Changes in the B2B e-commerce industry post COVID-19

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B2B e-commerce
B2B e-commerce

The COVID-19 pandemic has its severe impact on every other industry, and the B2B industry is in no way special to it. It has forced to shift to digital methods and platforms to evolve and meet the demands created during the pandemic. While it has started as a crisis response, now it has become the new normal.

A significant part of buyers and sellers in the B2B industry prefer self-service and remote human interactions. They have made it effortless for buyers to access information, place orders, and many more with better convenience and speed.

With the impact of the pandemic, about 70-80% of B2B decision-makers prefer digital self-service (remote human interactions). And the benefits one could get out of these are safety, ease of scheduling, and savings on travel expenses.

The countries that survived the crisis have adopted the forced shift to digital engagement, saying that digital is the way to go for!

The pandemic also created a ‘ready-to-buy-online’ customer base in every second industry.

As the demand hiked for digital sales during the pandemic, the comfort B2B buyers achieved in making new purchases and reordering online is equally tremendous. The illusion that e-commerce was majorly for startups or smaller enterprises is not so anymore.

B2B decision-makers now believe that online and remote selling is equally effective or more than in-person engagement. Even the sales teams firmly believe that digital prospecting is efficient enough to network with existing customers.

Where we are trying to facing the post-pandemic effects and finding positive solutions for them, one must understand that e-commerce has a substantial contribution towards the subtle shift of the B2B industry to the digital world.

Check out the top 10 strategies to revolutionize your B2B e-commerce marketing to enhance your marketing strategy!

Not just that, to give in extra concentration, you can also implement ABM in your e-commerce and specialize every case to turn them into your prospects.

Here are some trends you must know post the Covid-19 pandemic. Let’s look into them:

 

E-commerce is essential

McKinsey & Company has reported on the rising trend of buyers preferring self-service due to COVID-19. As mentioned earlier, 70-80% of B2B decision-makers prefer self-service compared to the traditional sales interaction. COVID-19 is taking the B2B world towards e-commerce. And this trend isn’t going anywhere, as the future is uncertain.

Post COVID-19 e-commerce evolutions 

80% of B2B leaders will retain their evolved digital selling models, even after the pandemic ends, reported McKinsey & Company. This means prioritizing the new digital ways over traditional selling, and the trend is towards B2B e-commerce as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

This is huge and massive, as 96% have shifted their go-to-market strategy due to the pandemic.

Maintaining transparency and trust in B2B e-commerce transactions

Manufacturers winning trust in 2021 is considered a mandate through e-commerce user experience. 44% of B2B decision-makers want to see the pricing online, indicating what precisely an individual is looking for in a service provider in the B2B industry. A lack of clarity, in this case, may cause more damage and may even cost you big.

Also, making your B2B e-commerce channel and preparing it to be interactive with your ERP system in real-time isn’t that simple. Plan accordingly and make your impression in this technology-driven world.

Owning your product content

This came directly from a company – a leader in e-commerce customer experience, and that is Amazon. It has already set a high bar for manufacturers. It provides rich content – product images, detailed descriptions that are the most challenging fields of the B2B e-commerce players.

Fighting through all these, B2B e-commerce changes and puts all the product information in just a click. This says the manufacturers must own their product content and its presentation in a B2B e-commerce platform, that is, every minute detail of information that a customer needs to complete the transaction in e-commerce, such as:

  • Intelligent product search
  • Detailed product comparison
  • Multiple product images
  • Demo videos of the product
  • Product specifications
  • User reviews
  • Cross-sell/Upsell for related products

Extending e-commerce access to 3rd party logistics

It is worthful and impactful for every global manufacturer in their fulfillment process. Manufacturers are extending e-commerce access to the employees of their 3rd party logistics. This is a revolutionary trend and will be forwarded to the following years as well. It allows 3rd party warehouse workers to interact with the commerce data they need to complete their job successfully.

Implementing self-service online payment solutions for invoices

Manufacturers need web-based, customer-facing A/R solutions. This way, the customers can pay down invoices through self-service from a mobile device or a laptop, working from home.

This B2B e-commerce trend is moving forward rapidly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Defining who leads your B2B e-commerce 

B2B e-commerce is a new and not-so-familiar place for many manufacturers. Thus, before you bring in new digital expertise into rules and implementation to make a transition, it’s important to notice what all struggles other companies had to go through this pathway.

Defining the strategic revenue target for B2B e-commerce

Not just launching a B2B e-commerce is enough. Without a clear business case, you cannot come up with a solution to a random unclear problem. Look into answering what percentage of your overall revenue do you want to earn from e-commerce?

You should define numbers for yourself to prioritize B2B e-commerce functionality according to your services and products.

The juggle and struggle to overcome staffing challenges (in supporting B2B e-commerce)

Manufacturers face challenges when it comes to B2B e-commerce staffing. This has increased exponentially due to the pandemic. Even if you have potential existing staff, they are overloaded with the immense challenges of supporting new remote workers. So, you must be looking keenly into a real-time integration concentrating on the transition your team should go through as a whole.

Manufacturers are choosing SSO (Single Sign-On) solutions to streamline their customer experience

Manufacturers counter problematic areas of existence by offering SSO (single sign-on) solutions that include their B2B ecommerce channel and other valid applications for their customers.

Though it isn’t a new trend formed in 2021, it grows and is expected to continue.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an inevitable impact on B2B e-commerce. We have listed all the happening trends in 2021 of B2B e-commerce. And there could be even more emerging trends in this area coming up every other day.

We hope you found the article informative. Feel free to share some thoughts with us.