Since the pandemic, the business world has dramatically shifted towards an increasingly digital medium. This led to leveraging technology to streamline workflows and reduce human effort.
While the B2C businesses have widely adopted the digital approach, the B2B industry is yet to master this eCommerce pivot. But those who have adopted the digital way have seen extensive growth.
A McKinsey and Company report states that B2B businesses drive 18% of their revenue from eCommerce, higher than traditional phone calls and emails.
But the widely popular B2C eCommerce strategies won’t work in the B2B sector, as they function differently. So, to venture into B2B eCommerce, you need a customized plan that accommodates the industry’s needs.
In today’s article, we will discuss 7 strategies to future-proof your B2B eCommerce in today’s digital era.
7 strategies for future-proofing B2B eCommerce
Adopting online mediums to run your B2B business can intimidate beginners. Your strategy must cover your customer’s needs and smoothen different buyer’s journeys while staying true to your brand value.
For that, adopt these actionable strategies:
1. Embrace mobile-first design
Today’s tech-savvy customers mostly browse eCommerce sites on mobiles. Reports state that mobile phones generated 59.16% of global website traffic in the last quarter of 2022. The numbers have consistently hovered over the 50% mark in recent years.
Since having a mobile-oriented web design is a customer-centric approach, your B2B business must get on board with this approach to future-proof your stability in the eCommerce market.
You can better reach and appeal to a wider audience by prioritizing small screens in your web design. New customers are more likely to explore your store on mobile devices, making your brand more accessible.
Fitting a desktop layout to mobile screens may hamper UX’s aesthetic value, requiring you to invest more resources in redesigning. So, be wise and build your web design by considering small screens. This will help you elevate it to a desktop view later on.
Despite its many benefits, many B2B eCommerce businesses must be more responsive to accommodate a mobile-first UX. Adopting it early on can also gain a competitive advantage in the industry.
2. Adopt a data-driven approach
To give your customer the best possible experience with your eCommerce business, you must have conclusive information on their preferences, desires, and pain points. So, a well-planned data-driven approach is a prerequisite to driving the digital transformation of your B2B company.
While relying on your gut instinct is necessary for business, without accurate data to back it up, this approach becomes unsustainable in the eCommerce industry.
E-commerce is a fast-paced market with multiple pieces in operation. The key to success here is aligning your objectives and functions; you need accurate data.
By collecting and processing data, you will:
- Get in-depth insight into what you need to add and improve in your strategy
- Facilitate transparency and progress tracking
- Track employee progress and increase engagement and productivity
- Make better business decisions and save money by avoiding risks
To adopt a data-driven strategy, start by clearly defining your business goals. Identify performance parameters and regularly track them. Involve all the stakeholders in the process and adopt an efficient analytics system.
3. Invest in AI and automation
As you scale your B2B eCommerce business, manual processes will not be enough to meet demands. They are error-prone, tedious, time-consuming, and counterproductive to your business’s growth.
For a successful digital transformation, you must leverage the multifaceted benefits of AI technology and automation. It eliminates repetitive tasks and helps your workforce invest their energy in the strategic parts of the business.
Automation provides a seamless user experience with natural language processing (NLP), real-time responses, and relevant and timely updates. AI drives data mining and errorless processing, generating accurate reports. It increases customer satisfaction, enhances targeted marketing, and brings efficiency into sales.
While choosing an automation platform, ensure it accommodates your scalability and integrates with your current system.
4. Focus on personalization and customer experience
With increasing digital transformation, the eCommerce market has become cluttered. Your target audience has many options to choose from.
So, you must stand out by offering a highly personalized experience to each customer. A customized buyer’s journey will make them feel valued and help them relate to your brand. This ultimately improves sales, cultivates stronger customer relationships, and boosts your button-line metrics.
Here are some personalization measures you can adopt:
- Offer custom pricing
- Segment leads and offers tailored catalogs
- Customize landing pages according to lead segments
- Analyze purchase history and offer order templates
- Digitize your marketing collateral
5. Untether your CMS and eCommerce platform
Headless commerce is the go-to approach of every customer-centric eCommerce business. This architecture separates your eCommerce platform’s front and back ends, giving you a wider window to customize your consumer experience.
Headless eCommerce platforms reduce the hassle of updating both the front and back end, letting your business compete with emerging touchpoints.
You can launch new front-end experiences quickly and hop on new market trends without burning a hole in your pocket. The agility improves your adaptability to fit in emerging customer preferences early on and stay ahead of the curve.
6. Build a strong digital presence
Another key aspect of sustaining an online business is creating a strong digital presence. It lets new customers discover your brand and create awareness around your offerings.
Here is what you can do to enhance your visibility in the digital space:
- Optimize your website for search engines
- Develop a targeted content marketing strategy
- Be active on social media
- Narrate a clear and consistent brand story across all channels
- Use customer testimonials to build credibility
- Constantly measure ROI and bring improvements accordingly.
7. Ensure cybersecurity and data protection
Collecting customer data and using the insights is integral to any B2B eCommerce business. But that also makes this industry vulnerable to cyber threats and breaches. Apart from financial losses, malware attacks can also be huge legal troubles.
So, having reliable cyber security and data protection measures is essential to sustain a successful B2B eCommerce business. Training your employees in data security is also essential. This will help you comply with regulations, secure customer data, and protect sensitive business information.
Ensure all your data is backed up securely. Invest in a solid cyber security system. You should also have an emergency response plan ready if things go south.
With the right strategies and ability to adapt, you can build a B2B eCommerce business that survives and thrives with the challenges of an increasingly digital world.
Ensure your web design is mobile-friendly and your digital presence is on-brand and appealing. Choose the right tools for automation and cyber security. Understand your customers and prioritize personalization at every touchpoint.
Besides your business instincts, avoid risks with a data-driven approach. Lastly, adopt AI-powered automation technology to streamline all your efforts.