It is no surprise for those in the ecommerce industry that B2B ecommerce continues to grow, alongside B2C ecommerce. Among the top B2B ecommerce sellers are Alibaba, Amazon.com, Quill.com (owned by Staples), Zendesk, Overdrive and Medline.
Many business owners have seen the benefits of selling directly to other business, cutting out the middleman and increasing profits. It seems like the natural progression as many consumers continue to rely on making their purchases online.
So why shouldn’t B2B sellers use the same approach? Well, that is exactly what they have done with the help of technology and with an analysis shopping habits of consumers. Here are five important B2B ecommerce trends that are helping online business sellers grow:
1. B2B and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on top of the list for B2B trends. Computer software is faster smarter than ever. In fact, in many industries Artificial Intelligence seems to be the driving force behind a reduced human labor.
AI is now being designed to integrate keywords into carefully knitted algorithms. The keywords are designed to give a more accurate reply when to customer queries. Personalized technology can trigger an increase in ecommerce growth for brands. This could mean that B2B ecommerce would grow even more, being that AI is one of the fastest rising trends in B2B ecommerce.
2. Increased Customer Service with Chatbots
Customer service is an important part of a customer’s journey, whether it is for business or personal shopping. Second on the list of B2B ecommerce trends is chatbots. A chatbot is a computer program or an artificial intelligence which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. They add an extra level of customer service in providing support for commonly asked questions when there is an increase in website traffic or during off-hours.
Chatbots are not new and fairly common, but their intelligence and tremendous capabilities of adaptation, are making them increasingly popular and a rising trend for B2B ecommerce trends.
Currently more research is being conducted to make sure that chatbots solve things quickly while maintaining customer loyalty and advanced complex sales interactions.
3. Augmented Reality (AR)
Other B2B trend is Augmented Reality, an interactive experience of a real-world environment. The objects that reside in the real-world are augmented by computer-generated perceptual information including visual, auditory and even olfactory.
Augmented Reality boomed the industry when some smartphones came with this particular feature. Most recently, AR has gained some traction by introducing more sophisticated interactive and immersive experiences.
AR is one of the new ecommerce trends being used in major brands to help communicate with other competitors and business. As a fairly new concept, AR still needs much research to be conducted for it to work seamlessly. Although it is gaining momentum, time will decide how this trend fits into the growing B2B ecommerce arena and what impact it may have.
4. Videos Replace Real Time Sales Reps
Videos have always been popular on B2C sites. And now videos are gaining more traction every day. B2B businesses have caught on to this trend. They understand that as an online business, they cannot meet every business customer and showcase or demonstrate their products. Most consumers, business like to see a product in action before they it. This is particularly true for business customers who may be making large purchases.
It is all emotional engagement. Videos serve the purpose of delivering the message and help develop confidence and loyalty in a brand. Videos provide an excellent opportunity to highlight all the benefits your products can provide. Because of this, videos can lead to higher engagement and interaction rates with your brand. In the end, despite all the technology available to people, humans still relate best to a product when other people are telling its story.
5. Voice Assisted Intelligence/Intelligence
Voice assisted intelligence, or voice assisted assistants, are one of the most important B2B ecommerce trends. Think Siri for iOS and Google Now for Android. Surprising to some, but Google Now leads the way when it comes to voice-assisted intelligence, meanwhile Apple is closing on in second place. These voice assistants readily obey your verbal commands and then deliver results almost instantly.
B2B sellers know that mobile sales continue to rise. In the competitive world towards mobile assistant supremacy, it is about using the best and most seamless user experience ever. The importance of voice assisted intelligence software in B2B ecommerce trends is what it can perform. Basically, voice assisted intelligence does what conventional over-the-desk personnel cannot do. In the competitive world of B2B ecommerce, it provides instant results and seamless integration into the digital form much faster than most people.
In the end, it is still about providing new and interesting experiences for the growing population of B2B customers. As with most of the top ranking B2B eCommerce sites, success of your B2B ecommerce site depends on how well meet your customer’s needs. Make sure that your product images are of high quality with multiple product views. Your site should contain landing pages and product ordering pages display shipping and delivery details. Customers like to keep track of their purchases. Be sure to include a shipping and delivery page so that deliveries can be tracked.
As B2B ecommerce increases, it makes more sense that even businesses receive the same treatment as non-business customers get, from AI to Chatbots to provide better customer service and make their journey easier, faster and lead to increased productivity.