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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.
Todays’ consumer is more discerning than ever before. They are not ready to compromise on delayed shipments or bad quality products. This has put a lot of pressure on courier companies to maintain their dispatch processes to match to the expectations of their customers. For growth, it is immensely important that these companies continue to improve on their business processes, complying with customer requests, while also cutting costs and enhancing customer service.
However, if we look closely, a courier company cannot run without an efficient warehouse system. The warehouse and distribution centers are at the very heart of the supply chain network. Warehouses perform a wide range of services that add value, such as labeling, assembly, packaging, branding, kitting and reverse logistics. Warehouses also need to be efficient in accommodating any spike in demand during the festive season, says an article published by MACH 1 Global Services.
To achieve an efficient warehouse, courier management software can be the key. Let’s see how.
Encourages More Regional Location
Earlier, when courier companies used to operate manually, they preferred their warehouses to be restricted to one geographical location to easily manage pickups. However, an efficient courier management system, which can easily take care of several warehousing hubs simultaneously, is encouraging the building of more regional locations, bringing products even closer to the customer. This will help courier companies reduce transportation costs and ensure last mile delivery, says an expert at Key Software Systems.
Allows Expansion of Space
Driven by the desire to provide every possible thing a customer might wish for; the product range being shipped these days is hugely diverse. However, such diversity comes with the added cost of managing those products. With courier management systems, the dispatch and delivery time of every single product can be taken care of in a highly organized manner. This will drive the demand for warehouse space to up to three times in 2018, according to CBRE.
Ensures Safety of Products
A lot of money is spent by warehousing companies for the maintenance of products in the warehouse and safety of their workers. Since every product is tracked by software, managers instantly know about any mishandling of packages and other technical issues before they become a cause of accidents in a warehouse or lead to delayed dispatch.
Courier software also helps warehouses take care of returned products, which is an added responsibility of e-commerce retailers.