Top Three B2B Ecommerce Trends to Watch in 2019

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Is your business joining the ecommerce revolution? If not, you could be missing out on the projected $4.8 trillion in retail ecommerce sales projected worldwide for 2021.

Companies embracing ecommerce marketing strategies are experiencing rapid growth. In 2017, there were 1.66 billion online buyers. This number is expected to skyrocket to 2.14 billion by 2021.

Prepare for the exciting future of ecommerce by implementing the emerging trends of 2019.

With this as a backdrop, the three key trends we’ll see accelerate in 2019 are:

1. More consumer-like self-serve experiences from B2B enterprises. Delivering a consumer-like ecommerce buying experience that is optimized for viewing and buying on any device is just one piece of the omnichannel puzzle.

The second piece is enabling seamless experiences regardless of where your prospect or customer begins their buying journey. Either online or with a call to sales, or through one of your channel partners, the customer must have command over what, how, when, and where to engage with you.

2. Seamless cross-channel buying journeys supported by extensive back-end integration. Once you have the foundation of a great seamless self-serve experience, you can then start to digitally enable sales, legal, and revenue teams as well as partners in order to impact business outcomes.

For instance, when a customer picks up the phone and wants to talk to the sales department, they don’t want to start all over with 100 solution-selling questions as if this is the first time the salesperson is looking at their needs.

Buyers expect the salesperson to be informed and to have done their own research and preparation based on all the information already shared or available based on past purchases.

3. B2B personalization is becoming more sophisticated by leveraging machine learning and prescriptive analytics. Prospective customers are willing to share a lot of information while researching for products and solutions.

All they expect in return is that the companies stay aware and updated about what their customers have purchased and installed after they became a customer.

From the configuration of products and solutions and contract pricing presented on the ecommerce experience to automated presentation of the right components, businesses must enable proficient services before and after the purchase is made.

This is what personalization looks like in a business buying context. Companies are starting to gain an edge by leveraging machine learning in the cloud to deliver smart B2B personalization, turning data into insights that drive the best outcomes, even for very complex situations. For example, optimizing a quote for the price, discounting, and sales compensation based on similar customer and deal profiles.

All of this adds up to the coming of age of omnichannel ecommerce for B2B for products of all types: Simple and complex configurable goods, physical and digital goods, and one-time purchases and subscriptions.

Final Thoughts

Expectations of business buyers have raised exponentially. They now demand a consumer-like ecommerce buying experience at work, even for more complex products, digital goods, and subscription-based products.

All the information, pricing, specs, and availability that buyers need to make highly informed choices and decisions are at their fingertips 24/7/365.

They want to do most research on their own and are demanding to be able to place orders at a minimum configured order and request a quote from multi-devices.

The latest analyst research backs this up. According to Gartner, 93 percent of business buyers prefer to buy online and by 2020, customers will manage 85 percent of their relationships with enterprises without even interacting with a human.