As the world slowly recovers and progresses from the Covid-19 pandemic, we are seeing significant innovation and advancements in the Business 2 Business E-commerce sector.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought far-reaching changes, with new advances in the work-from-home and remote-learning sectors, as well as the establishment of new industries like Tele-medicine.
The B2B industry is constantly evolving with these changes, with new B2B E-commerce opportunities being created with each new advancement. From technology to marketing, there are a lot of emerging B2B eCommerce trends that could prove seriously beneficial for your business.
eCommerce and online capabilities, once only an option for many businesses, has now become a necessity. To get you familiar with some of these profitable B2B eCommerce trends, we will be detailing some of the most significant advancements and improvements in the B2B eCommerce industry that can be implemented for your business.
1. The growth of B2B Marketplaces
Marketplaces are the digital platforms that connect eager online buyers with sellers that have a vast array of products available for purchase.
Marketplaces transactions have grown significantly since the start of the pandemic, not just because of the convenience and ease-of-access it offers but also because of the profitable opportunities for everyone involved.
These platforms aren’t limited to just large enterprises. B2Bs that adopt the marketplace strategy are able to:
- Bring additional sellers and lines of products on board
- Offer third-party products
- Build their reach across the internet
- Increased attention to the company, leading to an increase in sales and profits
- Often, marketplace operators witness significant revenue growth because of the extra promotions they receive from acquiring new vendors.
Being a part of a marketplace (or starting a new one) can seriously benefit your B2B business and allow you to expand your digital reach with new distribution partners and third-party sellers. It’s always a mutually beneficial transaction between you and your sellers.
2. The ‘importance’ of building customer relations
Before the pandemic, the customer experience was not always a first priority. Businesses tended to keep customer experience relations and communications limited to emails and forums.
However, during the pandemic, businesses became more aware of the importance of efficient online communication and how it leads to satisfied customers. Dedicated and varying lines of communication can lead to loyal and returning customers.
From live chats and chatbots to B2B customer portals and dedicated apps, we are now seeing customer relations being prioritized, with the knowledge that a happy B2B customer will lead to opportunities in all areas of e-commerce. Advancements in self-service and automation are also providing a new avenue for customer resolutions.
3. Building a presence on social media platforms
One of the most popular myths surrounding commercial social media is that it’s meant for B2C businesses. The truth is that social media has enough opportunities for B2B businesses with many future advancements on the horizon. .
Just like any other business, the B2B e-commerce industry needs constant new connections and regular clientele in order to be successful. Social media has become one of the most popular places to find these new connections, and advertising on these platforms has become a trouble-free and quick process.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are facilitating growth in the e-commerce sector by:
- Allowing customers to find new businesses to partner with
- Checkout new products/services right from the social media platforms
- Advertise to the right customers with interests specific to your business
- The ability to link to websites, complete purchases and accept payments
The key to making the social media strategy successful for your business is by choosing the right kind of platform and directing your social media content to the correct clientele.
Businesses now create a variety of posts including long-form videos, short-form videos, customer testimonials and behind the scenes to appeal to their audiences.
4. A faster, easier order fulfillment
With efficiency being adopted through websites and online platforms, placing and completing an order needs to be as quick and painless as possible for your customers. Customers expect a smooth and efficient buying process, therefore decreasing the opportunity for lost sales.
The improvement of eCommerce businesses has led to surges in online orders and changes in customer behavior. Customers are expecting rapid processing and fulfillment of their orders, with shipping and order completion time frames shortened significantly.
Businesses are striving to shorten the steps from ‘add to cart’ to ‘check-out’, with custom apps, websites and social media giving a variety of check-out options. With streamlined order processing and quick verification and approval of B2B customers, companies are finding that the once tedious account creation and ordering processing is now fast and efficient.
In fact, these ease-of-use improvements have helped:
- Your customers feel confident in completing purchases within required time-frames
- Buyers be able to checkout and receive products easier than ever
- Facilitate easy repeat sales, with custom applications for your buyers
- Allow you to stay ahead of your competition
5. The introduction of new payment options
For years, most online businesses have accepted credit cards, Paypal and other traditional methods of payment. There have been recent advancements in payment methods, with Amazon Pay, ApplePay, Zelle, Venmo, Quickpay and Bitcoin allowing customers to pay for their purchases via their preferred method.
These options are vital in order to appeal to all customers as well as provide global customers with hassle-free payment methods that were once not available.
A lot of businesses have also adopted the ‘Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)’ payment methods just to provide more convenience to their customers. Providing a variety of accessible payment methods for businesses prevents lost sales and opens new markets for the B2B e-commerce sector.
While the past few years were undoubtedly difficult for many in the B2B E-commerce industry, the post Covid-19 era seems to be leading the way with innovations and advancements in many areas. Adopting any of the B2B trends we have detailed above can help you stay ahead of your competition.
Staying up-to-date on the emerging trends in the market and implementing the ones that can benefit your business the most will provide a rewarding experience for both you and your B2B customers.
Author: Albert Houllou
As President and Chief Executive Officer of F&E Trading LLC, Albert Houllou is responsible for the extensive growth of the company since it was founded in 1999 in a small New York storefront. Albert Houllou strategic business acumen and dedicated focus has led F&E Trading into new areas of expansion, with a focus on the future.
Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Albert has long shown an affinity for numbers and a drive for business that enabled F&E Trading LLC to become a leading force in the consumer electronics industry. Albert Houllou has a proven track record and over 22 years of experience driving sales growth in the retail and wholesale consumer electronics markets. F&E Trading LLC, under its parent company Valor Group LLC, has expanded from a basic mail order shop to a multi-million dollar distribution network with distribution capabilities throughout the globe.
Through his extensive travels and an expanding inventory that includes a range of products from manufacturers like Apple, Dell, LG, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony, Beats and many more; Albert has led the company into relationships with emerging international markets. This global presence has enabled F&E Trading LLC to become the official distributor for most major consumer electronics brands with multiple locations throughout the USA and connections in numerous countries including Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Dubai, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Panama, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Colombia, Mexico and Canada.
Albert’s belief that a solid foundation enables future success and his constant attention to the bigger picture has led to a dedicated and productive workforce ranging from experienced salespeople providing service in half a dozen languages to large-scale automated shipping facilities designed by in-house programmers.
Albert’s dedication also extends to his large family of twelve, spending enjoyable time with his wife and children. He is involved in many charitable organizations and community events, joining local sports leagues, sponsoring education centers and has established a foundation that benefits orphaned children. As F&E Trading goes global, so does Albert’s charitable efforts, such as recent donations in Israel and Ukraine.