As we hit the half-way point of 2017, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at what some organizations predicted would be the big B2B eCommerce trends of 2017 and whether or not those predictions held true. While most of the predictions we saw rang true in some sense, there were a few we came across from nearly every source we searched. Those predictions had to do with mobile, customer experience, and sales staff.
Mobile B2B eCommerce
You’re probably sick of hearing it by now, but it bears repeating: mobile is becoming increasingly crucial to the B2B eCommerce cycle. As this article from Avalara states, B2B eCommerce has historically lagged behind their B2C counterparts when it comes to providing a seamless mobile experience. Avalara predicted that mobile commerce would be a major point of emphasis for B2B eCommerce organizations this year, and they were right. 2017 has seen more B2B organizations embrace the benefits of mobile and further optimize their sites for the mobile shopper and researcher.
B2B Customer Experience
Embracing mobile is part of a larger trend of B2B eCommerce companies focusing on the customer experience. As we’ve said before, the B2B customer shopping online during the day for work is also a B2C customer making personal purchases online. Why should their shopping experiences be different based on what role they are filling?
Avalara predicted that as we progressed through 2017, B2B buyers would increasingly expect a more consumer-like experience. Despite typically offering a more complex product, B2B sites need to provide all of the available pricing and product information so that buyers can make the highly-informed decisions they have gotten used to making online. We have certainly seen evidence of that in some of our recent customer projects, as more and more organizations are interested in updating their eCommerce platform and integrating with their backend system.
Integrating Sales Staff
One prediction that we saw time and again, and a challenge that we have touched on before, is the integration of sales staff with B2B eCommerce. As eCommerce takes on a larger role in B2B organizations, the traditional sales staff can feel like they are being edged out. It’s important to engage the sales team and communicate the benefits of the new tools available.
Any B2B organization implementing an eCommerce site and forgets their sales personnel is asking for trouble. It’s common for sales staff to view the eCommerce site as a replacement for all of their hard work, and they are likely to be resistant to this new tool. But by engaging your sales team, getting their input, and defining the benefits of the new system, you can move forward as a united front.
So, what do you think? Have you seen evidence of these 2017 B2B eCommerce trend predictions? Are you dealing with one of these challenges as we speak? Contact our team for more information or to get started on a B2B eCommerce project.