B eCommerce companies should consider building a robust digital supply chain framework capable of navigating the challenges like inventory management and delivering a personalized customer experience.
4. eCommerce Platform
Today mega-retailers are leaving no stone unturned to deliver a pleasurable, personalized eCommerce experience, and even the customers expect an enhanced level of experience everywhere they shop.
If your brand somehow misses hitting the bullseye of customer expectations, then they feel unwanted, which eventually leads to a loss in customer loyalty. You can no longer avoid these realities.
From marketing to sales, your visitors interact with multiple faces of your organization with similar, but not same, brand voice. Thus, a return-oriented CXM strategy needs to deliver a singular and same voice with one consistent experience.
B2B eCommerce platform is, therefore, another important part of Digital Customer Experience Management success that helps deliver orchestrated customer experience.
More than 80% of surveyed B2B companies plan to invest in an eCommerce platform to provide a unified experience for their potential customers. tell a friend
5. Personalized Customer Experience
Customer segmentation by demographic data will no longer be helpful. If you wish to take your customers’ experience to the next level of personalization, you need to dig into their behavioral and attitudinal attributes.
At the same time, this will help you track how, when, where, and why consumers shop; it also enables you to deliver tailored, seamless, end-to-end experiences.
According to Net Solutions’ State of B2B Commerce report, 76.7% of surveyed B2B companies believe that personalizing the customer experience is the biggest challenge they face on the road to steer online sales.
You cannot let the disappointing moments fly away from your customers. To boost customer loyalty, it is essential to build some discrete moments. It will make them remember you for a long and increase your brand loyalty. Just have the corresponding Return on Experience (ROX) measurements in place to track this loyalty and ensure your experiences produce the desired effect.
6. Mobile Wallets
It is a known fact that B2B customers are consumers too. Even B2B buyers demand a similar seamless online experience delivered by their favorite B2C brands in today’s crowded market. B2B eCommerce brands that fail to meet such digital demands are and will lose out to competitors quickly.
All my marketing strategies failed when one of my potential buyers abandoned her shopping cart because of the unavailability of checkout option through the mobile wallet. Pranav Jain,
Head of Business Development,
Adinath Dyeing Finishing Mills
This is one of the reasons why B2B needs to transform digitally, and it’s happening now. Net Solutions’ State of B2B Commerce report highlights that 63% of B2B companies offer mobile wallets as one of their payment methods to their business customers.
B2Bs are adopting new technologies and have stunned the entire commerce marketplace with the way they’re integrating mobile wallets, one of the key B2B eCommerce trends 2021, into their business model.
The B2B Commerce trends 2021 highlighted in Net Solutions’ State of B2B Commerce survey converge into a single trend: deliver an orchestrated customer experience at the break-neck speed of trust.
In an experience-driven marketplace, B2B eCommerce companies can no longer afford to displease their potential buyers. Feedback and reviews that were once shared with just a couple of people over a cup of coffee are now uploaded across the world at the click of a button.
Thus, today, a B2BC customer is far more empowered than ever and hence demands a streamlined and personalized customer journey from eCommerce marketers. Businesses that can deliver this kind of omnichannel experience to their customers survive; others perish.