While we’ve been buying products like clothing and shoes online for years, a new trend called business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce is suddenly taking off.
It’s simple to assume that online purchases only involve consumer goods, but more and more business-to-business and software-as-a-service (SaaS) transactions are now taking place there. B2B e-commerce sales have generated more than $12 trillion in revenue as of 2019.
Business-to-business (B2B) sales are now 6X bigger than business-to-consumer (B2C) sales, according to Statista. According to a 2018 poll, between 50 to 74 percent of all corporate purchases are made online by businesses.
B2B vendors must understand that simply integrating e-commerce into their operations won’t ensure they receive a share of the market to take full use of these opportunities.
Why is B2B e-commerce on the rise?
The shift from offline to online B2B sales in some respects reflects other patterns we observe in the B2C sector. Businesses are realizing that it is far simpler to distribute goods and services from a specialized e-commerce platform than it is to conduct offline sales.
It’s understandable why roughly 23% of businesses now do more than 75% of their transactions online because it’s quicker and more convenient. When purchasing processes for goods, software, and services are streamlined, personnel inside a company can focus on other responsibilities instead of spending their time on lengthy sales meetings and demos.
This has made B2B e-commerce more easily expand, which is one of the key factors contributing to the global B2B marketplace predicted value of over $24 trillion by 2025. There are, of course, additional factors contributing to the success of B2B e-commerce, such as:
- More businesses (and nations) now have access to the internet.
- Technological advancements like SaaS and cloud-based e-commerce platforms.
- Increased alternatives and competition for shipping and payments.
How can companies benefit from the growth of B2B e-commerce?
Offering your goods online is a winning tactic for success in the B2B sector.
But competing in the internet B2B market requires more than just building a website and hoping for business. Businesses must engage in a plan that ensures customers can find them, that they have an online presence, and that orders are processed efficiently.
Here are a few strategies you may use to ensure a seamless entry into the B2B e-commerce sector:
Invest in SEO to ensure that your consumers can find you online
Your business won’t benefit from having the most beautiful website in the world if no one can discover it to buy from you.
Making sure your consumers can find you should be the first step in your B2B e-commerce journey for this reason. Your website must be SEO-ready because businesses often find websites through search results (search engine optimization).
For your e-commerce site, a fundamentally effective SEO approach should include:
- Targeted keywords on your website, landing pages, and blog posts
- Ensuring that your website is compatible with both desktop and mobile devices
- Shareable materials you may use to raise your social media profile
- Social evidence like customer reviews and testimonials
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You shouldn’t assume that just because you shift the purchasing process online that the hard job of generating sales is over. The same amount of effort is still required to close a B2B deal.
The greatest method to demonstrate to potential clients how your product or service can benefit their company is to invest in content assets. Content may respond to client inquiries and foster customer confidence in your product without involving a sales representative.
It can be through blog articles or case studies that highlight successes other companies have had with your organization.
Simplify the stages involved in your customers’ purchase process
Don’t go overboard with material and information in B2B sales, even if buyers need a certain quantity to make educated decisions. Otherwise, you run the danger of causing what Harvard Business Review (HBR) refers to as “analytical paralysis” in your potential clients.
According to HBR, the same is true for B2B purchases, just as having more options isn’t always a positive thing for individual consumers. For instance, if you are operating in the Chinese B2B platform, B2B sellers can adopt a prescriptive strategy and offer their clients a clear, logical product selection that explains the purchasing process in detail.
By doing this, it reduces post-purchase regret in addition to making it simpler for customers to decide on a purchase. Depending on where a customer is in their purchasing process, problems and information gaps can differ greatly.