In 2022, we can expect to see the B2B market following where B2C has already blazed a trail: increasing adoption of digital tools and tactics to boost sales. The changing demographics of B2B buyers and their expectations, plus the opportunity that new and improving technology offers companies to reach new customers and better serve the ones they already have, means that B2B enterprises can’t afford to lag behind if they want to stay competitive in the new year and beyond.
The global B2B eCommerce market was estimated at $6.64 billion in 2020 and has a projected compound annual growth rate of 18.7% each year through 2028. If you want your company to be part of this online boom, here’s what you should know.
Sales tactics must evolve to fit their audience. Where once B2B buying was in the hands of baby boomers and Gen X, it’s now more likely to be millennials making decisions for your customers—73% of millennials are involved in the B2B buying process, and they made up nearly half of B2B buyers in 2020 (a number sure to only increase). These highly educated, technologically savvy workers research and purchase differently than their older colleagues.
B2B buyers nowadays are far more likely to turn to the internet to inform their buying decisions than to go to a trade show or review printed sales literature. They conduct an average of 12 online searches before buying from a specific brand, and 74% of them say they research at least half of their work purchases online. These buyers want the personalized experience that once might have been provided by a sales rep in a streamlined digital format. Given this, here’s what you can expect to see more of in the near future.
Making the B2B experience more like B2C: B2B buyers don’t just want to purchase online—they want to have the same ease of use they experience in B2C transactions. For companies to benefit, they should first prioritize the user experience and user interface of their website. Often B2B shoppers know exactly what they need when they come to your site. Making it easy for them to find and buy it will facilitate sales.
Mobile B2B: It’s also critical to offer a seamless mobile experience for B2B. In 2017 (four years ago!) half of B2B queries were already being made on smartphones. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly interface, you could be losing business. You want to be able to offer potential customers a great experience by whatever channel they choose to engage with—and mobile is clearly where the future is heading.
B2B Customer Personalization: Half of B2B buyers have cited improved personalization as a key feature they look for in online suppliers. Companies need to leverage customer data, machine learning, and AI tools to customize the buying experience for their clients to attract customers and increase sales.
Growing Online Marketplaces: In the same way that sites like eBay and Amazon have transformed online retail B2C sales, by offering a one-stop solution for buyers and sellers to connect, online marketplaces are a growing opportunity for the B2B market. It’s expected that 75% of B2B procurement will happen via an online marketplace in the next five years.
Demand for Fast Fulfillment: Customer expectations for fast, accurate fulfillment are at an all-time high. B2Bs can (and should!) streamline their fulfillment processes by using order management software or by hiring a 3PL to manage fulfillment. The latter is especially useful if your needs are scaling up fast—outsourcing can often save both time and money while delivering better results.
B2B eCommerce will undoubtedly continue to change in the coming year and beyond. At Iffel International, we’re here to give you the effective online presence you need to attract business and drive sales. We work with our B2B clients to generate high-quality leads through quality SEO and digital marketing strategies. If you want to learn more about how your business can take advantage of opportunities in the evolving online B2B landscape, contact us here for a free consultation today.
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