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Engaging with your customers online is now the normal way to do business. Your B2B ecommerce strategy for 2020 needs to reflect how you will target your customers, the quality or your content and the user journey from discovery to delivery and beyond.

Business research specialists, Forrester, predict that 55% of B2B purchases will be made via ecommerce platforms by 2020.

Digital-first B2B buying

If you still expect your B2B buyers to do their research and make purchases using paper catalogues, faxes and office phones between 9am and 5pm, you will need to rethink your approach in 2020.

Almost two thirds (64%) of B2B buyers research at least half of their work purchases online before contacting a supplier. Almost four out of 10 (38%) will complete the whole purchasing process online.

 As a result, user experience is becoming a key differentiator. Poor, slow and cumbersome online journeys will quickly send your buyers to sites with easy, seamless online self-service supported by convenient offline options.

 Your business can also achieve marginal growth by using online self-service to meet the needs of low frequency and low volume customers.

Consumer quality experiences for B2B buying

We all know that B2B buyers are also B2C customers and that they have very high expectations of their online user experiences.

To compete in this environment, B2B ecommerce must learn how to tailor the best from the world of B2C ecommerce in order to meet their buyer’s expectations. Buyers expect engagement, personalisation, transparency, immediacy, and convenience.

People, processes, and technologies 

Finding the right people to lead your B2B ecommerce transformation will continue to be a challenge in 2020, so look out for creative business partners to help you achieve your objectives. You’ll also need to make a strategic commitment to platforms and processes that are flexible and easy to expand. 

This might include new approaches to customer engagement, such as mobile apps, chatbots, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

B2B and B2C crossover

Some creative B2B businesses are taking advantage of expertise from the B2C sector to transform their online strategy. For 2020, this could be an interesting way to interpret B2B buyer expectations from the perspective of their B2C experiences.

Flexible technology for a dynamic market

There’s huge potential in the B2B ecommerce marketplace, which is expected to be worth £5.2 trillion in 2020 – twice the size of B2C.

Flexible and extensible purpose-built B2B ecommerce platforms like Cloudfy are in high demand, rather than converted B2C solutions. While cost of ownership remains a concern, ecommerce is recognised as a business-critical activity. Answering business needs is becoming the most important consideration. 

Strategic thinking and creative testing

Defining, prioritising, and implementing your B2B ecommerce strategy means turning ideas into actions. This might even include seeing some things fail in order to learn and move on. Modern B2B ecommerce platforms with powerful application programming interfaces (APIs) can cost-effectively speed up development time, allowing more creative responses to market opportunities.

To find out more about how to prepare for B2B ecommerce opportunities in 2020, talk to one of our experts.

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