Top B2B ecommerce trends for 2021

Improving the overall ecommerce experience has been a rising topic in recent years. However, while B2C ecommerce has gained traction in personalization and efficiency, B2B ecommerce has been slow to follow.

The last few years are however showing an improvement. Ecommerce was projected to account for 17 percent of all B2B sales in 2023, reaching up to $1.8 trillion, but a higher figure is now expected because of in-person shopping restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Gallup Analytics, only 29 percent of B2B clients are fully committed to their current suppliers. This suggests that customers will easily shift to other suppliers that offer better experience and support. To keep your customers and attract new ones, you need to foster engagement and nurture loyalty on your platform. 

As consumers were becoming more sophisticated overall prior to the global pandemic, this was true. But it is especially critical in a post-Coronavirus world where virtual will likely reign.   

Here are some B2B ecommerce trends you should expect to dominate in 2021.

Mobile Commerce

By 2022, mobile commerce is expected to grow by 68 percent. Companies that don’t make their websites mobile-friendly will definitely lose out on potential customers. 

There has been a steady increase in the number of mobile users all over the world, with most people using their phones or tablets as their primary device to access the internet. This is mainly because these devices are pocket-friendly and are accessible to users 24/7.

The improvements in mobile technology have also made the user’s shopping experience better. Phones now have larger screens and internet speeds via mobile are faster and more reliable.

While advertising through mobile web pages is still widely used, companies are going an extra step and creating mobile applications, giving the businesses an extra avenue to get to their clients.

Digital Marketing

B2B ecommerce platforms are stepping up their game in digital marketing and clients can now be specifically targeted using their activities on the internet, at a lower cost and better efficiency. The days of marketing to masses are almost over.

Internet visibility is a big part of ecommerce and businesses can increase their online visibility organically through search engine optimization (SEO). This could previously be done by incorporating keywords that clients use when looking for the company’s product, in your content. However, search engines are looking to improve user experience (UX) on the websites, so how easy and helpful a website is to a visitor is a huge factor in the rankings.

Businesses can also increase their online visibility through digital ads. The search engines give these paid ads priority in listing and are usually ranked before the organic placed websites. This should be combined with social media marketing, to reach a wider audience. 

Voice Commerce

Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Bixby by Samsung, and Cortana by Microsoft are a few of the voice technology applications and devices in the market today. The technology is revolutionizing ecommerce, offering better alternatives to branding and SEO.

B2B ecommerce platforms now have to move ahead of the market and start optimizing their keywords and SEO for voice search. The focus of marketing will with further adoption of the technology shift from being highly visual to be more vocal.

According to Comscore, 50 percent of all online searches will be voice-based by 2022. With business more equipped to adopt the technology faster than individuals, it will be unwise for B2B marketers to ignore the technology.

Omnichannel Shopping

There is an increased need for B2B businesses to have a digital and physical presence, given the diverse preferences of the current market.

According to a survey by the Harvard Business Review, 73 percent of the respondents admitted to using multiple channels throughout their buyer journey. Optimizing just one channel in the market cuts the business’ customers by almost half, reducing the chances of making sales and earning profits.

B2B ecommerce platforms will have to provide shoppers a consistent and seamless shopping experience across all platforms.

Alternative Payment Platforms

One of the reasons why customers stick to a particular company is the flexibility of the payment options. If you don’t offer a variety of payment platforms for your B2B customers, they will most likely go to your competitors.

Currently, B2B ecommerce platforms accept digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal, in addition to debit cards and credit cards. However, the business world is quickly warming up to cryptocurrencies and 2021 might just be the year B2B commerce adopts the likes of bitcoin. Cryptocurrency comes with benefits such as low transaction fees and lack of reversals.

B2B commerce owners will also adopt a dynamic pricing model that will allow them to charge their items at the most optimal prices. This model allows you to price your products lower than your competitors but at an amount where you’ll still make profit giving you a competitive edge.

Artificial Intelligence

B2B ecommerce platforms are adopting the use of analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in their operations. The use of AI has helped businesses increase their conversion rates and decrease their product return rate.

AI offers personalized recommendations and guidance to your customers, using past purchases and browsing history to tell the products they are more likely to purchase. The business can then personalize marketing, by predicting shopping patterns from this past online data and targeting marketing efforts.

Businesses are also increasingly using chat boxes and virtual assistants to provide 24/7 support to online clients. Using machine learning in the chat boxes makes them more intuitive enabling a better customer experience.

Ecommerce Trends You Should Not Ignore For Your B2B Business in 2021

Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, especially after the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. While B2B ecommerce platforms have been lagging behind their B2C counterparts in the adoption and implementation of digital trends, the pandemic has accelerated their shift. Adopt the above trends and you can be certain you will have an edge over your competitors.

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