B2B eCommerce is a relatively young concept, growing at a rapid rate. According to Forrester, B2B eCommerce value will hit $1.2 trillion by 2021, and this is only in the US. On the global level, the figures are even bigger. As a matter of fact, the business trends are moving towards the B2B industry growing two times bigger than the B2C market in the next couple of years.
Things are changing, and they are changing fast.
However, if you take a look at the historical context, veteran B2B sellers that have been in the business long before the digital era have always shied away from tapping into the online selling world. Undoubtedly, working in eCommerce comes with its share of challenges, such as managing payments, maintaining stable and long-term business relationships, handling individualised pricing and coordinating high-volume orders.
But, where some see complexity and too much hassle, others recognise a precious business opportunity.
Today, innovative and user-friendly software solutions help B2B companies make their transition to the online business world as frictionless as possible. Since its launch in 2008, Magento, the leading eCommerce platform, has transformed the B2B market. And it can do the same for your company, too.
What does B2B eCommerce look like today?
An interesting fact has been pointed out within the Google report from 2015: B2B buyers are getting younger with nearly half of them are Millennials. This change in buyer demographics should not be taken easily. Younger generations are tech-savvy and accustomed to instant gratification, which means they are unlikely to tolerate anything less than an effortless online shopping experience.
If you take this in mind, the hyper-growth of the B2B eCommerce market makes sense. It follows the change in consumer behaviour which, as we explained above, doesn’t exclude B2B buyers.
The truth is, we all value the convenience of making a purchase with just a few clicks and we expect seamless shopping experiences. As the industry evolved, the bar of what accounts as a satisfying interaction with an eCommerce website has risen. What was once perceived as going the extra mile for customers has now become the norm.
Take personalisation for example. Modern B2B buyers expect to encounter relevant product catalogues and displayed prices that are curated according to their specific needs. By savvily implementing personalisation in your conversion optimisation strategy, you can expect more revenue, better engagement and ultimately – a higher loyalty rate due to the excellent buying experience you provide. Mapping the customer journey is a sure way to identify points of interaction that are too impersonal and can be improved.
Within its report The Changing Landscape of B2B eCommerce, Magento has pointed out three key trends that shaped eCommerce as a sales channel for B2B companies:
- Procurement processes
With the development of back-end infrastructures, modern companies can easily launch their eCommerce businesses. In addition, relying on an integrated system that provides actionable customer data and a holistic overview of each of the operations is the key to success. Such as Magento Business Intelligence.
The definite shift towards mobile usage is definitely going to cause a new wave of changes in the B2B eCommerce landscape: according to eMarketer, mobile devices are becoming a primary device for B2B buyers, and this trend is expanding. The procurement processes are getting fully digitised, which makes exhausting paperwork completely obsolete.
Take the B2B opportunity, don’t miss out
Regardless of their size and niche, various distributors, manufacturers and wholesalers are shifting towards the Internet to capitalise on the invaluable business opportunity and reach new buyers online. Tapping into the eCommerce market the right way can help companies handle logistics more effectively, reduce sales operation costs, generate more revenue and gain a competitive edge.
It is a smart business decision for various reasons. As you automate your orders, you’ll ease the burden on your sales team and make your business open 24/7 without actually needing to be physically present. Let’s not forget customer reviews which can help you boost your sales by up to 18% and the benefit of nurturing closer, more tangible interactions with buyers. This is especially important when it comes to animating inactive customers. With impeccable customer support and dynamic content that’s tailored to each individual buyer, you are not only turning your customers into brand advocates, but you’re also reinforcing a favourable reputation.
Also, with smart content optimisation, your eCommerce site can reach better-ranking positions on leading search engines and therefore improve its online visibility.
B2B eCommerce channels can also grow without the fear of disrupting their business operations as online shopping platforms are scalable and can easily be adjusted to meet the current market needs.
Last, but not least – eCommerce platforms and their underlying analytics are your reliable ally when it comes to establishing a data-driven approach. With data, you can forget about developing your business by trusting vague hunches or instincts. Instead, you can rely on real numbers and create positive experiences for your buyers by clearly pinpointing where you’re falling short.
When things are changing, you can either show agility and adapt, or can risk falling behind.
Now, let’s see how Magento can help your business strive on the market.
5 reasons you should choose Magento for B2B
The B2B market is growing, which is why companies need to acknowledge the way things have changed and offer their buyers an option of making purchases online. Modern buyers prefer self-serving information and intuitive online experiences that put them in the driver’s seat and let them handle their procurements conveniently while saving time and energy for other tasks.
There are numerous reasons why Magento makes the perfect eCommerce solution for B2B, and we’ll explain five crucial ones that you need to know about.
1. Magento is an all-in-one eCommerce solution
Thanks to its rich features, Magento became a leading choice for businesses that are determined to transform themselves by turning into digital platforms. It allows your B2B customers to create and customise their company accounts within which they can efficiently manage orders and track quotes. Shortly put, Magento offers a comprehensive top overview of the full procurement process. The interface is incredibly intuitive and user-friendly, which ensures optimal buyer satisfaction.
2. Create custom catalogues and pricing
With Magento, you can create custom catalogues and pricing, which is pretty useful in terms of conversion optimisation and strategic targeting. Create buyer segments and craft relevant content or display products that are likely to be of interest to them. Magento commerce content staging allows you to create various types of content updates that can be turned “on” or “off” according to the schedule you’ve set. This way, you can launch campaigns and make changes more easily, which will delight your regular buyers and drive more sales.
3. Efficient management and lower costs
Magento ensures your buyers are provided with accurate inventory information as they are updated in real time. You can easily manage all your orders from one centralised point, regardless of the number of sales channels you’re dealing with. Given the fact Magento is cloud-based, you can optimise your costs and lower maintenance fees. Numerous available extensions provide you with an opportunity to further better different segments of your business.
The cloud environment allows customers that have multiple locations to access their orders. In this specific cases where there are several different users under the same customer ID, Magento offers you an ability to set user levels in terms of ordering authorisation. Not all users have the authority to make orders, but they need to ask for manager’s permission. To conclude, clearly defining who has access and license to place orders, prevents any confusion and misunderstandings. All data is kept neatly organised and safely protected within the Magento system.
4. Seamless orders for a better buying experience
Magento comes with extremely convenient purchasing options. Your buyers can place their orders by uploading CVS files, entering SKUs, or selecting items from the previously created lists. This is a neat feature, especially for buyers that have consistent procurement needs on monthly basis. As for the benefits of your sales team, they can enjoy built-in quote management tools which enable them to efficiently handle all customer requests.
So, customers can easily request a quote from you by sending the admin the details about the products they would like to purchase. Once the request is sent, it triggers a notification, so that admin can provide the asked cost estimates. This way, everyone stays in the loop and the communication is seamless and easy.
5. Perfect for mobile, too
Magento works perfectly on mobile devices as well, enabling your buyers to make a purchase anytime, anywhere. Without any restriction related to the device usage, you are certain to craft amazing experiences for your customers, reduce cart abandonment and increase customer retention.
Over to You
Now that you have all the necessary information regarding the undeniable growth of the eCommerce industry, are you ready to hop the train and join thousands of other B2B companies that have done the same with Magento?
Best Response Media is an award-winning professional Magento solution partner and we pride ourselves for being recognised as a thought leader in the eCommerce industry. If you need a trusted ally that’s going to help you develop your eCommerce brand and drive more traffic and sales, contact us today!