WHY B2B E-COMMERCE IS ESSENTIAL FOR REVENUE GROWTH
Almost two-thirds of B2B businesses utilize e-commerce as a core pillar of their sales process in 2022, up 53% from just last year. Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, this transition represents a shift in thinking. “B2B sellers are now more likely to offer e-commerce channels than in-person selling, an uptick that accelerated even as widespread vaccine rollouts allowed face-to-face interactions to resume.” E-commerce is no longer just for B2C companies, the trend towards digitalization is affecting everything, even traditional B2B business models. The time is now for B2B businesses to invest in e-commerce and reap the benefits. Here are the top reasons why:
B2B CUSTOMERS PREFER E-COMMERCE OVER IN-PERSON, FACE-TO-FACE INTERACTIONS
Many B2B companies still believe that their customers are not interested in e-commerce. The reality is that B2B customers are actively seeking out e-commerce solutions. Roughly 66% of B2B customers “opt for remote human services or digital self-serve” when given the opportunity. According to a 2021 McKinsey & Co report, “e-commerce and [traditional] in-person sales tied as the top-producing revenue channels” by sales volume. In fact, nearly 60% of total B2B revenue is being driven by digital channels. In order to drive growth and capitalize on this trend, Modern B2B businesses should offer opportunities for digital or remote in-person engagement at every stage of the purchasing journey.
B2B CUSTOMERS MAKE BIG TICKET E-COMMERCE PURCHASES
In contrast with the conventional wisdom, polling has definitively shown that B2B customers are willing to make large purchases online. Roughly 35% of B2B buyers are willing to spend over $500,000 online, growing from 27% in March 2021. Most consumers are becoming comfortable with purchasing large items online in their personal lives. This reality has ramifications for B2B business because these same consumers are taking their assumptions about e-commerce into their B2B transactions. Nearly 70% of B2B customers are comfortable making digital purchases over $50,000. Online B2B e-commerce is no longer limited to low-value or repeat purchases. E-commerce is a powerful tool for attracting new business and customers. It is important to recognize this trend will continue to grow and play a significant role in shaping B2B business models over the next decade.
B2B CUSTOMERS EXPECT A QUALITY E-COMMERCE EXPERIENCE
B2B companies must adapt their websites as customer expectations continue to rise. As B2B e-commerce becomes more competitive, a lackluster website experience will become a significant liability. B2B e-commerce should be viewed as a distinct full-service channel, offering “the same or better levels of excellence in product and service availability, pricing, performance guarantees, shipping and delivery, and personalized recommendations” as other channels. As B2B customers become more willing to make large purchases online, companies must also become more willing to make significant investments in their web platforms. Businesses that invest in e-commerce as an after-thought will be left behind because many B2B businesses are making rapid improvements to their digital capabilities. 80% of B2B business owners now “hold their e-commerce channel to the same or higher standard as other channels.” In a November 2021 survey conducted by the McKinsey & Co, 82% of B2B customers want real-time online customer service, 81% want product/service availability shown online, 80% want prices to be available online. In response, 69% of CEOs report increasing their e-commerce budget over the last year.
A new age of B2B business has begun. Modern B2B businesses should offer opportunities for digital self-serve or remote in-person engagement at every stage of the purchasing journey in order to maximize sales. Need help building a B2B e-commerce strategy? Schedule a free consultation with an expert at CASTUS to start the conversation.