With 2016 in full swing, we wanted to recap the trends that will surely shape B2B E-Commerce this year. Forrester reports that B2B E-Commerce sales will top $1.13 trillion by 2020. B2B is where the biggest sales and growth figures are. The growth will largely be driven by B2B buyers who are shifting channels to purchasing online, with the opportunity for manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors to cut operating costs by processing more sales to customers through self-service E-Commerce sites and the electronic purchasing of orders.
Here are the 5 B2B E-Commerce trends that will shape 2016
1. Fast will be the new big
Turbocharged E-Commerce will be front and center in 2016. When online dollars are up for grabs, faster, nimbler companies who respond instantly to market demand will continue to gain a pronounced strategic advantage over larger, slower moving competitors. Those who anticipate changes in the market and react quickly will gain a distinct advantage – and those who don’t will get disrupted left behind.
2. Omnichannel customer experience investments will be a top priority
The customer experience has been a primary focus for retailers selling to consumers for many years now. A seamless commerce experience across channels for order capture will be the first and most important touchpoint with a customer. They understand a positive customer experience plays a key role in buying and B2B buyers are demanding this same user-friendly experience. B2B companies understand that this experience can play a key role in competitive differentiation and profitability.
3. Technology investments will continue to grow
Wholesalers and distributors will embrace B2B E-Commerce in 2016 as their customers are heading online to browse and purchase products. They will make strong investments in omnichannel capabilities that are changing the B2B and B2C landscape.
According to Forrester, wholesalers and manufacturers will top retailers in e-commerce technology investments in just three years and will account for 30 percent of total spending, a 10 percent increase on the total spending in 2013. When asked to name their investment priorities for the year, companies often cited their E-Commerce platforms followed by the integration of E-Commerce sites with software used for such business operations as inventory and financial management, mobile sites and apps, web content management and product content management.
4. M-commerce continues to become a very fast growing platform
M-commerce is prevalent in B2B Commerce currently but 2016 will be the year ist really takes off. Consumers will continue to spend more time with online commerce on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) than desktop and laptop PCs. Mobile has officially become the primary access point to online
retail for most consumers.
5. Contactless payments and digital wallets will continue to be on the rise
Mobile wallets are poised to become a key element of the B2B E-Commerce experience. Contactless payment systems use radio-frequency identification (RFID) or near field communication (NFC) for making secure payments.
Mobile wallets will not just be about mobile payments going forward. They will become one of the major contributors of a seamless shopping experience for customers. Industry players will need to give consumers the ability to see what’s on stored
value cards at any moment, access loyalty points and
automatically receive digital copies of payment receipts.
Markets will also take advantage of the emerging opportunities to create a borrowed presence on their customers’ mobile devices. Marketers will benefit from mobile wallets if they tie together loyalty programs, coupons, product discovery, gift cards and promotions to create powerful brand experiences in mobile moments for their customers.
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Posted by Shreyans Parekh on January 12, 2016.