Improved customer experience in B2B online shops

In the B2B sector, it is often difficult to set yourself apart from the competition in terms of price and product range. However, other tools can be used: according to research by the global digital commerce platform VTEX, published in Business Leader in October 2022, over half (52 percent) of B2B buyers agreed that the e-commerce capabilities of B2B brands are behind that of consumer brands. This research showed that there are rising expectations amongst B2B buyers for further improvements in their online purchasing experience. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) believe B2B brands could improve customer experiences by offering greater levels of personalisation.

Buy now, pay later (BNPL)

Not all B2B online shops offer “buy now, pay later” options, especially not with relatively late payment deadlines. According to Hokodo, research suggests that BNPL could be suitable for nine out of ten business transactions.  Generally speaking, if two businesses are transacting online, B2B BNPL could help to streamline and support the payment experience, regardless of the industry in question. Deferring payment by 30, 60 or 90 days gives buyers the opportunity to recoup costs before having to pay for their purchase. This promotes healthier cash flow and, ultimately, business growth. Hokodo also claims that buyers can wave goodbye to the tedious, hand-written forms and lengthy waiting times traditionally associated with accessing trade credit. BNPL is a seamless solution and shouldn’t require an account with the provider.

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Demonstrating your presence on procurement platforms

E-commerce is now the number one procurement tool in the B2B sector. Both separate online shops and procurement platforms that enable electronic wholesale trade between business customers are becoming increasingly relevant. According to Mintel, the UK e-commerce market is one of the most advanced in Europe and continues to grow strongly through website sales of B2B e-commerce products. Platforms are a clear growth driver for B2B e-commerce. 69 percent of the entire market in 2021 was accounted for by B2B ecommerce, 96 percent of businesses have some form of digital exposure and 11 percent of sales in 2021 were accounted for by EDI. So if you set up a professional company presence with providers such as wlw, you are likely to appeal to significantly more buyers than before.

Sustainability is becoming the norm

While B2B companies were able to achieve competitive advantages a few years ago by means of sustainable business practices, efforts in this direction are increasingly becoming the expected norm. According to “The DNA of a Sustainable Procurement Leader: Insights from the 2021 Sustainable Procurement Barometer” published by ecovadis, the number of executives who view corporate sustainability goals as “very important” has more than doubled, compared to only 25 percent two years ago. Integrating a holistic approach across procurement processes and investing in the right tools are integral to managing a supply chain effectively and building for a resilient future.

Cross-media offers

According to Gartner research, sellers have little opportunity to influence customer decisions. The ready availability of quality information through digital channels has made it far easier for buyers to gather information independently, meaning sellers have less access and fewer opportunities to influence customer decisions. In fact‚ this research finds that when B2B buyers are considering a purchase‚ they spend only 17 percent of their time meeting with potential suppliers. When buyers are comparing multiple suppliers‚ the amount of time spent with any one sales rep may be only 5 or 6 percent.