While the B2B e-commerce market is expected to flourish in the coming years, not everyone will equally thrive. Hence, it is imperative that B2B e-commerce brands reassess their ways to build a robust e-commerce strategy that will enable them to tap into this market.
Surviving and potentially thriving in today’s digital data-driven ecosystems requires brands to implement a digital commerce strategy to increase their B2B revenue growth. As per a 2022 report from DigitalCommerce360 titled “2022 U.S. B2B Ecommerce Market Report,” the online sales on B2B commerce sites, log-in portals and marketplaces surged to USD 1.63 trillion, a 17.8% surge since 2020. The good news for the B2B commerce brands is that this trend is not slowing down. Industry experts predict that digital commerce will continue to witness substantial revenue growth in the near future.
However, achieving such monumental expected gains is not a straightforward journey. B2B brands should explore an omnichannel approach. They should ensure that their target customers have the same level of quality interaction as well as experience across the entire sales channel.
This will empower them to establish customer loyalty while simultaneously attracting new buyers and attaining the projected e-commerce revenue gains.
Here are a few considerations for CMOs to strengthen their B2B e-commerce strategy:
Review robotic process automation (RPA) to enhance the payment processing portal
While offering payment methods such as credit cards to on-off buyers may be enough, it may not be suitable for B2B organizations to manage invoices from multiple vendors with various buyer-side portals. This can hurt their productivity and overwhelm them in the long term. This is due to when these B2B buyers only accept invoices uploaded into a personalized invoice portal, and payments tend to be delayed and mismanaged.
Investing in an RPA solution can help organizations imitate back-office processes such as extracting data, automatically filling files as well as moving files. This removes the expectations of B2B buyers and sellers to manually complete these tasks. Additionally, incorporating RPA also enables brands to add data such as PO numbers, invoices, and support integrations into procure-to-pay and enterprise resource planning platforms.
Provide the right level of data
B2B brands should ensure that they provide the right degree of product details on their website. If they fail to provide enough information on the website, it can raise questions about integrity and quality. On the other hand, if the website is overwhelmed with unedited product information, it can indicate carelessness as well as a lack of attention to detail. This can be a huge turn-off and too exhausting for the B2B buyers.
Brands should ensure they strike the right balance as well as pique enough interest that can lead to a sale. They should aim to include total cost details such as shipping fees to ensure a level of transparency and trust to round out a satisfying customer experience.
Learn from SaaS Sales and Marketing
Another way to improve the B2B e-commerce strategy is to understand the sales strategy of SaaS platforms. While it goes without saying that digital solutions need online sales and distribution, SaaS sales strategies consist of distinct characteristics that can translate to other types of B2B business. They provide customers free trials of their products and services. This is an excellent opportunity to let the customers know whether the product is right for them. Additionally, providing such options from the beginning helps the B2B sellers to build trust among their customer base.
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