By Francesca Firth on Thu 08 May 2014 in Web & eCommerce
The B2B sector often finds itself following the trends set by B2C markets. However, a recent report from Forrester suggests that in the very near future B2B eCommerce will secure its place online and may even outperform B2C in terms of growth.
Their survey of 190 B2B businesses showed that 86% of companies now sell online to customers who previously conducted business with them through offline channels. The report also cites 50% of companies planning to upgrade their eCommerce solutions by mid-2015 and 52% identifying web content management systems as being a top investment priority. This suggests that companies are keen to cement their online presence with capable technology.
So, with the future of B2B business being strongly internet based, our team has scoured the web looking for top advice from B2B eCommerce sites around the world.
The Distrelec Group operates across Europe, distributing items relating to electronics, automation and electrical engineering to a B2B audience. They have recently announced plans to roll out 360° imaging facilities on their website with the aim of enhancing their customers online experience. Spokespeople at the company have said “Business people are still consumers, and will respond well to an exciting and engaging website with high quality imagery.”
Alibaba is the world’s largest online trading platform. Their site takes 80% of Chinas online orders and accounts for 60% of all parcels delivered in the country. The sites online sales totalled $240 billion last year which is more than the combined sales of both eBay and Amazon.com. One of the key factors of Alibaba’s success (especially in terms of its B2B sales) is efficiency. The site is well equipped to handle the number of orders it receives. Consumers of the site are also offered the chance to purchase everything they need from food to electronics in one place, increasing their own efficiency and enhancing user experience.
Just Snacks is a rapidly growing Australian based SME. They accredit their rapid growth to their use of promotional strategies. They understand that B2C retailers want to offer their consumers the best possible value whilst gaining a competitive edge. As a B2B company they work hard to develop promotional strategies so that their consumers can pass on the maximum value.
Epsom are a well know manufacturer of Printers with head offices in Japan. B2B sales represent 40% of their business. They have taken time to understand the B2B buying process and have concluded that it is crucial to provide consumers with the right information, at the right time and in the right way. They make sure that their websites are easy to navigate and with highly relevant information.
Brandspeak, an American Marketing consultancy have identified that the key to B2B business is to consider the significance of B2B buyers as people with the same requirements as B2C buyers. They suggest that companies that serve B2B and B2C consumers do not need to develop completely separate strategies for online sales but should instead focus on one strategy. After all, in both situations you are meeting the needs of humans.There is plenty that can be learnt from looking at B2B sites across the globe. Our findings suggest that B2B sites are becoming increasingly aware of the person behind the buying process and therefore making their experience more efficient and more exciting. ProspectSoft’s experts have loads of great tips on how to improve your websites performance and our eCommerce solution has great functionality which can enhance your consumer’s online experience whether it be part of a B2B or B2C buying process. To find out more call us on 01494 486 301.