In the past couple of years, we have witnessed an exponential growth in B2C eCommerce sales, and the B2B industry has closely followed this trend. Not only is the B2B market rapidly increasing its online presence, but is also doing so by relying on some of the most tried and true B2C eCommerce strategies.
Our research has shown that despite the uncertain business environment, B2B companies are expecting an increase in online sales by more than 25% in 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world on a global scale creating difficulties for some online businesses and opportunities for others. As many physical stores got closed, B2B companies are striving to overhaul their marketing messages preparing for a surge in online sales.
In today’s article, we will analyze how B2B eCommerce leaders incorporate marketing and technological strategies into their digitalization plan. We will present the hottest B2B eCommerce trends in 2022 and strategies that will shape the B2B market in an effort to deliver a seamless experience to customers.
One of the oldest sellers’ parole is the one that says that the customer is always right. In today’s digital market, customer experience is crucial for B2B companies since people have access to endless information and are surrounded by many shopping choices online as well as offline. Omnichannel selling requires a strong physical and digital brand presence. Whether a customer engages with a brand on the online store, social platform, or brick-and-mortar store, the shopping experience must remain unchanged. Attracting and engaging customers across multiple devices and channels is a highly competitive game. As much as 82.2% of B2B companies are looking to make omnichannel an integral part of their business strategy in order to provide consistency to their users across all touchpoints. This effort is to ensure that the customer can navigate freely over the website and other channels without losing context when planning to make a purchase. There are three crucial questions for business owners to answer when deciding on which channels to be active:
- Where are our customers most active?
- Where do our customers expect to find us?
- What are the channels where we can deliver the most value?
Finding a common answer to these three questions equals finding channels that bring the most returns. Bridging the gap between online and offline is essential in providing customers with a fully integrated shopping experience.
We have already mentioned the importance of a great customer experience in the eCommerce market. This is why one of the most vital B2B eCommerce trends in 2022 is data analytics, as this has proven to be among the most essential tools to increase market growth while enhancing customer experience. Successful integration of customer analytics in business campaigns gives B2B companies the best chance to provide personalization at a larger scale by tirelessly fine-tuning all the aspects of the sales funnel for every customer audience or persona in real-time. The best way to keep customers engaged is to send targeted product recommendations. However, in order to make specific recommendations, it is essential to integrate customers’ real-time purchase data with their historical purchase data. This is why 63% of B2B leaders aim to prioritize capturing a full 360-degree customer view to deliver a personalized experience, making this approach one of the hottest B2B eCommerce trends in 2022.
Digital supply chain management
The outbreak of coronavirus has had a huge negative impact on global supply chains. It had left most companies exposed. Especially those whose supply chains are dependent on foreign countries to fulfill their needs for finished products. Although in a hard way, it looks like the lesson is learned since over 60% of B2B eCommerce businesses we surveyed list as their premier goal to reduce reliance on specific countries and increase the capacity of their existing centers.
With nearly 80% of companies experiencing significant setbacks due to the impact of COVID-19 on their supply chains, business owners must focus on converging their respective foundational supply chain capabilities with trending digital strategies if they wish to remain competitive. Building a robust digital supply chain framework capable of managing different challenges such as inventory management and delivering a personalized customer experience is of utmost importance.
Investing in eCommerce platform
From physical stores to online platforms, customers expect an enhanced level of experience no matter where they shop. Failing to meet your buyers’ expectations may eventually lead to a loss in customer loyalty. As buyers go through your sales funnel, they interact with many sides of your organization that carry similar brand voice. As much as 80% of B2B companies we surveyed expressed an interest in investing in an eCommerce platform as a means to provide a unified shopping experience for their potential customers.
Progressive web apps (PWA)
Unlike mobile apps that are built for a specific operating system, PWAs are delivered via the web and designed to work across all mobile devices and operating systems. This makes life much easier for both companies and customers. Instead of developing and maintaining many apps, companies have to create and maintain only a single generic app. On the other hand, there is no need for customers to browse the app store in search of your app as it is now delivered to them. Also, progressive web apps usually offer better performance and offline capabilities.
Mobile eCommerce sales are set to make for 73% of all eCommerce sales worldwide last year. This only goes to show that your marketing efforts alone are not enough. Providing your customers with the same immersing experience across all devices is mandatory, and the best way to do so is by opting for eCommerce built with PWA technology.
Personalized customer experience
Although segmenting your customers by demographic data is a good idea, it does not bring a significantly high level of personalization. In order to elevate personalization to the next level, you need to dig into your customers’ behavioral and attitudinal attributes. Figuring out when, where, and why your customers shop will help you deliver tailored and seamless end-to-end experiences. Our research shows that over 75% of companies find customer experience personalization to be the biggest challenge they face in an effort to steer online sales.
Building those discrete moments with your customers is the key to boosting their loyalty. Just make sure to track customers’ loyalty and measure Return on Experience (ROX) so you can always know whether or not your efforts are producing the desired effect.
As we conclude this article, our digital marketing experts can try and summarize all the hottest B2B eCommerce trends in 2022 into one parole – deliver an orchestrated customer experience at the lightning speed. Today’s marketplace is customer experience-oriented. Feedbacks and reviews have far surpassed a simple chat by the water cooler. Now they are only a click away for everyone to see and having one or even more displeased customers can certainly have a negative effect on your business. Customers are empowered more than ever and demand a personalized and engaging journey. Companies that are willing and able to deliver this kind of experience to their customers will thrive. Others? Well… Not so much.