B2B e-commerce is transcending boundaries, with technology being able to modernize critical functions and business processes.
There is no one solution to the e-commerce puzzle, as the landscape shifts with every new development. It is therefore the task of the executive to make sure that their business doesn’t fall off the tracks.
Let’s take a look at certain trends and technological advances that are likely to pave the way of any B2B organization.
1) Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing every aspect of daily human life, and B2B e-commerce is no different. While it is still in its infancy in this industry, there have been several innovations that will streamline certain business functions.
The primary usage of AI in B2B e-commerce is to read and analyze large amounts of data and structure them into a usable form for organizations.
This is helpful in determining buyer preferences. AI basically does the task of market research for you—automatically.
The resultant data serves as a baseline for creating organizational plans and policies.
AI can also be used to provide a guided experience to customers through chatbots. Chatbots interact with customers similarly to how a sales representative would, and they help buyers make a final purchase.
AI also uses data generated by chatbots, which can be used to improve areas where buyers require more help.
2) Omnichannel Business
Despite the ease and convenience of e-commerce, there are certain situations where offline business cannot be replaced.
So, it’s important that your business strategy includes sales across all channels, and that and e-commerce platforms facilitate this by offering sales representatives a wide range of tools that can help seal the deal.
But omnichannel business isn’t limited to just sales. A comprehensive customer profile can be created through cloud-based platforms.
These profiles are gaining popularity because they enable a higher level of customer satisfaction.
3) Mobile Access
Google reported that just under half of B2B e-commerce searches originate from a mobile device.
Earlier, a large number of organizations simply scaled down their desktop website to compensate, but this creates a poor experience for the customer because it is neither easy to use nor aesthetically appealing.
Now, it’s necessary for B2B e-commerce organizations to develop a mobile application or create a mobile-specific website that facilitates transactions anywhere, anytime.
4) Cloud-Based Platforms
Several businesses jumped the gun in terms of an online platform and invested heavily in developing and hosting a technology stack for B2B e-commerce.
Not only was this stack expensive to create, but it also has high maintenance costs and it’s difficult to add new features. Born-in-the-cloud e-commerce platforms are the preferred choice of new entrants in the B2B online market. T
hey offer innumerable services and integrations that help businesses function more smoothly. They are cheaper as well and help deliver enhanced customer experience.
5) Customer Experience
A focus on customer relations is not new to any B2B company. However, providing a better customer experience is the driving force behind all technological developments.
Customers in the B2B sector are increasingly demanding service similar to that provided by B2C organizations.
This trend shows that any new technology that enters the market is likely to be aimed at the customer experience.
Salesforce, for example, completely transformed the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) market for organizations.
Executives need to focus on the overall online customer feel to effectively make use of their e-commerce platform.
6) Order and Inventory Management
Minimizing inventory costs and effective order management are crucial goals that any organization that wishes to be successful needs to fulfill.
Several technologies like Blockchain and Augmented Reality are being customized to increase efficiency in these areas.
Further, multiple integrations on cloud platforms are helping organizations streamline orders and effectively manage them.
There needs to be continuous development in order to guarantee the growth of an organization. B2B e-commerce platforms are highly dynamic, and it is important that you focus on the right areas to ensure that there are no setbacks to your progress.