It is inevitable to talk about online shopping trends and not talk about the covid 19 pandemic that is not over yet. In 2020, the way the world did business changed forever and made some steps in its evolution jump. Nowadays, many companies have opted for teleworking and consumers have adopted online shopping in the most diverse areas. This set the scene for unprecedented growth in ecommerce sales and businesses across the board. B2B online shopping became crucial and the nature of today’s business-to-business (B2B) buyers and their expectations of working with suppliers and partners has changed too.
Today, B2B buyers are increasingly demanding because of high expectations created in their B2C experience, they are expecting for features and experience that they enjoy in their private life. Therefore B2B online shopping trends end up coinciding with B2C trends, more or less adjusted to the different industries and expectations of their target.
Below I will reflect on 6 trends that should be considered for who sells online:
1. Mobile-first websites
The mobile phone is an indispensable tool for the most varied areas of our lives, we are constantly connected to the network through these devices. In the case of B2B, because they are purchases of greater involvement and more complex processes, a large part of the sales will happen via desktop. However, the first stages of the buying process such as research, evaluation of alternatives will most likely happen on mobile. So, you need to make sure your website is designed to fit the screens of different devices automatically. We should minimize navigation frustration as much as possible and make the B2B online shopping experience easy for our potential customers.
2. Personalized experiences
Digital has brought us a giant advantage which is the collection and management of data on everything and anything. Gathering information about our customers, allows us to create personalized and enhanced experiences that make them feel special and that we are the right company that will know exactly how to satisfy their needs. For example, you can recommend products based on pages the customer has already seen, have retargeting campaigns to remind the customer of products they have seen and not bought or create abandoned cart campaigns to remind them about products they have left in their shopping carts. I warn that the management and collection of data must be done in accordance with all international GDPR standards. Each of us has the choice to decide on the ownership of our data and how it is used.
3. Payment and shipping methods flexibility
The business world has always been competitive, flexibility and multiple payment methods and delivery options are crucial in B2B and B2C eCommerce. Having one way to make payments is required but having multiple ways will definitely put you at an advantage. Especially in B2B online shopping, where the average order value is much higher than in B2C, it is mandatory to have deferred payment options. Today there are several that allow this type of service fully integrated into your online shop.
Another important point is delivery options. Studies indicate that 71% of European consumers prefer companies that have more delivery options. Offer your customers different shipping methods and combine them with various carriers, so the customer can decide which option is most beneficial for him.
4. Voice-based online shopping
With several different trends in e-commerce emerging, the time has come for voice commerce. This trend has become so popular mainly because conversational commerce is the most convenient, fast and easy to use among all forms of shopping. According to Global Market Insights, by 2024, global sales of smart speakers will exceed $30 billion. For B2B, this technology will be adapted later than in B2C because of the complexity and sometimes technicality of the products. But without any doubt it is a trend, so stay tuned.
5. Sms e-commerce
You are probably already using email marketing to deliver messages to your customers. But have you considered SMS marketing? This method is much more personal, engaging and ends up being an extension of mobile-friendly ecommerce. Remember that an SMS strategy is not limited to your existing customers who have already provided their phone numbers. My suggestion would be to do a test before moving on to mass strategies, start with loyal customers, run tests and measure the results.
6. Blockchain technology
If you work in the online world, I’m sure you’ve heard about blockchain technology. The blockchain is a decentralized data structure that is used to record transactions in a secure, transparent, and reliable way. How can blockchain be applied to e-commerce? One of the most common complaints we hear about e-commerce is the fear of not knowing who you are buying from. “Is this person or company legitimate?” “Can I really trust them with my credit card information?” “What will they do with my information?” The blockchain is an online ledger that can be used to securely track any transaction you make. One of the main advantages of the blockchain is that it is impossible to change the data once it has been put in place. It is incorruptible. This makes it extremely reliable for businesses.
Conclusion: As you can see, there are several exciting trends for online shopping to stay on top in the coming year. I hope this article has inspired you to new strategies in eCommerce.