B2B Omnichannel eCommerce: Truth, Foundation and One Solution
The US B2B eCommerce sales have grown from $777 billion in 2015 to $1.2 trillion by 2021, according to Forrester Consulting. B2B eCommerce is progressing exceptionally well; however, one cannot afford to forget the modern sales concept like Omnichannel eCommerce in this super-competitive market.
This blog post will help you understand how omnichannel eCommerce is essential for B2B businesses today and the best factors to consider while adopting it.
B2B customers are progressively adopting digital touchpoints. It is observed that B2B customers start the buying process by using digital channels to research and end by completing the purchase with online payment methods. At the same time, they also interact with the seller multiple times over traditional channels at some point in the buying process. This compels B2B merchants to serve customers equally well on every sales channel possible.
B2B customers have high expectations for personalization and exceptional service throughout the buying process. B2C eCommerce has raised the standards on customer expectation from the B2B businesses. Customers are attracted to the brands that provide such an experience, which is rare to see. At the same time, buyers are also ready to pay for the personalized service if provided across channels.
B2B merchants are not quick in adopting and delivering a seamless omnichannel experience. It's not that B2B merchants are not aware of the benefits that result from omnichannel customer engagement. The pain point is that both data and processes that are meant to work in an integrated manner work in silos. This is one of the most significant drawbacks B2B sellers face.
B2B businesses need the right omnichannel strategy, required technology infrastructure, and an eCommerce ecosystem partner to fulfil the customer expectations. The way to success needs to start with building an eCommerce ecosystem with the help of a partner who can prepare them technologically and strategically.
Foundation of B2B omnichannel strategy: 3 most crucial factors
Meet client expectations
Meeting the client's expectations is the key to an omnichannel strategy. Customer expectations change now and then; as soon as they find a new feature, the very next second, it is expected from your brand too. The buying behavior of both B2C and B2B has changed entirely over the years. No matter how loyal a customer is to you, if he is delighted with some other brand's experience, it will take no time to switch.
Similarly, marketing and sales efforts have also changed in many ways.
Like said earlier, B2C eCommerce has raised the bar of customer expectations from B2B as well. Customers now expect the same seamlessness from B2B eStores as that of B2C. Hence meeting the customer expectation in every aspect is the only way.
Information transparency is the second most crucial factor in omnichannel eCommerce. B2B business processes demand a lot more information flow as compared to B2C. As these are bulk orders, it needs in-depth information on products, quotations, shipping, delivery, etc.
You must provide equal information on every channel. If not maintained right, it may turn into trust issues, which might even make your loyal customers think or crosscheck twice before making the decision.
Best of the best customer experience
Providing the supreme quality customer experienceis as essential as having the same information across channels. This includes all information, UI, UX, support, navigations, etc.
You must pay attention to every tiny aspect of every channel you wish to sell. You never know a customer may browse the products on a desktop and purchase on the phone. And just in case your webpages are not optimized for mobile, the customer might refrain from placing the order. Hence make sure that every bit of every sales channel is taken care of.
What's the one common mistake B2B merchants make?
*The key to building the right omnichannel strategy is to have consistency and transparency across all sales channels.
Having said that, it is not as easy as it sounds. Errors are most likely to happen, no matter how hard you try.
You may build a perfect omnichannel strategy, but you may not yield the desired results if your ERP system and eStore are not integrated. What you also need is an experienced eCommerce ecosystem partner as a guide in the whole process.
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