The B2B industry is seeing more digitalization, which means companies are using the online medium to improve revenues. It started before the pandemic, and revenues have gradually gained momentum over time. It is predicted that the global B2B e-commerce market could reach US $18.57 trillion by 2026. (Source: Global News Wire)
Several brands have found e-commerce an essential medium to meet their business objectives faster. It started with several brands revamping their websites to garner more attention. However, they gradually saw the online medium as a great way to increase revenues. The top B2B e-commerce trends are all about website optimization to enhance user experience, which results in better performance.
Additional investments in technology
Advanced technologies are becoming the fulcrum of e-commerce businesses. Digitization can modernize processes and provide more robust capabilities. Continuous enhancement of workflows helps easier integration with other systems. More B2B platforms opt for headless commerce for personalized online shopping experiences.
One of the critical trends in B2B e-commerce is the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) across e-commerce platforms. It can help analyze customer preferences and help us come up with personalized offers. Predictive analytics is helping B2B platforms anticipate future trends and enhance operational speeds. However, businesses must research properly to know the technologies they can adopt for their platform.
Upgrading legacy systems
One of the significant challenges of any online platform is to keep its systems updated. Elect to receive notifications to inform you when updates are available and upgrade at the earliest. It helps to have upgrades in place, as you can leverage the benefits of added features. It can plug vulnerabilities, if any.
If you upgrade at a later stage, you may find it difficult to find support for earlier versions of the platform as they may no longer be available. Integrating with the new version can be challenging, so your B2B platform may be liable to cyberattacks.
Personalizing the online experience
Studies show that customers prefer a personalized experience when making their buying decisions. There is a need to move beyond the basic levels of customization to bring more revenue. Customers now need real-time inventory information, which includes a high level of integration across multiple workflows.
Advanced software can help B2B e-commerce businesses provide real-time order simulation to guarantee repeat customers by learning buying habits and proposing customized offers. Real-time customer-specific algorithms enhance personalized pricing capabilities. The intuitive offers personalized for the customer increase their likeliness to spend more and to make return purchases.
Move towards social commerce
B2C businesses have utilized the social commerce scenario to the fullest. Gradually, B2B businesses began using the platform to enhance their outreach also. Social commerce is among the new B2B e-commerce trends. This requires targeted campaigns to reach out to this audience in a timely manner.
Several prospects are using social media to learn details about various solutions. Studies show that at least 46% of B2B businesses refer to social media channels when starting their buying journey. (Source: Gartner) You can select platforms based on your portfolio and use different forms of content to bring more users to your social media channel.
Deliver customer orders faster
Order fulfillment is among the critical emerging trends in B2B e-commerce for 2023. Delivery speed helps in deciding customer loyalty and future purchases. And efficient fulfillment processes help companies stand apart from their peers. Digitized processes can make the order-to-cash cycle less cumbersome.
Advanced order management software can help B2B companies manage orders faster by handling multiple orders simultaneously. Another way would be the ability to centralize inventory information and mitigate complexities across the supply chain.
The business is becoming portal-centric
With the need to target B2B customers online, there is an increased focus on the customer portal. It provides customers access to view their history with the business. It starts with having the product catalog in order. Moreover, you can use critical features to track customer orders, view invoices, and make payments online.
You must integrate your portal with a robust ERP solution that is scalable based on your business growth. More businesses are coming up with portals with advanced self-service features. Salespersons can also use it to up-sell or cross-sell products to customers. By putting the experience in the customer’s hands, it improves the customer-business relationship.
Data-driven decision-making is the norm
All businesses have a goal: to increase revenues. The advent of next-gen Big Data and analytics solutions can help B2B e-commerce companies make informed decisions. More and more often, companies use analytics to understand customer behavior and develop targeted strategies to spur growth. It helps unlock the full potential of data and helps create customized bundles.
The use of data helps to outpace changes and react faster to the business environment. It can also help you stay ahead of peers and create strategies on-the-fly to have a competitive edge. B2B online companies use AI/ML modeling techniques to use intelligent operations and enhance their capability to service customers.
More instances of using augmented reality
There are various ways to use innovative technologies to attract visitors. One of the new B2B e-commerce trends is utilizing augmented reality (AR) features. It can help increase conversions progressively and ensure better customer experiences. Studies show that B2B buyers consider their experience a critical factor in purchasing decisions.
Using augmented reality can help customers save precious time in their buying decisions. People can have varying perceptions of a product. Augmented reality can enhance buyer confidence and create value for the customer. Visitors can interact with the features virtually and assess the product’s capabilities in real-time.
Incorporating UI/UX best practices
Google introduced Core Web Vitals as a parameter to rank websites. B2B companies are also optimizing their e-commerce platform to enhance their digital presence. With increased mobile use and traffic, businesses are making their websites mobile-friendly to cater to smartphones accessing B2B portals for an improved customer experience.
They also use the services of UI/UX experts to ensure smooth navigation for users. They consider the customer journey in detail and devise suitable ways to increase conversions. Adequate CTAs are placed in proper places to help visitors across the buyer’s journey ultimately aiding in their purchasing decisions.
Addressing next-gen B2B e-commerce trends with HCL Commerce
Businesses must have a content management solution to ensure efficient market time. Several enterprises entrust HCL Commerce to manage their e-commerce platform for B2B. A Headless Commerce module uses REST APIs to enhance customer experience. It can efficiently help companies manage a cross-channel strategy while providing a powerful omnichannel platform.
HCL Commerce manages product information using a flexible catalog management module. Most contemporary B2B platforms have a powerful search engine on the e-commerce platform and data insights for better customization. It is built using open standards and uses cloud technologies to ease deployment, making operations more straightforward.
B2B online businesses are continuously trying to optimize their online platform to stay ahead of their peers. As buyer expectations change, companies must sync with the changing behavior and quickly make changes to the platform. There are several such factors, and you must consider them to ensure you achieve your objectives faster.
There are several ways to optimize the B2B platform, but businesses must incorporate a few critical trends. Utilize the services of HCL Commerce to ensure increased revenue potential by taking advantage of the right optimization tools.