Technology continues to change the way consumers shop and how businesses fulfill orders. As 2018 unfolds, we need to watch these six trends in B2B e-commerce and develop dynamic models to meet the expectations of customers.
More Consumer-Based Technology
B2C companies have set the stage for the way people shop, and these habits are creeping into businesses as millennials take over top positions. These executives grew up with technology and are used to fast, smooth purchasing experiences. An estimated 53 percent of B2B customers now make at least half of their work purchases online, and handling this increase requires an e-commerce platform tailored to meet their needs
B2B Goes Mobile
Upgrading B2B e-commerce software is also necessary to accommodate the high percentage of customers who consider mobile devices a “vital” part of doing business. About 84 percent of millennials and 76 percent of people in Generation X rely on mobile devices in both their personal and professional lives, and B2B companies need to respond accordingly. Providing a mobile-friendly platform allows these customers to make purchases and manage orders any time, instead of waiting for a B2B representative.
The Omnipresence of Omnichannel
Sixty percent of B2B sellers report an increase in sales after adding online channels to their marketing strategies. Making the most of this shift requires the adoption of software designed to cover all customer touchpoints and optimize the buying process across diverse channels and platforms
Refinement of Personalization
Personalized shopping experiences are deeply entrenched in the B2C realm, and B2B customers will expect the same in 2018. With the advent of machine learning and the growing use of AI technologies, it’s possible to process, analyze, and understand more behavioral data than ever before. Improved ERP platforms can take this data and use it to tailor shopping experiences to individual customers.
Integrating purchasing and fulfillment with ERP and delivery management software reduces the errors B2B companies experience when relying on the manual transfer of order information. Instead of risking a bottleneck between processes, integrating systems creates an efficient flow of data to speed up fulfillment and improve the customer experience. When we can remove barriers to purchasing, customer satisfaction and repeat orders increase.
Better Tracking and Delivery Options
Thanks to the availability of up-to-date weather and traffic data, it’s now possible to use route optimization software to get orders to customers faster and provide them with more detailed tracking information. This allows us to meet the increasing demand for services like same-day and weekend delivery driven by trends in B2C markets. In B2B e-commerce, being able to offer more shipping options prevents customers from going to competitors better equipped to meet their needs.
The way we respond to customers in the changing landscape of B2B sales and fulfillment should be focused on creating better purchasing experiences and using new technologies to meet expectations. With a wider reach through omnichannel marketing and increased delivery options, we can reach more customers and build stronger relationships throughout 2018.