Nowadays anyone can start a business online. The internet allows anyone, anywhere to set up shop and conduct transactions. With the abundance of individual businesses in 2017, being in the “business of businesses” has become far more lucrative.
In fact, it’s estimated by 2021 the B2B eCommerce market is estimated to hit $1.18 trillion in sales. With that amount, you could buy 100% of Apple, the entire NFL and still have $200 billion left.
So, obviously local markets are destined to become oversaturated. Among other challenges, this also means you can expect far more competition. Right now, there are more than 110,000 eCommerce websites online, and all of them are fighting to gain the audience of online users (well, with the humble exception of our clients).
If you are running an online eCommerce B2B business, we’ve outlined some of the most important strategies that Living Proof Creative has implemented over the course of the last 12 months.
2017 B2B eCommerce Trends You Might Have Missed
Mobile Optimization is STILL a Thing
Ironically, we’re going to start this list with a “trend” that you hopefully didn’t miss. Mobile optimization is something all websites owners, no matter the niche or the industry, have to utilize in order to make connections.
Back in 2015 Google announced that mobile searches surpassed desktop, and in 2017 the numbers have only grown. As the millennial generation gains more substantial positions in the workforce, you can expect that 9 out of 10 B2B prospects are going to access your business through a mobile device this year.
If your website doesn’t function properly on mobile or is the least bit outdated, it’s very likely users will immediately write you off. And still, a large percentage of B2B eCommerce websites isn’t optimized for mobile. Make sure your sight isn’t one of them.
Unleash Your Onsite Search Functionality
Precision is key to the successful conversion of a simple lead to an actual client. The necessity for precision spans all aspects of B2B, from targeting the right demographics and accounts, down to the Onsite Search Function. After all, the search function is the user’s main tool for accessing information about products.
Usually, B2B eCommerce platforms work with countless options for products, like a furniture manufacturer that sells products in a variety of colors, fabrics, and styles. Users want to access every variation before putting down their orders. It is fair to say, this type of a platform is far more demanding than a typical retail system – like a website that sells clothing, for example.
This is why it is very important to foresee your users behavior, learn from their frequently asked questions, and develop a system that will suit all of their needs.
Make Your Customer Service Omnipresent
With B2B, even if you are working with individuals on large accounts, it’s still not the same as retail. You have to be prepared, knowing your clients will expect a level of customer service like that of Amazon.
To put it down simple – they need you to be omnipresent.
On every step of your clients journey, they have to feel safe and able to contact you in any way they desire. Naturally, you don’t want or need to invest in all possible social media platforms, but a live chat has become almost a standard nowdays.
Determine which platforms your target audience uses, and focus your efforts on building a presence on those networks.
Pricing & Inventory Simplified in Real Time
Dynamic pricing and real time inventory updates are another standards you can’t afford to miss out on. Modern content management systems are easy to use, and fully capable of making every change you need, presented in the front end at the exact moment those changes are made.
This is a challenge that concerns both your clients, and your employees. If your client is unable to obtain information about a product because you haven’t updated your website, that is a hurdle that directly affects conversions.
And imagine an order coming through only to find out the item is out of stock. You want to make sure your employees are fully capable of accessing and changing product info at hand, in the shortest timeframe possible.
That’s a problem clients don’t tolerate anymore in 2017.
Enhance your customer experience and the functionality of your platform to ensure every sale goes off without a hitch.
If you think your website could benefit from our estimate, feel free to get in touch! Living Proof Creative will conduct a free initial audit and give you a call.