The businesses-to-business B2B commerce market continues to grow and evolve, with it expected to reach $20.9 trillion globally by 2027. Companies continually have to pivot their strategies and evolve as the needs of their customers change. As the typical B2B customer changes, the sales processes companies utilize should change as well.
Businesses faced challenges during 2020 and as we continue into 2021, the transformation continues. Digital commerce strategies have increased in importance and will likely stay that way throughout the year and beyond.
This guide will go over five different B2B commerce trends that are important for 2021 and how they’ll impact the industry as a whole in the future.
1. B2B and B2C Merging
Businesspeople are starting to expect the same online experience that they get as consumers when looking for products and services for the workplace. Businesses need to emulate the B2C commerce experience for their buyers by giving them more tools to research for services and products.
These types of tools and strategies can include:
- Product recommendations to cross-sell other items
- Buyer ratings and reviews
- Detailed product information
- Downloadable products
As the typical buyer spends a lot of time researching what they want to purchase before committing, having that research done for your buyers will increase the likelihood of them purchasing from you. The quality of the research and information provided is vital. You want them to reach out to one of your sales reps.
Another way B2B companies can tailor their customer approach after B2C commerce is by providing them with self-serve tools. This includes being able to customize individual products. Show as many advantages of your solutions as possible to potential buyers.
Learning how to model your own sales strategy after a B2C one can be difficult. Connecting with a trusted Salesforce B2B commerce partner can help you with that transition.
2. The Marketplaces for B2B Commerce Will Grow
Online marketplaces give buyers a wide selection of products and suppliers to choose from. They’re popular for buyers and an essential marketing strategy for small to large-sized businesses. They’re becoming a key component for B2B commerce, which around 15% of organizations deploying their own marketplaces.
Big businesses can create their own marketplaces to sell on and smaller ones can partake in other marketplaces to sell their goods and services. Buyers like being able to see various products in one place and B2B buyers are no different.
For busy companies, buying off of a marketplace saves them time and money. They don’t have to spend a ton of time shuffling through various websites looking for what they need. Buyers can find everything in one place.
3. Digital Commerce
Everyone likes the ease of buying and selling online. It streamlines every step of a buyer’s journey, including how your company fulfills orders. Having a seamless process helps your sales team strategically use their time to connect with customers.
Ecommerce enables your team to worry less about the logistics of processing an order. Your sales team can learn about their industries, products, and consumers, instead of simply being an order taker.
Those experienced in sales know the benefits of eCommerce. Working with the best technology available makes their lives easier. Failing to adapt to the innovative technologies will result in companies losing key sales team members.
Working with a system like Pardot will improve the workflow of your company, providing your team members with tools to free up their day. If you’re unfamiliar with the software, a Pardot consultant can help get it set up for your company.
4. Order Fulfillment Needs to Be Safe
Back-end operations for B2B companies have changed within the past year. To help protect workers in stores and warehouses, businesses had to develop ways to ship their products to limit contact among people. This also applied to individuals that typically had to work close to one another to complete their jobs.
Buying products online and then picking them up in-store is a common method retail stores have adopted. B2B companies have adopted a similar strategy by distributing their products to their clientele and retail locations. People enjoy the convenience that these options give them and they’ll likely stay in place in the future.
Working with a Salesforce consultant can ensure you’re on the right track for your B2B business.
5. Implementation of Progressive Web Apps
Progressive web apps (PWAs) act like mobile apps but are made with web technologies and are available on most mobile devices. Since they’re web-based, it’s easier for B2B companies to maintain and update them. Their buyers can go to the website instead of having to download an app.
A progressive web app gives a buyer the ease of use of a website with the speed of a mobile app. Businesses can use them to support remote sales teams. It can also give their customers fast access to their online resources.
You can integrate PWAs with mobile device functions like messaging and the camera. This allows you to unlock a wide variety of features. Buyers can use their cameras to scan a barcode on a form or product, giving them more information.
Another benefit is that they work offline and in areas that don’t have the best cell reception. This is important for B2B companies operating in places that don’t have good connectivity.
If you’re looking for additional ways to create digital experiences for your customers, talk with a Salesforce Community Cloud consultant.
Connect With a Salesforce B2B Commerce Consultant
Changing with the ever-evolving buyer’s landscape is vital to staying current and competitive in the B2B commerce landscape. Implementing new technologies and adjusting your customer strategy will help you increase your sales in the coming years. Salesforce is the perfect software to use with your eCommerce and working with a Salesforce system integrator will ensure it’s set up correctly.
6 Street is your Salesforce partner, ready to take your business to the next level. To discuss the future of your company, contact us for more information.