By Ben Brasket
Marketing Operations Coordinator & Millennial at Insite Software
Lessons Learned from B2C: How B2B does eCommerce – A Millennial’s Perspective
Recently, Jeremy Bogaisky of Forbes Magazine exposed the startling statistics facing retailers. In the US, retailers have received 50% less in store shoppers than previous years. Having grown up with B2C eCommerce, I know the importance of the convenience factor of ordering everything online; from my Jimmy Johns sub to components for a PC, and all from my iPhone. There may always be some need for a salesperson in B2C to assist customers but what is going on in the world of B2B?
B2B is Ten Years Behind the Curve
The short answer is this: B2B is about a decade behind B2C. The good news is that some companies are already starting to fill that B2B gap. It is a fact that the emergence of eCommerce has impacted B2B business and failing to seek new and update existing sales channels could be a critical error in strategy. Today, according to a recent Forrester Research article by Andy Hoar, about 26% of B2B companies believe they provide an experience congruent to Amazon. So, how does B2B in eCommerce get and stay ahead? Manufacturers and distributors need to address their site user experiences and provide high quality content across different devices and channels to stay competitive.
Mobile World Rising at the Speed of Data
My real life example: I forgot that I was in charge of the office party last week. Two hours before, I realized I was responsible for procuring a platter of Jimmy-Johns subs for the party. Within minutes on my mobile phone, the order was processed and on its way. In the evolving world of B2B, the ‘subs’ represent something needed suddenly and in mass quantities. Currently, according to Hoar, 5% of all B2B eCommerce sales and 10% of all eCommerce site traffic is mobile. Forrester predicts that sales from Mobile devices will reach 11% in the near future. Cisco Systems estimates by 2016, 50% of online B2B traffic will come from mobile IP addresses.
Jimmy Johns Rules the World of Tomorrow
The savvy online-consumer is less likely to worry about where they are buying from, but more the factor of convenience. I could buy a sub from the deli a few blocks away; it’s arguably the best sub in Minneapolis, but Jimmy Johns will bring their product to my desk at no charge. So I choose to order JJ’s to maximize my own output at work and also save money. Today, according to Hoar, 60% of American online consumers have no preference where they buy items, as long as it is convenient. Forrester research suggests that this trend is already emerging in the world of B2B eCommerce. Ease-of-use and convenience is paramount for B2B companies to make online transactions seamless, resulting in increased sales. Doing business online revolutionized B2C with the advent of Amazon.com and using the lessons provided by the B2C market, B2B has the framework already in place to be successful.
To learn more about how Insite Software does B2B eCommerce, visit: insitesoft.com