Four B2B ecommerce trends for 2016 that will help you plan ahead

Posted by Uncategorised • January 6th, 2016

In a digital environment characterised by constant change, developing a cohesive, long-term b2b ecommerce strategy is a big challenge for any organisation. So to help with your planning, we thought it would be useful to highlight some of the key trends you can expect to see during 2016.

Let’s start with mobile. The latest research shows that 80% of Internet users own a smartphone, and while purchase and conversion rates are still higher from desktop devices, mobile will continue to close the gap. Conversion rates on tablets, for example, rose by nearly 8% in a 12-month period from May 2014, and by over 32% for smartphones in the same period. On the other hand, desktop conversion rates fell by 3.5%. With this trend set to continue, b2b sellers need to be sure their mobile sites are up to the job; simplicity, visual appeal and intuitive navigation are some of the key factors to bear in mind for a stand-out customer experience.

Content is another important consideration – more specifically, its quality. Business-to-business buyers will look for detailed product descriptions, specifications and hi-res images, as well as reviews from other customers to inform their decision-making. They want to see accurate stock levels, account-specific pricing and offers that are personalised to their business needs. This kind of rich content is essential for buyers to build trust in your business and allows them to purchase from you with confidence.

Next up is marketing automation. These days, b2b sellers need more than newsletter mail-outs and simple email marketing to drive ecommerce sales. The expectations of business buyers have been heightened by their own experience as individual online consumers, which means that features such as customised landing pages, banners and tailored promotions will be increasingly important to attracting and retaining business customers. The ability to personalise each customer interaction as far as possible, and deliver brief, relevant, highly targeted messages at every customer touch-point will become established as a benchmark for b2b ecommerce best practise.

Another emerging issue is the route b2b ecommerce sellers take to market. As well as the direct approach, where manufacturers, wholesalers or distributors have their own online store and deal directly with customers, a growing number of businesses are also experimenting with the marketplace model. Typified by platforms like Amazon Business and Alibaba, evidence suggests that the marketplace model is poised to intensify competition in the b2b arena and should be a catalyst for direct sellers to ensure their ecommerce systems offer a best-in-class customer experience.
– See more at: