Trends in B2B Approach to Digital

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B2B Digital Trends

In the United States, the top four digital trends that B2B companies are following include 'the adoption of B2C eCommerce strategies', 'enhancement of SEO and content', 'integration of systems', and 'application of data science'.

Adoption of B2C e-Commerce Strategies

  • B2B companies are adopting B2C strategies because B2B moves notably slower in terms of innovations when compared to B2C.
  • Data from Ernst & Young found that 65% of B2B customers claim that the B2B experience does not match the experience they have from B2C companies such as Amazon.
  • Research from ITProPortal found that 75% of B2B customers desire the ability to buy online. About 87% of respondents want B2B eCommerce to mimic B2C.
  • Online stores that are similar to B2C grant B2B customers the liberty to find and purchase products with ease. Some of the desired B2C concepts include ease of purchase (72%), ability to search through an online catalog (52%), and viewing order history (42%).
  • Therefore, B2B businesses are learning to speed up their processes in order to meet clients' increasing demands.
  • Some of the B2C innovations that are being adopted are mobile support, apps, social media efficacy, real-time recommendation systems for eCommerce, machine learning (ML), and automation among others.

Enhancement of seo and content

  • Content and SEO go hand-in-hand. Hence, B2B businesses are adopting blogs to draw clients.
  • Blogs allow a B2B company to share their experience with a wide range of audience. Clients would feel more personally connected to a B2B with a blog that discusses how they approach problems and their work.
  • Blogs are a common SEO strategy that does not require an external company or professional to set up.
  • Blogs and improved content are shown to be effective in sales as well.
  • About 57%-67% of the customer's experience is online, before the point of the sale. In other words, customers spend more than half of their time on a B2B's website before contacting a sales team. This means that good content is imperative.
  • Research from MarketingSherpa found that 80% of a B2B's customer's decision is made prior to contacting a sales representative. As a response, B2B companies are retooling their sites.

Integration of systems (Omnichannel)

  • B2B customers expect seamless integration of a B2B's site, social media, physical location, and other channels.
  • As a result, integration or merging online and offline systems is cited as a key digital trend among B2B companies. Merging offline and online systems into one is known as omnichannel.
  • Digital Marketing Institute states that it is imperative for B2B companies to allow customers to reach the business from all possible points (websites, social media, print ads, and television).
  • Customers 2020: A progress report found that customer experience (CX or UX for user experience) surpassed price and products as the key distinction between B2B. In turn, omnichannel is a growing trend in the digital B2B space in order to mimic B2C companies.
  • MSTS recently launched a Credit as a Service (CaaS) suite of tools for B2B companies as an omnichannel solution. Their CaaS software implements highly requested omnichannel solutions such as customer history, contract negotiations, payment terms, payments, credit, and reconciliation.

Application of Data Science

  • Storing and using data for data analysis/science is another popular digital trend among B2B companies.
  • Embracing data for personalization and improving user experience more generally is seen as another crucial tool for B2B companies.
  • Data analysis can also improve sales drastically.
  • Despite this, data is seen as something where scientists and other workers must collaborate to get the most out of it. In other words, advances in data science are not seen as a panacea to solve every problem but an enhancement for workers.
  • B2B companies gather a large amount of data that can be analyzed and turned into actionable insights. Data on email addresses used, demographics, states from which users visit a B2B's site, canceled transactions, time spent on certain pages, and others can be turned into useful insights.
  • B2B businesses can apply machine learning to gain predictive insights from their data. These models allow B2B to determine the best course of action to improve sales or user experience.

Your Research team applied the following Strategy:

In order to identify the top digital trends adopted by B2B companies, we examined esteemed research portals such as McKinsey. Digital trends that were repeated in multiple sources was considered 'top' and has been presented in this brief.

  • "Today's B2B customers expect to be able to access relevant, up-to-date content anywhere, anytime, and on the device of their choosing. This, indeed, is at the heart of what digital transformation is all about. Put simply, digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how it operates, and how value is delivered to customers. "
  • "Everything just moves faster in the B2C world. B2B businesses are going to need to pick up the pace just to compete as more B2C companies like move into that world. It’s fascinating because B2C customers will say, "You’re not fast enough. Amazon is the benchmark.""
  • "By 2020, executives predict nearly half of their revenue will be driven by digital marketing while 56% of CEOs have seen their digital improvements improve profits - Forrester & Gartner"
  • "The omnichannel imperative for B2B brands operating today means that manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers need to optimize all their sales channels to reach, engage, and satisfy the omnichannel customer. It means making goods and services available to customers on their preferred sales channels to provide a customer-centric experience. To put it another way, B2B brands need to meet customers where they are. "