If you’re a B2B company, ecommerce is a necessity for your business.
As a McKinsey & Company study found, 65% of B2B companies sold exclusively online in 2022.
B2B ecommerce strategies also differ greatly from B2C (business-to-consumer) ecommerce. In B2B, transactions involve two businesses, while in B2C, businesses sell directly to consumers.
To stay on top of the ever-evolving B2B ecommerce game, you need to pay attention to trends. In this post, we highlight the top 10 for 2023:
Top B2B Ecommerce Trends
- Mobile Optimization Will be Vital
- Social Commerce Will Give Prospects More Shopping Options
- Personalized Online Shopping Will Get More Personal
- Omnichannel Sales Will Grow
- ecommerce Tools Will Automate Sales Processes
- Product Discovery Data Will Be Essential
- Video Content Won't be Just for B2C Brands
- Sustainable ecommerce Will Gain More Importance
- Brands Will Invest in Headless Commerce Architecture
- Voice Search Will Enable More Product Discovery Options
1. Mobile Optimization Will Be Vital
The target audience for online retailers are using smartphones on a daily basis, so it's prudent for online retailers to optimize their ecommerce sites for mobile use.
In fact, mobile commerce volume is expected to hit $620.97 billion by 2024, meaning 42.9% of all ecommerce purchases will be made on a mobile device. Adapting your website for mobile use also means the bounce rate will be lower, resulting in fewer abandoned carts. By optimizing your website for mobile use, you can meet consumers where they are.
2. Social Commerce Will Give Prospects New Shopping Options
Take one scroll through Instagram and TikTok and you're guaranteed to come across one item you can buy. Social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook already have plenty of businesses using them, and many have given consumers the ability to purchase directly from social media.
According to Insider Intelligence, nearly 36% of internet users in the U.S. are social buyers, which is approximately 90.2 million people. In a similar study by HubSpot. More than 50% of consumers we surveyed said they'd purchased a product directly from a social media platform. Below is a look of the platforms they used to make those purchases:
Given the growing significance of social media in shopping, you should continue to optimize ecommerce for these platforms.
Pro tip: Read more about social commerce in this blog post.
3. Personalized Online Shopping Will Get More Personal
No one wants a shopping experience that sounds like a car salesman copied and pasted their sales pitch — it is incredibly grating and generic.
A McKinsey survey of close to 3,500 decision makers found that customers want a more personalized experience. A Moengage survey backed up that research — 27 percent of respondents said they were “most frustrated by receiving irrelevant content or product messages.” A personalized shopping experience might look like an ecommerce site recommending products based on your previous purchases. Even language can make a difference in making the shopper feel like their interests are being directly addressed.
Ultimately, a personalized online shopping experience will enable the customer to feel like they are getting relevant information.
4. Omnichannel Sales Will Grow
Omnichannel sales simply means a multichannel approach to sales that aims to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience.
In an omnichannel B2B ecommerce strategy, the seller focuses on the customer’s entire buying experience rather than their individual experiences on different channels. It’s important to distinguish between omnichannel and multichannel — while omnichannel means delivering a consistent and connected experience for the customer, multichannel means selling products on different channels.
5. Ecommerce Tools Will Automate Sales
If you want to truly excel in B2B ecommerce, you need the right ecommerce tools, whether it’s a comprehensive website builder or shopping cart software.
B2B ecommerce companies are investing in tools that not only make operating an online store easier, but are also important for growth as they automate time-consuming tasks and free up your time to focus on strategy.
ecommerce tools fall into the following categories:
- Online store hosting: Build an online store from scratch.
- Analytics tools: From tools to monitor traffic to SEO analytics tools, these insights can help inform your business decisions.
- Daily operations: Running an online store is no easy task — tools that help with your day-to-day operations can free up your time.
- Marketing tools: Marketing campaigns and content creation tools help get your business in front of your target audience.
- Customer service tools: Customer service tools make sure your customers feel like their needs are tended to every step of the purchase process.
You can even connect HubSpot to your ecommerce site — for example, Shopify integrates with HubSpot. ecommerce tools streamline and automate processes for your business.
6. Product Discovery Data Will Be Essential
For B2B buyers, finding the right products is not always straightforward. And at a glance, it can be hard to glean the necessary information to make a purchase decision. Furthermore, it can be difficult and time-consuming to manually input product information, especially on channels that prospects won't even visit.
With product information management (PIM) software, you can easily collect, manage, and distribute product information across multiple channels. This way, you can cater your ecommerce marketing and sales strategies to the right audiences, on the right channels, at the right time.
7. Video Content Won't Be Just for B2C Brands
Videos are everywhere. On social platforms like TikTok and Instagram, videos dominate your feed. This trend is not just for B2C brands — it also applies to B2B ecommerce.
By incorporating a video strategy, you'll be able to capture your audience’s attention and deliver important information in bite-sized chunks. From 2020 through today, HubSpot Research consistently shows that video-content (particularly short-form video) drives high ROI for most marketers who leverage it.
8. Sustainable ecommerce Will Gain Importance
Sustainability is at the top of mind for B2B brands. Initiatives like using green packaging, eco-friendly materials, and reducing energy consumption in manufacturing are all ways to improve sustainability.
For example, at Janji, envelope mailers are biodegradable and made from 100% post-consumer recycled content. They have also abandoned individual poly bags in most instances, reducing plastic in packaging by 86%.
9. Brands Will Invest in Headless Commerce Architecture
Headless commerce architecture enables B2B brands to separate the website’s front end from its back end, giving retailers more freedom to build and customize anything they like.
One of the reasons businesses are choosing to go headless is because it can make it easier to create and deliver personalized shopping experiences.
Once it’s up and running, headless makes it easier to lower your website budget, as you won’t need technical support to update the back end every time you want to make a slight adjustment to the front end.
For example, United Airlines has gone headless with React Progressive Web App, providing customers a seamless booking experience across different channels.
10. Voice Search Will Enable More Product Discovery Opportunities
According to Google, 27% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile. And those who use it are loyal to it — 72% of people using voice search use it daily. Voice search is not limited to Alexa and Siri — it can also be used for B2B ecommerce. A voice search is significantly easier and faster than typing on a keyboard. Furthermore, it is optimized for mobile devices, which is another trend for B2B ecommerce.
Your Business Needs to Pay Attention to Ecommerce Trends
B2B ecommerce trends are always changing. In order to remain competitive, your business needs to pay attention to the latest trends and evaluate which ones to prioritize.