The Top Trends Shaping B2B eCommerce in 2023B2B eCommerce in 2023 will be a major player in global commerce, with businesses increasingly turning to online platforms to purchase goods and services. As businesses continue to embrace digital transformation and prioritize convenience and cost-saving measures, online B2B commerce is coming to the forefront. According to recent estimates, the B2B eCommerce market across the USA is targeted to surpass $2 trillion in 2023 and $3 trillion by 2027, with more companies opting to purchase goods and services online.

In this article, we will explore the top trends driving this growth, including the increasing use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the rise of mobile commerce, and the importance of personalization and customer experience. We will also discuss how these trends are shaping the future of B2B commerce and the challenges and opportunities they present for businesses. So, let us dive in and see how these trends are transforming the B2B eCommerce space.

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If you are using multiple business applications like ERP, CRM, POS, Shipping Solutions, etc., and want to integrate your B2B eCommerce platform with them, a smart business process automation like APPSeCONNECT can help you achieve this. Such platforms allow B2B merchants and store owners to seamlessly integrate their applications and bring uniformity of data across operations.

Why Businesses Need B2B eCommerce

The growth of B2B eCommerce is transforming modern-day B2B Businesses. B2B eCommerce has become increasingly important in recent years due to the growing number of businesses that operate online and the increasing use of digital technologies for managing business operations. Traditional eCommerce vendors are expanding their business online to reach a greater market, accelerate their business growth and remain competitive.

There are several factors behind why B2B eCommerce has become prudent for the survival of traditional B2B businesses and increased growth. The key factors driving the growing need for B2B eCommerce include:

Ease of Business Management: One of the biggest advantages offered by B2B eCommerce for both business owners and customers is the ability to conduct business around the clock. It offers the ability to place orders, check inventory, and track shipments at any time. It also offers automation of workflows such as inventory management, order tracking, and invoicing, which can help streamline business operations and increase efficiency.

Optimization of Operational Costs: Most modern B2B eCommerce platforms come packed with inventory management systems that can help enterprises optimize their inventory levels, reduce stockouts, and avoid overstocking. Automated inventory management helps save money on carrying costs and reduce the risk of stock depreciation. It also helps businesses increase efficiency by streamlining repetitive processes and gaining real-time insights into key business performance indicators. The automation of workflows and access to core business analytics helps save time and money.

Improved Customer Service: Personalization plays a key role in improving customer experiences for businesses. B2B eCommerce solutions allow companies to provide personalized experiences for customers by remembering their preferences, and order history, and providing tailored recommendations. The platform also often includes online support functionalities, such as live chat, email, and FAQs, to help customers quickly get answers to their questions and get support for any issues they are facing.

Effortless Global Reach: A B2B eCommerce platform provides an online marketplace to connect businesses with suppliers and customers worldwide. The ability to conduct business across the globe can help companies to expand their customer base and reach new markets. Most online B2B commerce platforms also come with built-in compliance for global regulations, such as trade agreements and tariffs, by providing up-to-date information and automated compliance tools. Additionally, online B2B platforms support multiple languages and currencies to help enterprises communicate effectively with customers from different countries and make transactions with them more effortless.

The collective list of benefits B2B eCommerce offers to enterprises makes it an indispensable tool for businesses of all sizes to compete and succeed in today’s digital economy.

Top Trends Shaping B2B eCommerce in 2023

Today’s buyers are more technically and digitally savvy. They are spending more time online and want to engage with businesses on their time. According to McKinsey & Company, about 65% of companies across the industry conduct their B2B transactions online and the number is expected to grow more in the future. With the ever-expanding online B2B market new trends are emerging that will shape the market for the upcoming year.

Here are the B2B eCommerce trends that will be shaping the year ahead.

Adopting B2C eCommerce Strategies

To be successful, both B2C and B2B brands must understand and meet the needs of their customers. B2C eCommerce companies have set a high standard for customer experience, including fast search results, easy navigation, shipment tracking, and effective customer support. B2B customers now expect the same level of convenience and service when making online purchases. B2C companies, with their more established online presence, have a head start in understanding and implementing strategies for successful conversions. Failure to meet these expectations can lead to a loss of business for B2B companies. Thus, adopting B2C eCommerce strategies will be a major trend for B2B companies in the upcoming year.

Offering Self-Service Capabilities

Like B2C customers, B2B buyers are looking for the convenience of engaging with businesses and conducting their purchases on their time. Self-service allows customers to easily access product and pricing information, place orders, and track their delivery status, without having to communicate with a sales representative or customer support. This can save time and improve the overall customer experience. Additionally, offering self-service functionalities to customers helps reduce the workload on customer service and sales teams, allowing them to focus on more complex issues and building stronger customer relationships. Self-service capabilities also provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, which can be leveraged to improve products, services, and marketing strategies. Overall, offering self-service capabilities will be important for B2B eCommerce businesses to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

Need for Omnichannel Experiences

B2B buyers interact with a wide range of touchpoints across different channels before they make a purchase. B2B customers expect a seamless experience across all these channels, whether it be online, in-store, or over the phone. They want to be able to interact with a business in the way that is the most convenient for them. Focusing on implementing a unified and effective Omnichannel experience can help B2B eCommerce businesses to offer better customer services and increase sales by making it easier for the buyers to purchase products or services through the channel that is most convenient for them. Additionally, by going Omnichannel, B2B businesses can collect and analyze data from multiple channels and how customers interact with those channels to gain a more complete picture of customer behavior and preferences.

Demand for Out-of-the-Box Capabilities

Success in the modern industry is defined by how fast a business can deliver to the demands of its customers. B2B businesses also need that faster time to market to be able to capture the market and remain competitive. B2B businesses need a wider range of features typically not found in B2C eCommerce solutions, which often require time-consuming customizations to effectively implement. Thus, having out-of-the-box capabilities for B2B eCommerce platforms is quickly becoming a major trend across the industry. Out-of-the-box capabilities allow the B2B enterprise to quickly set up and launch their eCommerce business without the need for additional development or customization while also enabling ease of scalability to meet the growing needs of the business.

Delivering Personalized Customer Experiences

B2C brands have been effectively leveraging personalized customer experiences to build customer loyalty and improve sales. B2B buyers have also begun to seek similar personalized buying experiences from their vendors and are often willing to take their business elsewhere if they do not get it. Reports show that B2B buyers want a more personalized experience from their online purchases and therefore is a major factor in the B2B eCommerce growth equation. Online B2B companies need to focus on gathering information about their customers, such as their purchase history, demographics, and preferences to create detailed customer profiles. The data from the customer profiles then must be properly analyzed to deliver the personalized website, communication, recommendations, and purchasing experiences B2B customers are looking for.

Focusing on Mobile Optimized B2B eCommerce

According to research statistics, retail mobile commerce sales in the United States exceeded 360 billion U.S. dollars in 2021 and by 2025, that figure is forecasted to grow to approximately 710 billion U.S. dollars. Those are figures that the B2B industry cannot ignore. Having an effective mobile commerce strategy is prudent to drive success for B2B enterprises in an era where everyone spends most of their time on their smartphones. In the B2B industry, customer touchpoints often include mobile apps. By focusing on optimizing mobile channels to make prospects and buyers have a fast and smooth experience will help online B2B businesses to increase their sales conversion success rate.

Implementing Social Commerce Strategies

Social commerce is a major area that B2B eCommerce enterprises have not previously tapped into but can drastically grow into in the upcoming year. According to estimates, nearly 46% of B2B buyers already turn to social media at the very beginning of their buying journeys. Leading social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are not only platforms to build and promote brands but also marketplaces that allow companies to carry out business through them. Selling directly through social media channels has lesser barriers to purchasing while also increasing customer engagement with the brand.

Integration as a Major Requirement for B2B eCommerce

B2B companies frequently encounter difficulties when implementing new technologies and techniques. They often deploy a wide range of applications like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), POS (Point of Sale), Shipping, and other applications alongside their eCommerce platform to manage distinct workflows within the organization. Integration of existing systems with new tools, closely followed by the need to upgrade outdated systems are the primary issues online B2B commerce businesses face with their digital infrastructure.

Thus, B2B companies must look into intelligent solutions like APPSeCONNECT’s low-code Business Process Automation (BPA) and integration platform to rapidly deploy integration for their eCommerce platform with the rest of their software ecosystem.

The Closing Note – Getting Started with B2B eCommerce in 2023

Traditional B2B businesses are increasingly turning to eCommerce to reach new customers and maximize their profits. Online B2B Commerce has become an essential part of the modern business landscape, allowing companies to increase their sales and expand their customer base. Getting started with B2B digital Commerce can be daunting for newcomers. However, by having a proper eCommerce strategy in place and choosing best-of-breed B2B eCommerce platforms, transitioning, and thriving in the online commerce market can be effortlessly achieved.

The best place to get started in the online B2B commerce journey is to identify the ideal B2B eCommerce platform that offers all the necessary features the business needs. Getting onboard B2B eCommerce with platforms like Shopify Plus, Adobe Commerce, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, etc., offers a wide range of built-in features and functionalities to drive effective B2B online sales.

Additionally, focusing on strategies that leverage the above-mentioned B2B eCommerce trends can help businesses drive greater success and stay one step ahead of the competition. Adopting time-tested B2C sales strategies, offering a robust Omnichannel experience, focusing on optimizing mobile commerce, and implementing smart integration solutions is what will bring success to B2B businesses operating in the eCommerce industry in the upcoming year.

If you are using multiple business applications like ERP, CRM, POS, Shipping Solutions, etc., and want to integrate your B2B eCommerce platform with them, a smart business process automation like APPSeCONNECT can help you achieve this. Such platforms allow B2B merchants and store owners to seamlessly integrate their applications and bring uniformity of data across operations.