B2B eCommerce is constantly developing and changing. Staying up-to-date with the latest and greatest trends may be a challenge for many, but businesses that are willing to adapt to the rapid development of eCommerce will continue to get positive results. A recent study conducted by Forrester Research shows that 89 percent of B2B providers said adding eCommerce to their business increased annual revenue by 55 percent. Meanwhile, 81 percent said selling online drove up their average order value by 31 percent. It’s important for B2Bs to understand these eCommerce trends and know how to implement them in order to stay relevant in their industry. Here are the top five latest trends in B2B eCommerce.
1. B2C Influence
Over the past few years, B2C eCommerce has revolved around one word: simplicity. Consumers want products and services quickly and easily. Rather than walking into a store, a customer places orders in the comfort of their own home; or even better, in the palm of their hand from any location. If you aren’t digital, you’re irrelevant. The same concept is now being applied to B2B interactions. B2B buyers, used to the conveniences of B2C eCommerce transactions, now expect the same conveniences when making business purchases. Transactions are simplified, and digital interaction is more frequent.
2. Level 3 Processing on the Rise
With more B2B buyers using credit cards to make online purchases, B2B sellers are looking for ways to lower the cost of accepting credit card payments in an effort to retain more of their profits. One of the ways B2B sellers are saving on processing fees is by enhancing their interchange level to a Level 3. Running a level 3 transaction gives merchants the opportunity to lower their interchange rate by providing acquiring banks with more information about the transaction, such as product codes, quantity, tax rates, and more.
With B2B buyers primarily doing their research online, it’s important to have a strong online presence. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that 89% of B2B researchers are using the Internet during the B2B research process. Specifically, a large portion of B2B buying processes begin with an online search engine. The average B2B researcher will conduct 12 searches before visiting a specific brand’s website. It all starts with a generic search, and gets more specific as information is discovered. This ultimately leads the buyer to a specific brand.
4. Purchasing Decision Influence
Over the past few years, there’s been a noticeable shift in the B2B researcher demographic. According to a Google survey of B2B decision makers, 18- to 34-year-olds only made up 27% of the B2B buyers in 2012. Compared to the same survey conducted two years later in 2014, the age group of 18- to 34-year-old B2B buyers increased significantly to 46%. This means millennials are currently representing nearly half of the B2B buyer population. In addition, millennials are digital pioneers. They’ve grown up in the digital age and are now finding careers where they can implement all the useful tools they’ve learned from a lifetime of technology. This makes the importance of having an intuitive online interface more important than ever. Intuitive design is something that Millennials have come to expect when making online purchases, so B2B online shopping carts need to meet their level of expectation in order to favorably sway purchases.
5. Marketing Methods
It’s easy to see the trends following B2B eCommerce are causing changes with the way B2B sellers and buyers interact and get their messages across. Although print catalogs for wholesalers and manufacturers won’t go away entirely, their purposes are shifting. B2B sellers are using more interactive online tools to provide information rather than relying solely on print catalogs. Online catalogs make it easier for researchers to gain information and influence purchase behavior. Online advertising, retargeting, influencer outreach, and other online marketing methods are also on the rise for B2B products and services.
It might be challenging for B2B sellers to keep up with the latest trends in eCommerce, but it’s imperative to stay relevant. Take these popular trends and apply them to your business to attract new buyers and keep your current buyers satisfied with your services.
All these tips and trends lead to one thing: increasing profits. When it comes to the actual transaction process (which is the best part), make sure you’re up-to-date with payment processing trends. Most merchant service providers mark up their costs with surcharges, basis points and unnecessary fees tacked onto the interchange rate. Cut B2B payment processing costs and go direct with a low monthly subscription from Fattmerchant. Click here to get your FREE business savings estimate and find out exactly how much you can save with subscription-based payment processing.