B2B Ecommerce: Trends & Challenges
Business to business ecommerce is not new; in fact, it has been around for the past decade, and it keeps growing as the world continues to grow digitally. Additionally, with the global pandemic striking in early 2020, the growth rate of B2B ecommerce has increased significantly as manufacturers, distributors, brands, retailers, and consumers look for ways to interact in difficult times.
The growth of the ecommerce platform for b2b has led to some significant trends that bring very many advantages. This will make B2B ecommerce the most common way for businesses to interact and trade in the near future.
Trends in B2B Ecommerce
Introduction of new payment methods
B2B is a significant shift from how businesses used to operate, market, and conduct their sales, and with everything changing, so do the payment methods. More automatic methods to make payments have come up to simplify the whole process of trading. Mobile wallets are continually increasing to add to the existing payment methods, which is a significant boost in the ecommerce platform for B2B.
Changes in marketing strategies with most adapting consumer-like marketing
With consumer-like marketing, B2B businesses target customers directly but at the same time work with distributors, retailers, and wholesalers. This direct relationship enables B2B businesses to get the relevant customer data and refine their products and the approaches used in marketing with the help of the data.
More development of progressive web apps
More businesses have developed progressive web apps that one can access from various web browsers. These apps eliminate the need for users to download an actual app on the phone or computer. On the browser, buyers simply type the business website, and it appears on the home screen without the need to download. These PWAs function just like the apps and have access to cameras and other features that can be used to scan codes and documents required by a business.
Development and use of application programming interfaces
The APIs bring about an integration between B2B businesses and customers. They enable customers and retailers to get updates on inventory details and even information about the supply chain. These integration applications make it easy to share data and make orders across the many different channels available, like the progressive web apps and the native web browsers.
Delivering large orders
B2B businesses deal with large bulky orders that require the use of special transport services. This increases the expenses significantly and can affect delivery times. Additionally, these delays can create big problems and misunderstandings if the customers are not informed.
There are many complex payment methods
The many payment methods available make the work in the accounts department difficult and tiresome. With so many transactions taking place across the payment platforms, it will require a big team to follow up on all transactions. The other option is automating systems to manage all transactions.
Catering for different product lines and brands can be a hectic task
Since B2B deals with different businesses, one will find that all of them require the same product but in different proportions. This will require one to have subcategories of the product to fit all the business's needs. This makes the work even more problematic as it will require complex systems to deal with all the customers' needs.
There can be problems in keeping customer data safe
Dealing with other companies increases the amount of confidential information that a business will be dealing with. The company also becomes a target for cyber-attacks.