What’s your strategy to accelerate your B2B business growth for the year 2019?
The eCommerce trends 2019 suggest it is high time to adopt eCommerce if you still haven’t. The B2B landscape is rapidly changing as B2B buyers are steadily shifting towards online buying.
‘57% of the buying process is done prior to engaging with a sales team of a B2B brand. B2B websites should be sales tools assisting the buying process’. (source- B2xpartners.com)
We bring to you excerpts from B2BecNews research study and B2B industry trends that convince why it is essential for brands to go digital.
#1 eCommerce adoption spree in B2B
eCommerce adoption in the B2B segment is one of the major priorities for both distributors and manufacturers.
In a 2018 survey conducted by B2BecNews, around 70% of the manufacturing companies that do not have an eCommerce favor eCommerce adoption in 2 years or less.
Comparatively, around 80% of distributors who do not have an eCommerce will add one in 2 years or less.
Their plans of digitalization might begin at different stages like getting an ERP system or building a B2B portal first, but both have sure plans of eCommerce adoption.
So what’s driving a majority of B2B companies’ focus towards eCommerce? It’s because B2B buyers are getting younger. A Google report states 42% of B2B customers are millennials.
They are tech-savvy and expect 24/7 online availability. This millennial crowd prefers a significant part of interaction to be online with less offline intervention. We’ll see more of their preferences in the coming sections.
Takeaway – Your competitors are fast adopting eCommerce and it is time for you to start planning if you haven’t.
B2B buyers expect DIY Customer Service
“More than 50% of buyers want more do-it-yourself (DIY) custom service tools to expedite making an online purchase”. (source- B2BecNews)
B2B buyers are expecting a significant part of the website interfaces to enable self-service experiences. B2B buyers, especially millennials, may no longer be patient to wait for a sales representative to reach out and help them throughout the buying process.
Self-service experience is more than just providing a UI to place orders. It extends to providing experiences like price negotiation, easy-to-find product details, back ordering, delivery tracking, post order placement and much more.
Though a majority of buyers expect self-service interfaces, they prefer a representative-in-action for customer support through emails or live chat.
Takeaway – An eCommerce website in place can help in rendering minimal human intervention and a maximum of self-service interfaces that ensure a pleasant experience for users.
B2B buyers spend more time and money online
“Nearly 50% of B2B buyers now make at least one-half of their purchases online”. – B2BecNews research 2018
B2B buyers are spending more time and money online. This survey also reveals that over 25% of the B2B buyers perform 75% of their total purchases online. And this number is steadily growing.
On the other hand, buyers also spend more time on websites. They are not impulsive buyers and hence their average dwell time is always higher. 60% of B2B buyers research around 2 to 3 eCommerce websites before deciding to purchase. In case of buying customized products, the time taken for purchase goes up from a few days to weeks.
B2B buyers are frequent visitors as well – 47% of B2B buyers return to a B2B website for purchase at least once a week.
Takeaway – More time spent on your eCommerce store can translate to frequent purchases, increased average order value, and customer loyalty.
eCommerce empowers sales representatives
B2B companies undergoing a digital transition doesn’t mean their sales teams will be of no use any longer. Instead, eCommerce relieves them of repetitive tasks, empower them with insights and help focus on better relationship building.
Sales representatives can access real-time information using eCommerce. Real-time stock status, product demo videos, quote placement, offline order placement or any other information that a B2B buyer might demand can be pulled out by sales representatives within a few clicks and swipes.
Sales representatives will have more time to effectively serve customers, cross-sell, up-sell. They also double up as trusted advisors or consultants and guide them in making smart purchase decisions. Companies that implemented B2B e-commerce inclusive of Sales teams have reported higher revenue than before.
Takeaway – eCommerce doesn’t make a sales team redundant.
The B2B segment is expanding rapidly and buyers are getting younger. For B2B brands to ensure long-term growth, understanding their expectations and preferences like online buying convenience, personalization, ease of information availability and self-service experiences are necessary.
To move the needle towards achieving bigger sales targets, earning more customers and deeper market penetration, eCommerce is the best way to start.
An eCommerce implementation can help your B2B brand evolve on-the-go and enable continuous growth.