With the uncertain economy, many B2B companies are questioning which strategies to adopt this year.
2022 has been a tipping point in many ways. The Ukraine war, inflation, fuel shortages, economic debt resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and heat waves… These events have triggered the need to identify and implement new B2B commerce solutions that suit the current reality.
What are the B2B commerce trends that have already proven successful? Additionally, which trends are expected to emerge in 2023?
Let’s examine the trends in B2B commerce.
Digitalization in businesses refers to the process of incorporating digital technologies and strategies into various aspects of a company's operations. Digitalization has enabled B2B companies to conduct business online, automate processes, and gather data for insights. Digital technologies help improve communication, collaboration, and productivity within the organization. They also enable marketing and sales strategies to reach and engage customers more effectively.
Examples of digitalization in businesses include:
Overall, digitalization can bring many benefits to businesses, such as increased efficiency and productivity, cost savings, and improved customer experiences. However, it also requires organizational changes and training to adapt to the new technologies. In 2023, B2B companies will have to decide. Go digital or risk becoming irrelevant.
Digital technology has created many solutions for B2B commerce. Too many? Let's delve deeper and examine the specific B2B commerce trends and digital technologies that are currently gaining prominence in 2023. Most importantly, we’ll touch on those that are actually relevant for businesses.
Omnichannel is a retail strategy that allows businesses to sell through multiple channels, such as online, in-store, mobile, social media, and more, while providing a consistent and seamless shopping experience for customers. This includes the ability to synchronize and update inventory, pricing, promotions, and customer information across all channels and to be able to start an interaction on one channel and complete it on another.
In short, omnichannel is a way for businesses to connect their different touchpoints with their customers automatically, saving a tremendous amount of time. But for omnichannel to be fully operational, automation is essential. Automation in businesses refers to the use of technology solutions that automate repetitive tasks, allowing employees to focus on more valuable activities. It’s advantageous to invest in a high-performance management software that syncs with platforms that aid in business operations. Management software performs essential operations, such as faster order processing and centralization of data.
As technology continues to advance, it is likely that the use of digital tools in B2B commerce will continue to grow.
Today, many B2B businesses are shifting to e-commerce platforms to sell their products and services, as it allows them to reach a wider customer base and streamline their sales processes. Businesses seek more efficient and convenient ways to conduct transactions. A solution for e-commerce B2B platform needs is Erplain’s B2B Store.
B2B e-commerce is evolving and relies on more technologies to simplify the buying process and improve the customer experience.
In 2023, companies are expected to continue to use artificial intelligence. Some examples of AI tools in B2B commerce include:
Some B2B businesses are already using these technologies to improve their operations and customer experiences, by automating routine tasks.
But let's not forget that although B2B e-commerce should use AI for more efficiency, these technologies will never replace the traditional human interaction that is still essential for customer relationship management. Businesses need to find a balance between the application of such technologies and maintaining human presence for a more personal experience.
The use of data and analytics is a major B2B commerce trend, allowing companies to gain a deeper understanding of their customers and target their marketing efforts more effectively. Here are a few ways that data and analytics may be used in marketing:
This trend is likely to continue as data and analytics will help businesses gain a competitive advantage and deliver a better customer experience.
Many businesses choose hyper-personalization as a way to meet the specific needs and preferences of their customers. Such personalization involves offering a wider range of options or working with customers to create customized solutions. Hyper-personalization includes:
Optimizing a B2B e-commerce hyper-personalization strategy involves understanding users, segmenting the audience, and providing personalized product recommendations.
Overall, the future of customer hyper-personalization in B2B commerce will be shaped by technology, with a focus on tailored options and efficient customer service.
With the rise of IT and digital tools, cybersecurity is an essential aspect of B2B commerce as it protects businesses from cyber attacks, data breaches, phishing, frauds, and other types of cyber threats. Today, more and more businesses conduct transactions online, hence the need for robust cybersecurity measures, such as:
Online options and modes of payment are now spreading in B2B commerce. They provide more flexibility for customers and encourage the purchase of goods. Such online options and modes of payment include:
For other aspects of billing and accounting, B2B businesses can implement several options:
In order to comply with tax and regulatory requirements, companies will have to adopt e-invoicing, e-archiving, and digital signature solutions.
In a rapidly changing business landscape, companies are expected to increasingly look for opportunities to collaborate and form partnerships with other B2B organizations. This can take many forms, such as joint ventures, strategic alliances, and supplier partnerships.
Such cooperation can be beneficial for both parties as they can share resources, knowledge, and expertise, leading to increased efficiency, cost savings, and revenue growth. Additionally, partnerships can also help businesses to expand their market reach, gain access to new customers, and develop new products and services.
However, it is important for businesses to carefully evaluate potential partners and have clear agreements and communication in place to ensure a successful union.
2023 is likely to witness:
Geopolitics events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing war in Ukraine and global inflation have all had a significant impact on the world-wide economy and have affected B2B businesses in various ways. Adapting their reordering strategies has been necessary for some of these businesses, given the changes in consumer demand and the disruptions of the supply chain.
Some of the consequences on B2B commerce include:
These successive economic events have caused a shift in resupplying strategies in B2B commerce and has led to a greater need for businesses to adapt and be more resilient in the face of uncertainty.
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important consideration in B2B commerce. Many B2B buyers are concerned about the environmental impact of the products and services they purchase.
As a result, many businesses are looking to reduce their environmental impact and promote sustainability in their supply chains, by implementing eco-friendly practices in their operations. This involves working with suppliers who have sustainable methods, such as using eco-friendly materials and packaging, reducing carbon emissions, using renewable energy sources, and adopting circular economic models.
This trend is likely to continue as businesses seek to meet the growing demand for environmental stewardship.
The future of B2B commerce is likely to involve an increased use of technology and automation, which will allow B2B companies to enhance the satisfaction of their clients, optimize the operation of their supply chain and personalize their B2B approach.
They can also pinpoint problems faced by shoppers during the purchase process, boost sales, determine the most productive marketing methods and make budget choices accordingly.
To get there, the approach will include the use of advanced technologies to personalize interactions. Management software will automate repetitive tasks and provide real-time data and insights. Additionally, there will be an increased focus on digital channels, such as e-commerce platforms and marketplaces, as well as the use of mobile and digital technologies to enable seamless, convenient transactions.
In short, 2023 is going to gain momentum in B2B commerce with e-invoicing and e-ordering.
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