B2B e-commerce trends that you should look out for

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The COVID-19 pandemic has given B2B businesses an additional push to accelerate a digital transformation. According to research by McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, more than 75% of B2B buyers and sellers prefer to buy online.  

But where should you position your B2B e-commerce to remain competitive in 2021? In this article, we discuss the most important trends to keep an eye on. They surely are nice to implement, but they’ll bring some serious challenges with them.  

Trend 1: Headless e-commerce via APIs 

In these unpredictable times, there is a growing demand for responsive businesses that can adapt their revenue models with remarkable speed. Online, headless e-commerce and API-driven e-commerce offer businesses opportunities to respond to new challenges in a flexible way. Think for example of developments around Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.  

An example of an AI implementation in B2B e-commerce is the automatic addition and ordering of images in a web shop. This AI-based software recognizes, for example, which product is on display, what colors it has, so it can automatically adds the right tags. As a result, your web shop is always up to date.

Trend 2: Focus on the environmental impact 

We are seeing B2C e-commerce businesses taking a step towards reducing their environmental impact. This includes highlighting the impact of certain actions towards their customers. More and more people around the world are becoming aware of environmental issues at home and at work. Showing and offering sustainable options in the web shop of your B2B company, can give you a competitive advantage. 

Besides that, companies often must report about their emissions and other environmental impacts. The optimization of your supply chain and other e-commerce processes can be the key to achieving these goals.    

Trend 3: Niche B2B online marketplaces 

Online marketplaces are also extremely popular in B2B. You can choose from a huge range of different niche marketplaces that are specialized in certain products, services or markets. Niche platforms offer a more personal experience and an easier step-by-step plan for the consumer.    

It is an interesting channel to take advantage of in order to quickly get in touch with a larger group of customers. The use of this type of sales channel can provide a nice balance in your omnichannel strategy. 

Trend 4: Omnichannel experience 

In the world of B2B marketing, consumers have high expectations of customer engagement. It is therefore important to create room for experiments in order to improve the omnichannel experience and the entire customer journey. Personalization is going progressively further and is certainly a very relevant trend for B2B. And with the rise of headless e-commerce and API-driven e-commerce, these kinds of applications are also becoming accessible to smaller businesses. 

Also from a branding perspective, an omnichannel experience with integration for content marketing is an absolute must. In B2B, strong relationships and loyalty are extremely important. 

Trend 5: Augmented- and Virtual Reality 

In B2C e-commerce, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are a growing trend, aimed at delivering an inspiring and immersive customer experience. Nowadays, there are great opportunities to use AR and VR in B2B e-commerce. It can be used to offer the right components or custom designs.   

The use of AR and VR can bring many benefits to customers and make the B2B purchase experience easier. Many steps can be eliminated, and time can be saved. 

Do you want to prepare yourself for the e-commerce challenges ahead? Get a full picture of the B2B e-commerce trends and what you can do with them by downloading our e-book for free

Do you have any questions about the above trends, or can you use some help? Do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to help!