Why a B2B e-Commerce is not Optional Anymore
According to a Forrester Research report, the B2B e-commerce industry is expected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023, accounting for 17% of total B2B sales. Seizing such an opportunity has never been more advisable. Let’s explore the evolving B2B buying behaviours, the challenges B2B companies face, and the reasons why you really need to dive into the e-commerce world.
B2B customer behaviour is shifting
The diversification of B2B buyers now plays a huge role in the evolution of customer behaviour. With the integration of decision-making millennials into the mix, long-term relationships with business partners are deemed tenuous.
Traditional business loyalty seems to disintegrate as the fast-paced innovative world is taking over B2B workplaces. Today’s customers, on the other hand, expect to jump between channels as they please, research their options on mobile devices, interact with businesses across multiple touchpoints and make their purchases online.
Indeed, statistics show that:
- 93% prefer online purchase to a process involving sales representatives;
- 56% of failed business deals are due to poor customer service experiences.
Facing the evolution of your best customers’ buying habits and the massive e-commerce investments of your strongest competitors, you cannot stand idly while the market is rapidly evolving.
From complex sales channels to multiple product lines, every B2B company faces its fair share of challenges. The first major pain point is the integration of e-commerce into your organisation’s pre-existing digital ecosystem. Especially with external ERP and CRM platforms, a meticulously calculated integration process is crucial to ensure efficiency. But a well-designed e-commerce platform that flawlessly fits withing your current systems will have a very good impact on your bottom line.
Order management is another major difficulty, especially when dealing with high volumes. A well-designed e-commerce platform can facilitate many processes involving orders, contracts, assets, accounts and other business units.
Know thy customers!
Due to the aforementioned shift in purchase behaviours, businesses now require an exhaustive, 360° knowledge of their customers. Keeping up with market trends and integrating them into your business model is paramount to e-commerce success. Using appropriate digital solutions, your business can save time, money and tedious work while avoiding many middlemen interventions, and ensuring the quick and easy acquisition of critical insights about your customer’s behaviours, needs and expectations.
Relevant customer data have become essential in providing seamless user experiences, which are the basis of digital commerce. These challenges must be clearly identified and efficiently addressed by top-notch, well-implemented strategies to give your business a critical edge over the competition.
“It’s important to acknowledge that e-commerce isn’t just something for your business to try out and then roll with it. It’s a key investment in your company’s durable success, which requires time and serious reflection to make sure you take the right first step.”
Emakina-Salesforce Commerce Cloud Program Director
The business benefits of e-commerce
A well-implemented e-commerce strategy will open up countless new opportunities for any business.
Much more than “just a new touchpoint”, a successful e-commerce platform will help you reach and engage new customers easily and effectively. The optimised user experience boosts user satisfaction and loyalty, as customers enjoy easy-to-use self-servicing portals that keep track of account, order, history and purchase information for their comfort and benefit — as well as yours.
A good B2B e-commerce platform will increase
- efficiency, by managing multiple accounts at the same time;
- scalability, by boosting growth and commercial efficiency;
- sales, thanks to new upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
Moreover, e-commerce platforms decrease
- costs and expenses, thanks to the increased efficiency, scalability and revenue;
- data scattering, by uniting various data systems into a single platform, thus allowing quicker and more efficient use of customer data and insights.
Emakina: recognised expertise in e-commerce & B2B solutions
A long-time partner of many leading businesses in Belgium, Emakina’s expertise in e-commerce and B2B solutions is unanimously acknowledged in the industry. Emakina has been a preferred consulting partner of SalesForce for many years, thanks to its vast experience in providing key decision-makers with the necessary tools, technological solutions, cutting-edge strategies and business acumen that help them grow and thrive in their markets.
Allow us to map out the custom-made, innovative and future-proof growth strategy that will offer your organisation an edge in fast-evolving and highly competitive markets.