The Brick and Mortar experience is changing rapidly for the B2B space today. Websites have become the key sales tool for most B2B companies and they are willing to increase their technology budgets to gain additional market share. In fact, companies have built eCommerce specific designations into their organizational charts. Projections made by Frost and Sullivan predict that B2B e-commerce will hit $12 trillion in sales worldwide by 2020 up from $5.5 trillion in 2012, which is almost a 400% growth rate.
This kind of escalated potential also brings about a threat of customer retention. Now more than ever this empowered customer will no longer be geographically confined, they have more options and more power to explore and make decisions. Hence, updating and upgrading have become imperative for success. Take a look at some key strategies that can help you get ahead of the curve:
Invest in better technology: B2B companies need to work on building up and upgrading their back-end management software's such as order management (OMS) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) The market offers many ERP solutions that cater to both small and mid-sized businesses. A huge trend that will arise in 2015 is automated pricing. Nearly two-thirds of sellers (62 percent) cited automated pricing options, while the use of wearable computing in distribution centers to increase the efficiency of the supply chain process was cited by nearly half (49 percent) said Accenture. Better technology results in higher levels of business automations that lead to companies investing their efforts on strategy rather than day-to-day operations.
Better Mobile experience: If you have yet to prioritize enhancing your mobile experience, time to play catch up! Mobile buying is going to dominate not just the B2C market but a huge portion of the B2B market. According to Entrepreneur, mobile device adoption will hit 90 percent in the U.S. next year, with 30 to 50 percent of all online traffic coming from mobile devices. People are using their Smartphones and other hand held devices to acquire information and make their decision. B2B companies need to think not only about the right platform and site load time but also about mobile friendly sales features like Live chat, product display and overall checkout experience.
Demand for B2C like capabilities: When you are in the world of eCommerce, the web becomes your marketplace. Which probably explains why B2B companies have noticed an increased demand for B2C comparable features. It is advisable for any B2B company to incorporate features like superior product display capabilities, price comparison tools, Social CRM, Live chat, language translator and enhanced search. It is in the best interest of the company to craft some or all of the above mentioned features into their website to increase customer involvement and retention.
Adopt an Omni-Channel Strategy: B2B companies have lagged behind their B2C counterparts in encompassing an Omni-Channel strategy to their bigger strategies but 2015 is going to change that. Accenture studies show more than eight out of 10 B2B companies (83 percent) agree that an Omni-channel strategy is going be a driving force in the success of a company. Additionally, 85 percent recognize technology investment decisions will be centered on the Omni-channel strategy.
Segment marketing: One size does not fit all when it comes to marketing. Exclusive buyers require exclusive promotions. Companies need to constantly update their buyers and potential customers with their product offers and promotions. That being said, it is also important for companies to slice and dice their consumers into different brackets and carefully construct their target messaging which in turn would result in better conversions.
The B2B eCommerce growth rate is about 400% and with these figures stored in the future suppliers and business owners are all moving swiftly to get themselves on board. So whether you sell paper or pumps it's time to get your product in the shoppers cart.