In 2019, digital B2B sales from all electronic channels—ecommerce sites, log-in portals, marketplaces, e-procurement systems, electronic data interchange, and other online buyer/seller networks—grew 10.9% to $9.00 trillion from $8.10 trillion, according to data and analysis in the 2020 B2B Ecommerce Market Report, a newly published research report from Digital Commerce 360. As COVID-19 has caused B2B buyers to conduct more of their purchasing online, more than a third are purchasing from B2B ecommerce sites at least weekly, and more than 80% at least monthly, according to an April 2021 Digital Commerce 360 B2B Buyers survey of B2B professionals. When asked why they purchase online during the pandemic, among the most common reasons respondents cited were broad selection, more efficiency in purchasing, more information and saving money.
How can your business win wallet share of this B2B and B2C
By applying B2C Ecommerce best practices, B2B businesses can increase the lifetime value of existing customers by increasing each customers’ overall spend. This may seem surprising, given the fact that many B2B organizations have a dedicated sales force that is incentivized to drive more sales from their current accounts. A successful Ecommerce strategy optimizes the online shopping process for commonly re-ordered goods and making the buyer’s job easier in the process. B2B buyers are looking for efficiency. They want to spend as little time as possible on an Ecommerce web site. They want to be able to easily find the products they need, purchase them as quickly as possible, and move on with their day. And if customers can conveniently add a few more items to their shopping cart that they either didn’t know you carried, or didn’t know they needed, then you have built loyalty, repeat business, and have ultimately grown the customer’s lifetime value.
Take out the Friction
The aim is to decrease friction for customers and make their jobs easier, and simultaneously increasing the number of items bought. This is what differentiates B2B Ecommerce from its B2C Ecommerce. Usually, B2C buyers want to check product catalogs. They want to look for possibilities and explore a web site, take a look at diverse categories and products. B2B buyers want efficiency which is why they spend less time on an Ecommerce web site. They want products that can be found easily so that they can buy them fast and go on with their day.
For example, various global tool and landscaping equipment brands sell their products to large retail stores as well as to smaller, independently-owned hardware stores. While it is true that these retailers are decreasing in number, there are still plenty of specialty retailers in the United States. Ignoring a smaller customer base would be damaging to the development of any business. Offering an Ecommerce channel for these retailers allow the company to continue to capture sales that simply wouldn’t be possible with a salesperson. Ecommerce is crucial to keeping wallet share with these smaller customers.
Tools to Improve B2B Ecommerce
- Ominchannel – For example, various global tool and landscaping equipment brands sell their products to large retail stores as well as to smaller, independently-owned hardware stores. While it is true that these retailers are decreasing in number, yet there are still plenty of these specialty retailers in the United States. Ignoring a customer base would be damaging to the development of any business and offering an Ecommerce channel for these retailers allow the company to continue to capture sales that simply wouldn’t be possible with a salesperson. Ecommerce is crucial to keeping wallet share with these smaller customers.
- AI – Proactively provide agents with information and shortcuts based on stated customer needs and optimized outcomes. Systematically recognize and enter all key aspects of an interaction into the conversation notes. Perform tasks and capture customer information inside any integrated application. Identify interaction warning signs and suggest escalation to protect the customer experience while providing automated escalation summary points. Achieve your goals of reducing agent and customer effort while driving customer satisfaction.