B2B eCommerce has been evolving under the influence of mobility and B2C. Here is why that is good news.
When we talk about e-commerce, the default assumption remains that we are talking about platforms like Amazon where people can purchase products and services online. Though that is the most visible form of eCommerce- namely B2C, it is actually only a part of the larger eCommerce ecosystem. The B2B is infarct twice as large and while both are built on top of the same set of technologies, require entirely different strategies to master. If Amazon rules the B2C eCommerce, it’s Alibaba that dominates B2B.
Now as it is with everything, B2B eCommerce has been witnessing many new changes in recent times and for many, the line between B2B and B2C seems to blur. But that’s a story for some another time. What we are trying to focus here are the key areas of those changes and how you can use them to your advantage:
The B2B space has traditionally been dominated by middle-aged men with established businesses. But as new entrepreneurs of all genders and age enter the industry, that traditional pattern doesn’t hold true. To accommodate this new legion of diversified client B2B eCommerce platforms need to make some changes to their core structure. For instance, younger clients tend to be media savvy and are just easier to influence through marketing. So if you promote your visibility on social media, you would instantly witness an uptick in sales.
B2B eCommerce were traditionally operated through desktop dashboards that are least concerned with user experience. But the new generation of entrepreneurs that we talked about earlier also brought with them the habit of mobility. They don’t really work from office desks and thus need all the information while on the move- on notebooks, tables, or mobiles. This means B2B platforms too need to make technological changes to their platform to have a wider outreach.
Now if we combine the above two factors we draw a clear picture of the current landscape. There are young entrepreneurs cropping up all across the globe and they have different preferences. To serve such a broad client base, your B2B platform too needs to diversify into numerous channels- not just for marketing but sales as well. There are currently thousands small businesses all across the globe that place their order on Alibaba run operate at scale in their respective markets. Similarly, businesses in China now have the entire globe as their market because they have such a diverse number of channels at their disposal.
Logistics and support
Logistics is undoubtedly the most challenging and resource-intensive aspect of any eCommerce enterprise and given that B2B platforms have to operate at scale- is both an advantage as well as a challenge. On the plus side, shipping in bulk is cost-effective due to the economics of scale but at the same time has to deal with compounded risks. The best way to deal with this problem is excellent customer support. The point is, if the client’s shipment takes 1-2 months to deliver, they wound need consistent assurances that everything is on track.
Now if you are one of those running your B2B platform on the outdated pattern, you need an urgent overhaul to keep you afloat. Now given the scale and complexities involved in the process, it’s a task that only the best e-commerce development companies should be trusted with.