The upheaval of 2020 caused a tectonic shift to the online retail habits of consumers. Trends that were already present rapidly grew. Online shopping became even more mainstream and while digital payments gained wider acceptance, both for buyer and seller. For B2B commerce, a similar disruption also occurred. For one, B2B clients heeded the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 and shifted preference from human interaction to digital self-serve and remote human engagement. As such, a B2B change agent emerged, manifesting itself online as an eCommerce hub.
The Pandemic Disruption of B2B Commerce
Another effect of the pandemic disruption was a change in the purchasing mindset. Before, B2B eCommerce solutions were used mainly to handle small-ticket items and fast-moving supplies. According to McKinsey and Co, 70% of B2B decision makers are now open to making new, fully self-serve, or remote purchases of items in excess of $50,000. Additionally, another 27% of decision makers said they’re okay to order online products worth in excess of $500,000.
Even after lockdowns and restrictions were lifted (to a greater or less extent depending on region) during the later part of 2020, the sentiment to remain digital remained. In fact, only 20% B2B buyers say they hope to return to in-person sales, even in industries where personal interactions used to be paramount, such as pharmaceuticals and medical sales. Decision makers preferred remote servicing or digital service as it offers a safer environment (COVID-19 concerns), provides an easier, more flexible schedule, and saves time and travel expenses. As a result, even companies and industries who grudgingly accepted or implemented online B2B systems are now embracing the technology wholeheartedly.
The Advantages of Digital B2B Commerce Are Clear
A deeper understanding of how the novel coronavirus works and the approval of vaccines imply that the end of the pandemic might be in sight. However, the paradigm shift for B2B commerce has already happened. Meaning, if things get back to pre-pandemic normal, the march toward B2B automation will continue.
If you’re a B2B business that has yet to adopt a digital presence, it’s not too late. But, you’ll need to catch up fast. In order to do so, getting assistance from B2B commerce experts can help you get up to speed. Zobrist Software Group, Inc. is one such name to help make the transition from an analog and static B2B company to a B2B eCommerce presence without skipping a beat.
Why Shift to Digital B2B Commerce?
The simple answer to the question is because the market is moving there. Both buyers and sellers are getting more comfortable transacting in the digital space. The benefits are numerous, including the ability to remove the constraints of time and distance when making contact with business partners. Accessing details on particular items, such as prices, stocks, and delivery schedules are now instantaneous. And, order processing and payment are now streamlined and digital. Compared to visiting shops or holding meetings that require travel, why wouldn’t this alternative means of online business be more attractive?
Digital B2B Commerce Site Benefits
Instead of having a static website and relying on person-to-person interactions to get business, implementing a B2B eCommerce site can provide a number of benefits. Among them are increased revenue growth, improved customer experience, and better cost optimization.
Instead of a static website with an image-based catalog and a phone number to call, install a transaction engine in your B2B site that serves as a showroom, warehouse, invoicing, and payment processing center. Having an all-in-one site that can take orders directly can increase revenue substantially, as it can accommodate additional or emergency orders or take in new customers without missing a beat.
In addition, a well-designed B2B site should be scalable. It should be able to anticipate an increase in the number of customers processed at the same time and handle an increasing number of inventory items. If your site is limitless, then so is your potential revenue.
Improved CX in B2B Commerce
An online store that provides a hassle-free environment for customers will always get them to use it more often. Whether from browsing selections to getting stock availability to checkout and payment, the experience should be smooth and intuitive. After all, if customers can focus on their intended purchases instead of trying to navigate the website, they will be more likely to keep using it for their purchases. Otherwise, expect a lot of abandoned orders, and additional requests for phone calls or site visits. Similarly, an easy checkout system that accommodates and processes major payment options will please CFOs or accounting managers that sign the checks.
In addition, having a mobile version of the site will mean your customers can reach you no matter where they are. This unprecedented convenience and availability can help spell the difference between a one-time buyer to a repeat customer.
Having an online store that pays for itself is the one investment that B2B businesses should have. Automated systems leave little room for errors commonly spotted in manual order processing. Item inventory becomes more accurate and always up-to-date. The B2B site can even receive inquiries or feedback from customers. In addition, this automated and integrated system frees up your time. Your staff can focus on cultivating more relationships instead of addressing problems.
Zobrist Software Group, Inc.
Any B2b commerce companies who would like to bring their brands online, or upgrade their existing static sites to a more responsive and dynamic version, Zobrist Software Group can help meet your needs. Zobrist can connect your business to your intended target by helping build a mobile, responsive, and fast-loading website that serves as your B2B eCommerce hub. Apart from storing your complete catalog of products and services, your B2B site will feature business tools for inventory management, order fulfillment, ERP., and more to complement and streamline your back-office operations. Customers will find checkout and payment a breeze through intuitive and hassle-free payment processing systems that feature multiple payment options, currencies, and languages.
Our integrated B2B solutions unlock companies’ ability to develop and grow their digital commerce presence. They can now confidently compete for market share at a global level with up-to-date tools using globally-accepted standards. Zobrist shares its B2B expertise with companies engaged in the manufacturing, automotive, healthcare, food service, office supply, and electronics industries.
In addition, we have a turn-key solution to launch any B2B customer in six weeks. This lightning-fast solution features Mobiecom, a “headless” mobile-first shopping storefront for B2B that supports popular platforms such as HCL Commerce.
Contact us so we can tell you more about how Zobrist can expand your digital presence and unlock your B2B potential.