Forrester Research, Inc. predicts that B2B eCommerce sales in the United States are on course to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.7% until they reach $1.13 trillion in 2020. This potential for growth will force the B2B eCommerce market to move in many new and interesting directions. In this day and age, great companies are already exceeding online by thinking outside the box and using the web to service various customer and client tiers.
Read on to learn about how successful B2B companies are already excelling online, and how you can improve your B2B eCommerce strategy in 2017:
Successful Online Companies Are All About Industry And Business Education
The practice of not divulging information about your company for fear that your competitor will see it and “steal” secret ideas is no longer a viable strategy. If information about you or your products are hard to find, potential buyers will quickly move on to your competitors.
Successful online companies structure themselves as thought leaders in their industries, establishing relationships with customers long before the formal buying process begins.
Successful Online Companies Excel In Collaboration, Automation And Integration
eCommerce collaboration with customers and suppliers, as well as integration with backend ERP and CRM systems is vital for ensuring proper inventory maintenance, order fulfillment, and customer support.
Successful online companies ensure that proper information is available to all users and customers for a seamless customer experience. What the customer sees on the front end of your site must be the same information your sales and customer service representatives are providing. When all systems are able to handle processes automatically, the prospect of order errors lessens and operational costs are decreased.
Successful Online Companies Have A Mobile-First Mindset
Another differentiator in successful online companies is a mobile-first mindset. Forrester expects 56% of B2B buyers to complete at least half of their work-related purchases online in 2017. Additionally, the trend to increased online purchasing will accelerate partly because of the increased use of smartphones and other mobile devices to research products and place orders.
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Engaging influencers, decision makers and buyers at the time of need is vital and the time of need does not always happen while someone is sitting at a desk. Research is increasingly being done on mobile devices from customers who are out in the field, on the warehouse floor or in a shop.
Successful Online Companies Offer Personalized Solutions & Content
B2B business transactions often include variables such as approved products, negotiated prices and volume discounts. Successful online companies support multiple versions of their product catalog and personalize marketing content based on different customer groups. Products that are displayed when one customer logs in may be completely different than the products displayed for another customer, and the same products shown to both customers might show completely different pricing. Further customizing for various groups may also involve multiple branded sites.
Following the example of successful B2B eCommerce companies involves the strategic integration of content, personalization, and a mobile mindset. While this list isn’t exclusive (there are plenty of other useful elements) they’re good aspects to focus on as you continue to improve your company’s B2B eCommerce strategy and website to better meet the requirements and expectations of your customers.