2022 has introduced several emerging trends that made their way into B2B e-commerce: faster-fulfilled orders, personalization, and customer self-service just to name a few. Let’s look at the 3 key takeaways we found useful in 2022 for B2B businesses to embrace what is to come in the upcoming year:
1. Embrace digitalization by enriching your workforce
One major factor why B2B business owners chose the path of digital transformation for their business is to minimize operation costs, most might have the perception of technology as a replacement to human workforce. However, that is not totally true. The idea of B2B e-commerce is not eradicating human interaction at all, in fact real people are still very much needed on all ends to project trade flow. Technology is merely a tool to help increase task efficiency.
That said, as B2B businesses start adopting digitalization, they should also invest in their workforce, especially back-office admins and sales reps with relevant skill sets and knowledge. An example will be helping them understand how a sales automation app works and the benefits and values that one can reap from utilizing it. With digitalization, B2B businesses can then upskill their existing employees, empowering them to take on other responsibilities within the operation that ultimately contributes to growth in revenue.
2. Extract data wisely
Operating B2B businesses constantly involves the abundance flow of data, and the question is, how can businesses practically leverage these existing databases to achieve business efficiency? Harnessing the power of data to boost your business efficiency is utterly important, but the extraction process itself often require meticulous efforts.
When it comes to data accuracy and cleanliness, manual tasking is never an ideal choice, as human intervention increases the risk of errors such as duplication and missing information. In B2B e-commerce, digitalization tools such as sales automation and system integration offer immense help by increasing transparency and convenience, the seamless flow of data provides businesses real-time access on important information such sales productivity, revenue and overall operation efficiency.
With the right data being mined, crucial information can now be converted into actionable insights through interactive dashboards, which allow B2B business owners to make data-driven decisions and predictive strategies.
3. B2B and B2C customer experience is getting more and more similar
Gone were the days when B2B and B2C customers had remarkably different expectations. Today, the wonders of technology capabilities have served as a catalyst when all customers want a seamless, 24/7 buying experience that tailors to their specific needs. According to a research by McKinsey, two-thirds of B2B companies now offer different ecommerce options when engaging customers.
B2B businesses have now started to race ahead by embracing an omnichannel, tailored B2C-like experience for their customers. In fact, another research by Weidert Group in 2020 shows that 76% of B2B buyers have increased expectations around personalized and tailored solutions to their specific needs.
Similarly, B2C has inherited many practices from B2B, such as customer loyalty and incentives, multiple payment options, customer tiers, and the ‘buy now, pay later’ trend.
The key in today’s marketplace is to select the options that best satisfy and cater to the needs of customers and the expectations of B2B customers include none other than the streamline efficiency offered by a B2C buying experience. Afterall, the mutual goal of both business nature are customer success and customer satisfaction.
If you are looking to stay ahead of the curve in 2023, you might want to consider continuously refining these key takeaways in your B2B business practices too.