As 2018 draws to a close, thoughts for businesses across all industries inevitably turn to the next 12 months. There will be goals being set and targets identified. From a B2B ecommerce perspective, it’s all about ensuring that business thrives in 2019.
In this continuously developing field, identifying the tactics and trends that can help move your business forward is key. Those that move with the times stand to benefit – those that don’t can soon find themselves lagging behind.
In this blog, we’ve picked out some key predictions for 2019 and what we think B2B businesses should take into consideration when looking to move forwards in the new year.
B2B to continue leading the way
This may surprise a few people, but the fact of the matter is that B2B ecommerce is strides ahead of it’s B2C brother in terms of market size.
Plenty of factors come into this – higher average order value, higher conversion rates, higher total spend being just three.
According to Oxatis, the global B2B market will be worth US$12 trillion by 2020, up from around US$7 trillion noted in 2017.
So a pretty safe and logical prediction is that B2B ecommerce will only go one way in 2019 – upwards!
B2B businesses will close the marketing gap with B2C
Despite the larger revenue seen in the B2B space, many B2B businesses have tended to lag behind their B2C counterparts when it comes to promoting their business.
A slow shift to online channels and preference for face-to-face meetings with clients were two historical reasons for this, but that is now changing.
However, developing a solid marketing strategy and adopting techniques and practices that can make more potential buyers aware of your business have been taken up by B2B businesses in recent years. We believe this will continue at a pace in 2019.
Furthermore, according to Frost & Sullivan, 50% of B2B buyers pointed to improved personalization as a key feature of a supplier they would be keen to work with. So personalization tactics could well be a differentiator in 2019 for B2B businesses.
Greater focus on integration
One thing B2B customers want is ease and simplicity. They’re customers like any other at the end of the day. The fewer headaches that shopping from you causes and the fewer hoops there are to jump through, the greater the chance of them creating an account and using your B2B store time and again.
One key factor in this is integration. Enabling purchasers to buy from you without leaving their ERP system for example keeps life simple for them, while also securing you revenue. Tools such as punchout are ideal for this purpose.
Integration can also benefit B2B businesses internally. We’ve seen many B2B customers integrate our platform with SAP Business One for example. SAP integration provides a single view of a customer, easier maintenance of customer data, better product management, better support for marketing teams and more control over the visual elements of your website.
We predict integration will continue to play a big role in ecommerce next year. And in case you didn’t know, Cloudfy also offers integration with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Sage 50 Sage 200, NetSuite and more.
All businesses today should know the importance of search and having a website optimized for search engine results. The better position your business is in from an SEO perspective, the greater the likelihood of acquiring new customers.
Just in case you’re still not convinced by SEO, research from Frost & Sullivan found that 89% of B2B researchers use the internet during research processes, and 73% use Google specifically to research.
That means if there’s work to be done when it comes to optimizing your B2B site for SEO purposes, the time really is now. We predict that more and more B2B businesses will be focusing on this in 2019, so don’t fall behind the competition.
Those who go it alone will get left behind
One thing that will hold B2B businesses back is a lack of resources or experience. Powerful marketing tactics and techniques could be beyond some B2B companies simply because they don’t have the staff or time available to get these efforts right.
This is why harnessing the capabilities of marketing agencies to help bring a host of benefits to your business is a good idea.
Risking going it alone can leave you missing out on the expertise and deep knowledge of areas of digital marketing that you may not currently have within your business.
We predict those companies who seek support and advice from experts will see big benefits in 2019.
Let’s work together for a great 2019
Cloudfy offers a leading B2B ecommerce platform to companies across a spectrum of industries, including manufacturing, fashion & apparel and food & beverage.
Get in touch with our team today and let’s work together to reach all your business goals in 2019.