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Top 10 B2B E-commerce Trends in 2023 and Beyond

September 22, 2023 eye-glyph 78

Table of Contents

    If you have a B2B (business-to-business) business, ecommerce is not nice to have -it’s a must-have. It has been observed from the last few years that e-commerce’s staggering growth intensified the demands of B2B businesses to shift their focus online.

    As McKinsey forecasts 2024, online sales will make up 31% of total B2B sales, an increase from 20%. Also, Forrester states that by 2027, B2B e-commerce in the US will reach $3 trillion, compared to $1.7tn in 2021, while offline sales will remain stagnant.

    These elevated online adoption statistics show how crucial it is for businesses to align and resonate with the latest B2B ecommerce trends to gain precedent growth.

    Don’t worry, we are here to provide you with the latest B2B E-commerce trends that transform your business growth.

    Let’s get started!

    Top B2B Ecommerce Trends Every Business Should Know

    top 10 b2b ecommerce trends

    1. Automation is the key

    Streamlining operations in today’s competitive B2B market is not crucial but necessary to achieve precedent growth with fewer resources. Enter automation!

    Automation is the key

    51% of businesses currently leverage marketing automation, and more than 40% aim to adopt this technology to streamline operational activity and bring efficiency into the process.

    Automation sets the B2B and B2C industries into a whole new landscape. Marketers can now win the game by automating repetitive tasks, streamlining operations, scheduling posts, running campaigns, and tracking performance – Everything is achievable with marketing automation.

    Want to learn in detail the difference between B2B and B2C Commerce Cloud? Check out more details here.

    It saves time and reduces errors, allowing agents to focus on what truly matters – engaging with customers and driving sales.

    The impact of automation on B2B eCommerce capabilities is profound, encompassing various facets:

    a. Real-time Inventory Visibility

    Through seamless API integration, automation enables businesses to keep a constant eye on inventory levels. It goes further by generating low-stock alerts, minimizing or eliminating the need for manual data entry, and ensuring that stock levels are always current.

    b. Fulfillment/Order Processing

    Automation takes the hassle out of order processing by providing real-time updates to customers and internal teams. It effortlessly generates packing slips, automates the entire order processing cycle (from verification and picking to packing and shipping), and prevents the fulfillment of canceled orders.

    c. Customer Service

    Elevating customer service, automation offers order status updates and delivery confirmations via SMS/email alerts. It efficiently directs customers seeking support to the right agents or guides them to relevant information within your knowledge base, ensuring swift and satisfactory resolutions.

    d. Order Orchestration

    Automation brings order routing logic into play, ensuring orders are sent to the most suitable fulfillment locations. It also streamlines customer interactions by providing automated quotes, including discounts or special pricing. Additionally, it maintains up-to-date customer profiles, complete with order history and personal preferences.

    In a world where efficiency reigns supreme, automation is your trusted ally, transforming the B2B eCommerce landscape for the better.

    Get ahead with Marketing automation to 10x your business growth.

    2. Mobile optimization will be viral

    Mobile optimization is crucial for online retailers to enhance user experience, reduce friction in the sales funnel, and stay competitive in the ecommerce market. Online retailers must recognize that their target audience engages with smartphones daily. Therefore, it’s not just wise but imperative for them to optimize their ecommerce websites for mobile accessibility and usability.

    Online retailers should prioritize optimizing their ecommerce sites for mobile use to reach their target audience, who are increasingly using smartphones for purchasing. By 2024, mobile commerce volume is projected to surge to an impressive $620.97 billion, constituting a substantial 42.9% of the entire ecommerce market.

    Making your website mobile-first can reduce the bounce rate and minimize cart abandonment. Not only this, but considering responsive design, improving website speed, and ensuring compatibility with different mobile devices and platforms can help you develop a mobile-first website.

    3. Enhance customer experience

    Enhance customer experience

    Online shopping enthusiasm among B2B and B2C customers is raising the demand for self-service portals. According to a HubSpot blog, 66% of customers anticipate businesses to understand their needs and preferences.

    In today’s business landscape, providing a consumer-grade sales experience is crucial. This means offering customers a smooth, easy, personalized journey matching their everyday digital interactions.

    This approach equips sales teams with user-friendly tools, AI-based insights, and data-driven decision-making, allowing them to confidently engage potential customers. It also requires meeting customers’ evolving expectations by providing consistent and delightful experiences across all channels.

    Organizations prioritizing a consumer-grade sales experience can increase customer satisfaction, drive revenue growth, foster loyalty, and stand out in a competitive market where exceptional service is the key differentiator.

    4. Omnichannel sales will grow

    According to a retail report, the percentage of companies investing in an omnichannel experience has surged dramatically, soaring from a mere 20% to a staggering 80% and beyond.

    Imagine a shopping journey where every interaction feels like a breeze, where customers seamlessly transition between various channels without missing a beat. That’s the magic of omnichannel sales – a strategy that places the customer’s experience front and center.

    Unlike multichannel approaches, where products are offered on different platforms, omnichannel prioritizes a unified, cohesive shopping experience. It’s about creating a symphony of harmonized channels, ensuring customers enjoy a consistent and connected journey.

    5. Video content won’t be just for B2C brands

    By 2023, most people on the internet will be watching videos. It’s predicted that videos will make up 82.5% of everything people see online.

    Videos now rule the content landscape, spanning social media, websites, and blogs. Remarkably, this trend extends beyond consumer brands to encompass various sectors. B2B ecommerce companies are also leveraging the power of videos to reach their audience and boost engagement.

    power of video marketing with us for b2b ecommerce

    Taking a strategic approach to video production can help businesses deliver their message in a compelling and easily digestible format, capturing the audience’s attention and driving conversions.

    According to HubSpot Research, short-form videos have consistently proved to be highly effective in delivering ROI for marketers from 2020 to the present day. By adopting video marketing, businesses can enhance their brand’s impact, increase customer engagement, and drive growth.

    So, if you still need to start using videos as part of your marketing strategy, it’s high time you leverage their power to take your business to new heights.

    6. Brands will invest in headless commerce architecture

    why headless commerce is important

    Recent statistics for 2023 reveal that 57% of organizations are poised to employ headless commerce platforms. Moreover, adoption rates have surged by an impressive 50%. Retail establishments that embraced this approach have notched up remarkable achievements, including a notable 35% conversion rate increase and an astonishing 82% growth between 2018 and 2019 alone.

    The headless commerce architecture empowers brands by unraveling the front end of their websites from the back end, granting retailers newfound flexibility to construct and tailor virtually anything they desire.

    Among the compelling motives driving businesses towards adopting the headless approach is its remarkable capacity to facilitate the creation and delivery of personalized shopping experiences.

    Once this system is up and running, the headless architecture offers the added advantage of streamlining your website budget, eliminating the need for constant technical support to tweak the back end whenever minor adjustments to the front end are required.

    Consider United Airlines, which has enthusiastically embraced the headless model by implementing the React Progressive Web App, furnishing customers with a seamlessly integrated booking experience accessible across diverse channels.

    7. Sell across third-party B2B marketplaces.

    B2B sellers are turning to third-party eCommerce marketplaces to broaden their horizons, gauge market competition, and enhance convenience for buyers who frequent platforms like Salesforce marketplace, Amazon Business, and Alibaba.com.

    According to a LinkedIn survey, 71% of Salesforce customers use apps from the Salesforce marketplace, AppExchange. These marketplaces have become a favored destination for B2B buyers, as evidenced by a recent McKinsey survey of 3,700 B2B executives, where they emerged as a leading channel for B2B purchases.

    Many companies surveyed credited their success in B2B ecommerce to these marketplaces. B2B marketplaces offer product reviews, ratings, and comparisons for buyers.

    Remarkably, over 80% of B2B buyers prefer conducting orders and payments through digital commerce channels. A savvy B2B marketplace strategy complements traditional rep-driven selling methods by offering customers the option to complete orders online through a trusted commerce platform. Amazon, for instance, ranked as the top choice for B2B buyers and sellers in 2021, accommodating goods and services.

    B2B sellers are adapting their sales approaches for these marketplaces by:

    • Seamlessly integrating apps from the Salesforce marketplace with existing commerce operations, including inventory management, order fulfillment, and customer service.
    • Capitalizing on third-party marketplaces’ analytics and marketing capabilities to inform and optimize their selling strategies.
    • Expanding their presence across multiple marketplaces to tap into a broader audience base.
    • Enhancing customer value by bundling products and services within marketplace offerings, extending their reach to new geographic regions, and tailoring their offerings to cater to diverse customer segments.

    8. Hyper-Personalization

    Did you know that 90% of consumers find personalized marketing appealing? That’s what a Deloitte report found. Personalization is the way to go if sustaining customer relationships is something you actually care about.

    E-commerce personalization enhances online customer experiences through tailored interactions. It considers past purchases, browsing behavior, location, language, etc. Here is how MTI used personalized in their E-commerce platform to give options to customers.

    According to CMSwire, 86% of companies report a measurable boost in business results with hyper-personalization.

    In the B2B realm, personalization is increasingly vital to catch up with B2C standards. To optimize your strategy:

    • Understand your users deeply.
    • Segment your audience for targeted experiences.
    • Offer relevant product recommendations to enhance personalization further.

    This will help you help keep your customers engaged and connected.

    It’s time to move beyond personalization with Salesforce! And let’s learn what is Hyper-Personlization in Salesforce.

    9. B2C experiences for B2B buyers

    Digital selling models, even for services and solutions that once heavily relied on sales reps, are now becoming the standard. Gartner reported that 50% of Chief Sales Officers planned to shift their focus from “leading sellers” to “leading selling” by 2025. Sellers now bear the responsibility of delivering eCommerce experiences akin to B2C standards.

    So, what makes a great eCommerce experience? It encompasses clear pricing, real-time inventory updates, transparent sales information, and tailored content for various buying stages, groups, and individuals.

    Many modern B2B buyers have learned the customer-first approach from Amazon’s Prime program, which emphasizes speedy order fulfillment, hassle-free returns, and exclusive deals.

    To achieve this, an eCommerce platform should offer features like advanced product filtering, robust search capabilities, diverse fulfillment options, and adaptable order management for seamless integration across various shopping channels.

    10. Investing in eCommerce technology

    If you’re strategizing your digital transformation, your B2B ecommerce platform can be a pivotal starting point as it becomes the nucleus of your digital ecosystem. 35% of B2B enterprises in the United States make Ecommerce platform technology a top priority.

    However, it’s crucial to comprehend that not all ecommerce platforms are equal. Some still operate as monolithic, one-size-fits-all solutions, limiting your flexibility to choose the ideal solution for your unique requirements.

    Conversely, some platforms need more genuine support for B2B ecommerce functionality, offering only a few features or workarounds.

    Cutting-edge SaaS ecommerce solutions like Cyntexa delivers the ideal combination. You gain the advantages of SaaS, including robust security, rapid innovation, and reduced total cost of ownership, alongside features designed to accommodate the intricacies of B2B operations. Another crucial factor is seamless integration with your other business systems. From the vast AppExchange marketplace, integrating apps can be a true game changer for successive business growth.

    The Future of B2B E-Commerce

    On a global scale, B2B eCommerce is poised for a 20% growth trajectory extending to 2030. By 2023, around 17% of sales are projected to originate from digital channels, with the North American B2B eCommerce market surging to $1.8 trillion.

    Critical trends like swift order fulfillment, seamless omnichannel experiences, and customer self-service drive investments in technologies like headless commerce and omnichannel order management. These innovations empower B2B sellers to rapidly adapt and evolve their storefronts and commerce channels, fostering growth and enhancing agility. While customer preferences and behaviors can be unpredictable, establishing an agile eCommerce infrastructure ensures your business can adapt swiftly and smoothly, minimizing disruptions.

    The ultimate success of your B2B eCommerce strategy hinges on your ability to cater to the evolving needs of buyers and buying groups. By anticipating customer behaviors and making strategic technology investments, you position your business to harness the prevailing trends shaping 2023 and beyond.

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