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What are the Changing Trends in the B2B Ecommerce Industry in 2021

by Natalia Jane 2 months ago in economy
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What are the Changing Trends in the B2B Ecommerce Industry in 2021
Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

B2B has traditionally been a sector that practised sales through in-person interactions. But like everything else, the pandemic disrupted the way it operated. The Covid-19 situation pushed B2B companies to go online if they wanted to continue doing business. Although the change has been somewhat challenging in the beginning, statistics show that the B2B industry has warmed up to it by now.

According to the latest research,

    • 75% of B2B buyers and sellers prefer online sales over in-person sales.
    • Only 20% of B2B buyers want to return to the traditional model in future.

The overall trend seems to be that B2B sellers and buyers have accepted the e-commerce business model and are satisfied with it. As the B2B e-commerce market is growing, what changing trends can we expect from it?

Inclusion of consultancy and management services

B2B buyers are looking for ways to get additional value to their purchases. Rather than buying specialized equipment from B2B sellers, we will witness the buyers opting for a package including consultancy, monitoring, and maintenance of the equipment they purchase. The sellers will not be just selling. They will be advising buyers on which machinery suits their needs best, assisting the installation and also providing support and maintenance. It gives the buyers additional values for their purchases and the sellers more areas to showcase their expertise.

Price disclosure

A major frustrating point of B2B e-commerce sites for potential buyers is that most of them do not disclose any price information. Some sites require the users to create and account and get approval from the sellers to see the prices. Sellers use it so that they can assert more control over the price range; however, it creates a bad user experience for the buyers, who may not have the time or patience to wait for such long intervals.

Today, as more and more B2B companies are coming into the online marketplace, this feature will soon have to change. Otherwise, buyers will go looking for better alternatives. B2B buyers are already seen urging sellers to change this exasperating feature and find a better way that works for both.

Bringing standardization to products

B2B companies are known for the diverse number of products they offer. And not only that, but they also provide various customized configurations according to the buyer needs. While it is a key requirement in the B2B business model, being dealt with a lot of options right away when a buyer visits an ecommerce site might overload them. A standardized sales experience would provide them with a better understanding.

It does not mean that the B2B seller will resort to selling a single product. What it means is that they will create standardized configurations of products to showcase to the buyers. It will ensure that buyers don't get overwhelmed with choices but, at the same time, can get a look at the diversity of products being offered.

Focusing on SEO

SEO wasn't a really popular term in the B2B sector until recently. Most of the B2B customers find sellers through age-old approaches like telemarketing, industry fairs, and networking. However, the pandemic has been quite disruptive, particularly in this aspect. The old sales methods have more or less been left unable to be practised. As a result, B2B companies have begun to focus on SEO to get more customers.

This is one of the main changes we will see in the B2B sector in the coming years. As B2B ecommerce app development is rising, they will be spending more time and effort on ranking, market positioning, and generating traffic to their platforms. Most companies will be hiring SEO experts to drive this change.

Redefine UX

As competition increases in the B2B ecommerce sector, a key method to make a company's products stand out from the rest would be by providing a better UX. When it comes to differentiating on the basis of price and products offered, the line could get really blurred. So attracting new buyers and retaining existing buyers would require the company to provide them with a good experience that they cannot forget. That is exactly what a good UX design will achieve.

While some B2B platforms will be making minor changes like changes in the colour palette, or decluttering layout, others may invest more in UX understanding its worth.

Looking at the changing trends in the B2B ecommerce industry, we can say that they are more or less following the path of the B2C e-commerce sector. The line between both is slowly blurring. As the business world as a whole is adopting a customer-centric approach, that is what's to be expected. Keeping customers at the forefront seems to be what every business is striving for today in order to be successful and get their business to better heights.


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Natalia Jane

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