More and more companies have decided to digitize and adopt new digital marketing strategies to get closer to buyers.
While in the field of B2C ( Business to Consumer ), this trend had already been highlighted in previous years; in 2020, the ascending curve of B2B companies that have decided to open their e-commerce or, in any case, an online showcase has become increasingly attractive. To offer their insurance products and services.
The reason is simple; today, most buyers do online research before purchasing, even in the B2B sector.
For those who find the product or service that meets their needs and requirements, the online research phase can be transformed so quickly into the purchase phase, without intermediaries and with all the speed of action that a B2B e-commerce allows.
This is why investing in B2B e-commerce is a solution that more and more companies are implementing.
But how to best fit into this market?
We are indeed following the 7 2021 B2B e-commerce that we will see together in this guide.
The Topic Of This Post
- 1 How the B2B e-commerce sector is evolving
- 2 The seven new trends of 2021 for B2B e-commerce
- 3 1. The public is changing
- 4 2. Focus on digital marketing
- 5 3. Take advantage of the new payment options
- 6 4. Blogging is an excellent resource for B2B
- 7 5. Focus on Site UX and User Experience
- 8 6. Loyalty programs for B2B customers
- 9 7. Using Fast Shipping Options
- 10 Conclusions
How the B2B e-commerce sector is evolving
Global revenue from e-commerce, both B2B and B2C, could reach $ 5 trillion throughout 2021, according to a survey by the BCG Consumer Sentiment.
That’s determined an increasingly positive upward trend that affects the whole world.
Online sales worldwide, therefore, will continue to engulf the market in both wholesaling and retailing.
Therefore represent 17.5% of total commercial transactions worldwide.
This indicates enormous growth potential in the online market for those operating in the B2B sector over the next few years.
Of course, to succeed in this ever-growing sector, you need to take innovative and bold steps.
Digitization in the B2B sector requires the construction of e-commerce and the correct use of the leading digital marketing tools to reach its target customers more easily and quickly, responding immediately to a need for them.
The 7 new trends of 2021 for B2B e-commerce
B2B e-commerce is seeing a vital growth path, and at the same time, it is presenting itself as an excellent solution to obtain greater profits and increase your custom package.
Given the rapid growth of the world of digitalization, however, we must always be informed about the best strategies and behaviors to adopt to achieve real success in B2B e-commerce.
Here are the 7 new trends of 2021!
- The audience is changing.
The typical B2B buyer is changing.
The public was mainly made up of buyers in the age group of ” baby boomers ” and ” generation X “in the past years.
While the baby boomers preferred to obtain information from sales documents, datasheets, and product tests.
On the other hand, Generation X started looking for information and maintaining relationships with B2B companies through conferences, printed announcements, fairs, etc …
Now, however, the public is changing. In 2021 there are more and more, not only the buyers of Generation X ( who are also increasingly converting to the use of digital tools ) but also the so-called ” millennials ” who always expect more a personalized experience through the main digital channels such as e-commerce, augmented reality, apps, and social networks.
Today, 73% of the public involved in the B2B purchasing process belongs to millennials ( born between 1981 and 1996 ); these have grown up with technology and are increasingly attracted to the use of modern and innovative tools to optimize the sale and purchase process.
All this, therefore, indicates that both the public and its habits in the B2B sector are changing. This means that companies in this sector must make efforts in digital marketing to offer a better and more customized to an increasingly demanding public.
- Focus on digital marketing
A B2B e-commerce needs a growth path that must be nurtured thanks to a careful digital marketing project.
Unlike traditional digital marketing, which involves cold calls, representatives sent around Italy to charm the owners of various companies, meetings through fairs, etc.… is much more effective.
The effectiveness of digital marketing in the B2B sector is given by the possibility of reaching the target of interest for your business faster and more precisely.
A digital marketing project requires a professional team to pay attention to the various advertising and positioning channels in its market segment and the target of interest.
Today, the B2B buyer conducts 12 online searches before purchasing a specific brand.
In response to this trend, today, as much as 55% of the B2B marketing budget is directed towards digital marketing initiatives that make it possible to provide a personalized shopping experience aimed at the needs of the target users.
Among the main tools to be used in 2021 for an excellent digital marketing project for B2B, there are:
- Online Advertising Circuits: Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, etc … are important channels to succeed through captivating videos, posts, and captions in attracting more leads interested in your product or service.
- Positioning on search engines: taking advantage of SEO is necessary both to place yourself on the first page and among the first search results on Google or others and to be able to intercept your target of interest when you need it for a product or service.
- Email marketing: Once upon a time, there were calls to a cold, lukewarm, or hot audience. Today the annoying phone calls have been replaced by email marketing! A good email marketing path (which can be easily automated) allows you to follow the customer at all stages up to the post-sale by managing to build customer loyalty in a more straightforward and less invasive way.
- Inbound Marketing: this strategic plan is based on content marketing to attract the attention of a specific target selected after careful analysis. The aim is to get as many leads as possible for lead generation and conversion after a loyalty path.
- Account-Based Marketing: in 2021, attention to ABM cannot be missing; this strategy provides a strategic approach to business marketing considering the importance of the individual accounts to which the company relates to a specific prospect, inserting the customer in a path highly personalized.
- Take advantage of the new payment options.
Digital marketing is undoubtedly important, as is the in-depth knowledge of one’s audience. Still, also in the B2B trade sector, a relevant factor is the means of payment that can be used to obtain a product or service.
The most common forms of payment in the B2B sector, which in any case must never be missing, are:
- Wire transfer
- Credit cards
- Cash on delivery (in Italy, this is a payment method that is still in great demand, especially by those who are not very familiar with online purchases)
However, the world of payments is evolving, and even business customers who access online channels to make their purchases in the B2B sector are looking for more innovative methods, which allow them to conclude the deal by choosing from a broader range of alternatives. Which:
- Payments through mobile wallets Like as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay
- Cryptocurrency payments
- Online installment payments with systems such as Scalapay, OnePay, etc …
- Payments with Stripe
These innovative payment systems will make it easier to reach many users in the B2B sector who want to complete the purchase with a wide range of choices.
- Blogging is an excellent resource for B2B.
An excellent e-commerce resource for B2B is content marketing.
The correct use of the content on your e-commerce is necessary both to be able to improve your positioning on the search engine and for your inbound marketing strategy.
To obtain excellent results with content marketing, an essential tool in 2021 also for the B2B sector is the blog.
The main advantages of a B2B blog are:
- Increased online credibility and authority
- Better market positioning than the competition
- Increase in conversions
- Increase in leads
Therefore, creating a blog for B2B allows you to obtain an authoritative voice and make customers fully understand what their services are and how the products work.
Furthermore, it offers the possibility of having valuable content at one’s disposal for social networks and one’s own email marketing strategy.
- Focus on the site’s UX and user experience
B2B e-commerce is an excellent solution to be able to find new customers and increase your income.
To succeed in this, however, it is not enough to have a simple portal where customers can browse through mere and boring catalogs, as they did with paper material.
Today it is essential for B2B commerce to have e-commerce that offers an excellent user experience or an optimal user experience while browsing the site.
According to a survey, 74% of B2B shoppers today said they search online for more than 50% of the products or services they need.
And most of those who have made a purchase have done so thanks to the excellent usability of the site, which has allowed them to take an ideal path from the discovery of the product to the purchase.
Today, especially in some industries, most users are looking for a complete experience like your life.
For this reason, one of the main trends in the B2B sector, in addition to a performing e-commerce site on mobile and desktop, is undoubtedly that of the use of augmented reality and customer service in chat (via chatbot or with dedicated customer support).
These tools allow the customer to have no doubts about purchasing the product or service and enter a clear, transparent, and simple path that leads him naturally and without difficulty to make a conversion.
Of course, even in B2B, great space must be given to mobile.
Today 50% of the B2B sector queries are typed by a smartphone, and most likely, by the end of 2021, 70% will be users who will search and buy from mobile rather than desktop.
The furniture is responsible for 40% of revenue in the B2B.
That’s why a mobile-friendly site, a dedicated application, and a good e-commerce user experience are crucial for your lead generation.
- Loyalty programs for B2B customers
Loyalty programs are often thought to be only valuable for the B2C world.
Today, however, even B2B customers always expect something more from their suppliers, which is why exemplary loyalty programs are also necessary for this sector.
Furthermore, we must consider how loyalty programs help increase brand awareness, acquire new customers, and new upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
Among the loyalty programs recommended in B2B, we find:
- Transaction-based discounts
Loyalty programs are very similar to those found in the B2C landscape as well.
One of the most effective for Business to Business is transaction-based discounts: the more you spend, the more you save.
Especially in the B2B trade, most buyers place large orders.
Suppose he knows that by ordering more merchandise, he will get a more significant discount. In that case, he will feel more encouraged to make a more substantial purchase in the face of savings, which will allow him to earn more when reselling the product.
2. Referral Marketing Promotions
A good idea to please old customers and find new ones is a promotion based on referral marketing.
Offer a bonus or discount to your customers every time a new contact is directed to e-commerce, promising a value for them too, on the first purchase.
In this case, a win-to-win program is created where everyone gains an advantage from their action.
3. Reward programs
If you work in a B2B sector with customers who make monthly or annual recurring purchases, a good idea could be to organize a loyalty program with rewards.
Also, in this case, the greater the purchases made by the client companies, the more opportunities for them to obtain gifts or personalized discounts on orders placed.
- Use the fast shipping options.
In the B2B e-commerce sector, it is imperative, mainly today, to make the most of the fast shipping options.
If in the field of B2C fast shipping is essential and essential, in B2B, offering this service means offering a better customer experience and, above all, distinguishing yourself from the competition.
In fact, in 2021, we cannot afford to lose any advantage.
And taking advantage of fast shipping can be an ideal plus to be able to attract more customers.
As customer expectations grow more and more, it is also necessary to take advantage of third-party services to better fulfill their requests by offering them a fast shipment that allows them to receive the order and the products they need in the shortest possible time…
Every industry is changing, and B2B is also evolving rapidly.
Staying up to date, carefully analyzing data and reports, and understanding what the competition is doing is essential to obtain good results with e-commerce in B2B.
Knowing what is happening in your sector allows you to identify the trends to follow, the ones worth your efforts both from an economic and a design point of view.
The seven trends that we have illustrated today are the main ones to watch if you have or want to open a B2B e-commerce.
These, of course, must then be better adapted to their sector and target audience; they need to be analyzed and verified to understand the conversions that are obtained.
Whatever the trend you want to follow, the goal for B2B e-commerce is the customers and the profits!