B2B eCommerce: A Shift in the B2B Customer Buying Experience

Providing the right b2b eCommerce solution that accommodates the complex needs of manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors can be a problematic task.

Over the years we’ve seen many b2b eCommerce projects unravel after using off-the-shelf or open-source software solutions – usually because providers fail to understand the unique demands of b2b eCommerce, or they simply don’t have the system capabilities to address those demands. The most successful come through platforms built from the ground up for b2b and designed to fit perfectly with existing systems

With the right b2b eCommerce platform, companies can offer their customers a highly personalized website experience through features like account-specific pricing, negotiating, discounts and payment terms, individual order histories, and the display of real-time inventory levels at the ordering stage.

These features have a big impact on the customer online experience, improving satisfaction, enhancing loyalty, and increasing sales over a longer-term. At the same time, automating the ordering and customer management process means that businesses need fewer resources to handle simple, more repetitive tasks.

Research is telling us, B2C sales are expected to make up 14 to 16 percent ($1 trillion) of the US retail landscape by 2022. Unlike B2C, the B2B e-commerce landscape is more fragmented.

Traditionally, manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors transacted over the phone and in writing. Some still do. Businesses are able to buy goods and services not only via a supplier’s website but also through various third-party sales platforms and marketplaces. Forrester’s research shows a noticeable shift in the behavior of B2B purchasers. The self-service environment has great potential for cost savings. Forrester found that durable goods will be the fastest-growing segment in B2B, which includes motor vehicle/motor vehicle parts, electrical/electronic goods, and machinery and industrial equipment.

On-line purchasing is the norm for millennials

Younger team members are bringing more awareness of the power of technology and its use in B2B. They prefer online purchasing in their private lives, they seem to expect the same mobile-friendly and intuitive user experience when it comes to B2B. Understanding this shift in reducing human interaction will be crucial for any business to flourish.

Make it easy for the customer

Whether you are in the B2B or B2C sector, the customer is always right. Businesses that have a wide product range that serves different industries need to establish an online platform that is customized according to the specific needs of each industrial sector. The customer is looking for a seamless experience across all channels of purchase and interaction. The supplier needs to understand exactly how their buyer journey works, identifying and fixing the points that cause stress. Keeping up site quality and performance is crucial in order to stay relative. One way to keep customers happy is to have a visible and responsive social media presence to solve problems on a 24/7 basis. Trading no longer keeps office hours.

The rise of m-commerce – the power of mobile

In the last few years, building an e-commerce site meant creating a desktop site and making it mobile responsive in the process. The trend is now on creating a topnotch mobile experience with desktops being secondary. Simplified payment options on mobile are key to a successful application and will ensure users complete a winning user experience

The possibilities for B2B have not yet been fully explored but 20 years’ experience of B2C can teach us something about having a seamless means of transacting. We can reduce the need for paperwork and break out of conventional working hours.

SouqBox is the only platform designed specifically for B2B trade, with functions like negotiable and fixed price selling and logistics negotiation already built into the platform, the integration into the e-commerce world is seamless with SouqBox. The flexibility to turn your fully ‘own branded’ e-commerce store into a multi-vendor marketplace, allows users on the SouqBox platform to expand their reach and grow their online presence.

This new concept is helping b2b companies all over the world drive business efficiencies, attract new customers, and sell more products at a higher margin. Contact our eCommerce specialists now to see how SouqBox could work for your business.

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