Man in a field staring at the evening sky

Things are moving quickly in business to business (B2B) ecommerce around the world. For companies that haven’t yet embraced ecommerce, 2020 will be the year to take the first steps or risk being left a very long way behind.

Many B2B companies are already on their second or third generation ecommerce platform. These organisations have learnt a lot over the last decade and have integrated ecommerce into their business and their future strategy.

Businesses just starting their ecommerce journey can learn what these early adopters have already discovered and joined them in looking for their next big competitive advantage.

Digital differentiation

Modern B2B ecommerce involves much more than making your product catalogue available online. Buyers expect an online experience that is tailored to their needs and their buying history. In 2020 businesses that have the agility to continually improve, delivering a smoother and more intuitive purchasing journey, will have an advantage. 

Clever businesses are harnessing data from online interactions and all the other touch points with their customers to anticipate what will deliver even better experiences. Data capture and analysis, effective customer relationship management and conversion rate measurement will be strategic priorities for businesses looking for a competitive edge.

Improved customer service

Everyone knows that B2B purchasing is very different from online shopping for consumers. However, we also know that the expectations of B2B buyers are increasingly conditioned by their online retail experiences. The challenge in 2020 will be to discover which parts of the business to consumer experience will translate into a B2B environment to improve customer service. 

Certainly, delivering high quality content in multiple formats will be a requirement with zoom, 3D and rotation of product images, comprehensive product information, video content and deep-dive technical information. 

User registration opens the door to personalised catalogues, highly relevant search results, easy reordering and fast checkouts. With effective business system integration, you can also deliver seamless experiences across online and offline channels based on a single source of accurate, real-time information.

Measurement

As the effectiveness of ecommerce becomes increasingly business-critical, the need to measure, develop and improve becomes crucial too. Businesses need to know that their investment is delivering the right return so setting objectives and key performance indicators along with effective analysis will come to the forefront in the coming year.

Mature B2B ecommerce companies are learning how to make this into a continual process that will improve their own results and deliver more value to their customers.

Efficiency

The internet of things (IoT) is creating exceptional opportunities for improved efficiency, not only in sales order processing, stock control and distribution, but throughout the supply chain.

Increased automation will help to minimise errors and reduce delays in fulfilment, increasing customer satisfaction. More importantly, behind-the-scenes collaboration and the capacity of Industry 4.0 for create autonomous systems will streamline processes and improve performance.

While people will still be at the core of successful B2B ecommerce, individuals at every level in the business will need to understand and use the latest technologies to remain competitive. 2020 is the year to embrace everything that is new and exciting about B2B ecommerce.

If you would like to know more about any of these ideas our experts will be happy to help you create your B2B ecommerce route map to success in 2020