B2B E-Commerce, which stands for business to business electronic commerce – is term for online transactions, where both parties involved are businesses. In other words, a company selling products or services to another company. This is as opposed to B2C (business to consumer) E-Commerce, which describes the online transaction between a company and individual customers.

Over the years, as technology in improving customer experience, convenience, and self-service gets smarter and more sophisticated, these things will play a bigger role in business-to-business commerce. Below are the key technology trends for B2B E-Commerce in 2021:

  1. Personalization
    Personalization holds an important role in B2B, because it allows you to segment each of your buyer types and design the corresponding experience, without creating entirely separate E-Commerce applications or websites for each buyer type.
  2. Omni-channel
    As consumers, most of us already switch between offline stores and online shopping. Whether we’re using mobile apps, mobile websites, or visit in-person - we expect brands to have the same experience every step of the way. B2B buyers are no different, expecting omnichannel experiences throughout their long buying journeys
  3. Mobile Growth
    According to Google and Boston Consulting Group research, mobile traffic drives, or influences an average of more than 40% of revenue in leading B2B organizations. Moreover, they estimate that by 2020 70% of B2B search queries will be happening on mobile devices.
  4. Data Analytics
    Using data from multiple channels to improve all retail operations while also improving the customer experience. It’s accomplished through a strong data strategy,  analytical merchandising, intelligent marketing, and an open ecosystem for analytics.
  5. Conversational Commerce
    With ownership of a voice-activated device, voice searching, ordering, and confirmation is increased, this represents an opportunity for newcomers - previously offline sellers - and existing sellers to improve customer experience with repetitive ordering.
  6. VR and AR
    the arrival of emerging technologies such as AR and VR could provide customers with new convincing factors to complete their purchases. Some B2B sellers will need to allow buyers to virtually try out and confirm complex products such as replacement parts or custom designs.
  7. AI and IOT
    Everyone involved in the process - from suppliers, managers, marketers, sales reps to customers - can benefit from a more accurate prediction of their desired outcomes, and receive recommendations with the right course of action.
  8. PWA
    The reason so many people are buzzing about Progressive Web Apps is they deliver a highly personalized, app-like experience to users, without the need to install, sign in, update, etc. This trend is gaining momentum not only with web services, but eCommerce in particular. Storefronts with PWA enabled technology are more accessible, convenient, thus able to drive sales.

From several things that can be the key technology for B2B E-Commerce in 2021, the implementation of omnichannel is one of the most important things in B2B e-commerce in 2021. This is because omni-channel can help increase company revenue and increase conversion rate, then there should be a huge improvement in the customer experience, According to a study by Merit, 73% of 20- to 35-year-olds are involved in product or service purchase decision-making at their companies. That means E-Commerce buyers, especially B2B customers, are now changing, and they are tech-savvy, more independent, with higher expectations towards B2B merchants.

Omnichannel in B2B commerce is an integrated approach for selling to and servicing customers across physical and digital channels. It focuses on creating a high-quality customer experience by connecting all of the sales channels together. In fact, according to Walker's Customers 2020: A Progress Report, CX will have surpassed product and price as the key differentiator for B2B brands.

These are the key benefits of an omnichannel implementation in B2B E-Commerce:

  1. Better Customer Experience
    According to UC Today, 9 out of 10 consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication methods. By breaking down the walls between the channels in a business, the consumer is empowered to interact with a company in a way that feels natural to them. 
  2. Increase in sales and traffic
    A study of 46,000 shoppers shows that omnichannel customers spend more money than single-channel customers. 
  3. Boosted Customer Loyalty
    The same study shows that within 6 months after an omnichannel shopping experience, these customers had logged 23% more repeat shopping trips to the retailer’s stores. This means that an omnichannel strategy will not only increase sales, it will also improve your customer loyalty
  4. Better Data Collection
    B2B E-Commerce who are able to track their customers over different channels can serve their consumers better with a more personalized experience

It can be concluded that the B2B e-commerce market has grown rapidly so far. One of the reasons is due to the invasive impact of the global online ecosystem, which is changing the nature of buyers. This change encourages online the buying and selling behavior of goods and services between companies through online platforms. To maximize the development of B2B e-commerce, one of things that needs to be considered is the key technologies trend for B2B E-Commerce in 2021.


Author: I Ketut Hartawan (Sr. Business Manager)