To be relevant and compete, your business must grow. For B2B, e-commerce is key to the growth – and ultimately the long-term survival – of your company.
Digital trading between businesses is on the rise. The key driving factor is the abundant opportunities – from wholesale goods and retail products to distribution, and/ or services.
An Increasing Number of B2B Sales are Happening Online
Financial research consultants at Forrester estimate that “by 2027, US B2B e-commerce will reach $3 trillion and account for 24% of total US B2B sales”.
The reason for this is two-fold:
- COVID-19 caused an unprecedented digital disruption that saw B2B online sales skyrocket – and continue to do so at a steady compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Current B2B marketers are allocating 55% of their budgets to online strategies.
- Despite having some unique requirements, the profile of business buyers is the same as B2C buyers. Where the Boomer generation made purchase decisions face-to-face, Gen Xers educate themselves about their options online. Whether for personal or business purposes, internet savvy decision makers turn to the internet before purchasing big ticket items. Similarly, 74% of B2B procurers do online research for at least half their purchases.
However, as the first generation of digital natives, Millennials prefer an online buying process. Research on how they want to live and work shows that 85% of Millennials use their phones to access the internet.
Considering that Millennials will account for 75% of the US workforce by 2030, your B2B firm must accommodate them.
Flexible Payment Solutions
Traditional payment methods have for years been firmly at enterprise level. Think of paper checks, outstanding invoices, bills of lading, and buying against a trade account.
Company credit cards can be a risky, inflexible, and inconvenient form of payment. Nevertheless, digital methods of payment are less labor-intensive and less expensive while also faster and more transparent.
New payment options have emerged in response to this digital transition, for instance PayPal, Venmo, and Apple Wallet. Some B2B enterprises are even looking at cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
As part of the growing expectation of personalized interactions, B2B vendors must offer flexibility and multiple payment methods on their platform.
How to Make B2B Online Sales Easy for You and Your Clients
B2B e-commerce is more than just selling a product online. It’s about providing a good user experience for your clients. If you want to make B2B online sales easy for your clients, then it’s important that you understand their needs and expectations.
Aspects that make your website easy to use throughout the B2B e-commerce process include:
- An intuitive interface: You need to make sure that the design and UI of your site is easy for clients to navigate, with clear calls-to-action, and well-defined paths.
- Mobile friendliness: The world has moved beyond desktop computers; now everyone is using tablets or smartphones for everything from research to buying products online. Make sure that your eCommerce platform is optimized so that users can easily access it from any device (desktop, tablet, or mobile).
- Responsive design: The term responsive refers not only to how well a site works across multiple devices but also how quickly it loads content and updates information when changed by the user.
- Integration. By connecting your e-commerce store to your backend B2B accounting and B2B ERP systems, an API makes it easier for your clients to find what they are looking for.
- Security and privacy. Secure technologies such as encryption protocols and firewalls protect data from potential threats such as malicious hackers trying to steal credit card information or key customer data.
- Multiple payment methods. Being able to accept payments via multiple methods makes things easier for your clients. It also makes it easier for you to get paid, since you can accept any type of payment without having to worry about software compatibility issues or customer service costs for each respective vendor.
For more information on B2B e-commerce software options, contact Terracor Business Solutions today.