Everything is changing in the B2B industry.
Though these changes were already on their way, the growth of B2B eCommerce basically accelerated by 10 years as COVID hit the global economy.
Pre-COVID, B2B leaders around the world were considering whether they needed to add an eCommerce channel to their business. Business was mostly good enough and most companies were experiencing steady growth. And so, a digital self-service channel looked like an extra, unnecessary expense for most companies.
But as soon as COVID hit and the world went to remote working, only the companies who had already invested in eCommerce were spared from the great economic blow.
Companies who hadn’t prepared were forced to accelerate their digitization and launch at least some sort of a digital self-service channel as fast as they could.
With all the changes that have happened and still happening, it’s definitely time to act. Here are some B2B eCommerce facts that are shaping the industry in 2021.
#1 – Forrester estimated that B2B eCommerce transactions in the US are going to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023.
As more B2B buyers prefer to buy online via a self-service channel, this opportunity is going to further inflate. If you act now, you can be present where your buyers are and grab this opportunity before your competition.
This means your buyer persona is changing. Millennials are increasingly moving into B2B procurement roles and to make sure your business remains sustainable, you need to foresee this change and serve your new buyer.
These buyers have big demands and high expectations. These people – born between 1981 to 1994 – grew up during the tech bubble, exposed to the power of personal computing and tech gadgets.
And so, the only way forward is to put the customer first and deliver what he wants.
Having a clear understanding of where your buyer’s attention is and their buying behavior, you need to invest in inbound marketing and capture their attention. B2B marketing can no more rely on only cold calling, trade shows, and collaterals.
Like B2C businesses, B2B manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers need to create valuable content and share value with their audience on platforms their buyers are hanging out.
This figure is expected to grow even further as your audience changes and more millennials join B2B roles. And hence, you need to make sure your website is mobile responsive.
Besides optimizing your mobile experience, you also need to deliver an omnichannel customer service and reduce friction from communication through text messaging.
Prior to COVID, 48% of B2B buyers preferred digital self-service options. But the pandemic accelerated this trend and the figure went up by 18% to 66% buyers preferring digital self-service as opposed to traditional sales interactions.
#6 – 94% of B2B buyers expect a consumer-like, fast shipping experience they enjoy when making personal purchases
Millennials are particularly very demanding when it comes to delivery and fulfillment. As more companies digitize, customers aren’t willing to allow for lags in fulfillment.
To keep up with buyer demands, you should consider partnering up with a third-party logistics provider to speed up your delivery.
This indicates where your competition is moving towards and where you should be headed as well. Even leaders who were reticent to act before got convinced of the effectiveness of digital B2B sales channels.
Previously, eCommerce was believed to be more successful for small-ticket and fast-moving items. But COVID changed this factor as well as buyers became more comfortable in spending big amounts on online purchases. 70% of B2B buyers said they are willing to spend in excess of $50,000 online.
#9 – Videoconference and Online Chat have become preferred channels for digital interactions with sales reps
Online chat and video conferences are the two most important channels used by B2B buyers for their digital interactions with vendors and suppliers. Hence, you need to make sure your business is equipped with all these tools so you can deliver a good experience to your customer.
Ready to act? Launch your WooCommerce B2B eCommerce channel today with B2BWoo.