The economic world of the B2B eCommerce market has never developed as rapidly and deeply as it is today. Despite the obvious disruption of COVID-19, the future of this segment of the commercial industry looks promising in the coming years. Jose Duarte, a veteran entrepreneur and eCommerce expert from Costa Rica, explains the challenges the B2B eCommerce segment faces and what lies ahead.
The B2B eCommerce segment is witnessing many new ideas, technologies and economic models that will fundamentally change the future of the industry. In addition, businesses strive to keep up with the constantly changing market demand and provide a seamless customer experience.
Those companies and leaders who keep up the drive and ensure business continuity can succeed. Whether it’s startups or large companies, it’s important to recognize the industry’s future challenges. And to keep up with these changing market conditions, you need to have game-changing industry data.
Technological change is creating historic changes in the footprints of the eCommerce market from business to business. We assume that this process will accelerate over the next ten years. It will be necessary to rewrite the traditional classifications of the eCommerce industry from business to company – where the boundaries of the eCommerce industry begin from business to business, where they end and who are the main actors available in the different departments.
Says Duarte, “The COVID-19 pandemic compressed years of technological change into just a few months, and it’s not over yet. Finding the source of these changes directly will allow your company to implement them before anyone else and prevent your company from being left behind.”
Many B2B websites seem to have built-in eCommerce features, but the vast majority of them don’t divulge any pricing information. Some require the user to create an account and wait for approval before allowing them to browse the price list. While this helps sellers control their price range more effectively, it creates a difficult situation for the buyer. The lack of alternatives translates into a lack of incentive to change this practice, but the tides seem to be turning.
There has been significant pressure from customers in this regard, and 2021 will be a turning point in many industries. B2B marketers who wish to create a website will need to take decisive action towards price disclosure to avoid investing in an eCommerce solution that will already be considered obsolete in 2022.
The B2B pricing dilemma will be solved by dynamic pricing systems capable of incorporating several criteria. Whether guided by the market, production capacity or customer profiles, it will be worth investing in these pricing systems. They are meant to generate profits and give the B2B companies that implemented them a competitive advantage, as the prices generated in this way will be impossible to copy.
B2B eCommerce is much more complex in terms of the sales process than B2C. When making a purchase from a B2B seller, the user’s concerns and responsibilities go beyond mere necessity. In addition to getting the product they’re looking for, they also need to manage it in a way that adds value to their process. This also applies to consumables, equipment and raw materials.
“When user needs are taken into account,” explains Duarte, “there is immense potential for integrating useful features into B2B eCommerce applications that can help differentiate a marketer within their niche. B2B eCommerce will slowly become a complex service with additional features.”
B2B eCommerce websites need to go beyond their basic store function and act as platforms that can help build and maintain business relationships. To achieve this goal, companies must start offering services that offer added value to their products. Examples include maintenance, troubleshooting and repair.
After integrating a significant number of users into a smart system, manufacturers can also start including second-hand products in their sales offering. For most B2B sellers, a buy-back program will be the ideal way to guarantee the relationship with buyers. This will also prevent customers from going to the competition for similar services.
In certain niches, the purchase of specialized equipment will be replaced by its rental with maintenance and management services included in the offer. Instead of the commitment to buy equipment, customers will prefer to receive advice on which machine would work best for their needs, and then have the manufacturer install and maintain it.
It is important to recognize that the B2B eCommerce industry is constantly changing. If you want to stay one step ahead and not get passed by your competitors, you need to keep up with long-term business planning. For this reason, you will surely need a complete analysis of your main competitors.