Your business might be the absolute best at what it does but in order to succeed you need to multi-fold strategies, understand technologies; that are generating the most digital 'noise;'. In addition to this, they get a lot of attention, and day in day out are seen debated and reviewed in social media platforms.
Looking at the on-going business trend, the realm of e-commerce business is considered profit-spinning; and the chances to get success also are increasing each and every moment. There was a time when the concept of ecommerce seemed unrealistic for B2B. In 2018, the concept which was once catapulted into the public’s consciousness is highly being implemented everywhere across the globe. According to Forrester research, B2B ecommerce is projected to hit $1.2 trillion by 2021. This is a 7.4% market shift which definitely cannot be ignored at any rate.
B2B vs B2C
Over the past few years, B2C ecommerce has attracted most of the attention and investment from the technology and business communities. Business to consumer (B2C) is the term used for transactions simply conducted directly between a company and consumers who are the end-users of its products and services. Other business models include B2B (business to business), C2B (customer to business, C2C (customer to customer). Looking at the present shopping trend, consumers avoid buying products physically as they prefer more doing this via the internet.
Each business model is of a kind, but before picking up any effective strategic plan it is very important for you to understand it in a broader sense. Let me give you a brief example:
Let’s suppose if you are selling a body lotion that not only moisturizes the skin and relieves itching skin. So for a B2B, their clients will be more interested in the feature of the product which is the product acts a great moisturizer. Whereas for B2C, they will be most interested in the benefit offered by the product, which is relief of itching skin.
Unfortunately, B2B companies have the reputation of being slow to change especially when they often end up adopting ecommerce lately than their B2C counterparts. It may quite interest you to know that in reality, B2B and B2C strategies can strengthen one another. Gone are the days when B2B was all about automated ordering systems, putting more emphasis on relationships and less on transactions. On the contrary, today’s businesses have grown more relationship-centered addressing more complex transactions, multi-party deals, and extended interactions with long-term business clients, while reducing the effort spent on low-value tasks. But before that!
Ecommerce opportunities to take into account
- With the rising expectations, the overall buyer’s journey is becoming more
intricate which means B2B still face many complex problems native to their
trade. So what needs to be done is, merchants must be equipped to service
customers in a variety of ways that appeal to both traditional and more
digitally-focused buyers. Day by day B2B customers wishes to be experienced in
what they are accustomed to in their personal lives.And by streamlining workflows, integrating
buyer-friendly features, B2B brands can optimize their experiences to align
with those ever-growing expectations.
- Competition cannot be ignored at any rate. With retail giants like Amazon,
Walmart competing like never before, chances are there B2C environment can feel
like a race to the bottom on price. Brand reputation, product quality,
uniqueness of inventory and ability to customize products can be considered as
one of the major selling points for B2B buyers.
- It has been noticed that several B2B retailers fear that building and operating a customized ecommerce solution will be cost prohibitive. Well, in such case, this should not be a sticking point that prevents a business from expanding to ecommerce. On the contrary leveraging ecommerce platforms that comprises of maintenance and premium service featuring a bunch of several options for additive development capabilities can work wonders.
A Few Tactics B2B Ecommerce Can Learn from B2C
Popularly known as “faceted,” “layered,” and “reductive” navigation, the tactic is mainly found on Amazon where one can refine their searches in an easy manner. It also gives users an ability to select different facets or attributes of the product they are looking for. For example, if you are looking for shoes, you can bifurcate your search in terms of color, material, cost, size and what not! Other than this, filtered searches have the potential to maintain your product data over time.
Interactions first; transactions
Automobiles are one of the most complex B2C purchases found across the globe where one or two face to face meetings is more than enough to make a purchase. But in B2B industry, the term interaction is all about a sequence of steps than a transaction. For instance, buying a product/service requires a free consultation, standard FAQ section or within user reviews.
Potential for dynamic pricing
B2C has been found already adopting dynamic pricing to spur impulse buying. Being a well-suited for dynamic pricing models, as prices aren’t usually public and are already often customized for each individual interaction. Much like B2C, B2B companies must apply dynamic pricing to match with prospect budget or procurement cycles, or pricing based on company revenue band or competitor saturation are key areas to explore.
Another interesting aspect can be taken into consideration, the importance of a simple checkout. Using a single-page checkout won't just lower abandonment rates but will also result in increasing conversions. So what can be done is, try implementing a single-page checkout. This eventually eliminates all the unnecessary extra steps and make it way easier for your customers to complete the order.
Every sweet has its sour, these strategies do share an amount of fair controversies as well. Which means adopting different strategies can be challenging at some points. In short, if you are running a B2B business that seeks for a reliable, scalable way to continue positive growth and future-proof their business, ecommerce offers the sort of economics that fit any business model. Play around and find a solution which is best for you.