As we’ve made it this far into 2015, what trends will continue to drive us through B2B marketing for E-Commerce?
According to research and advisory firm, Frost & Sullivan, B2B and retail e-commerce will hit $12 trillion worldwide by 2020, naming it among up and coming industries in innovation and market attractiveness. Amongst such a quickly growing and flourishing field it’s all the more important to stay on top of the trends.
In this article we’re going to discuss the hot topics B2B marketers are seeing success with thus far on their e-commerce sites in 2015.
It may seem a bit counter intuitive, but by uniting the marketing and sales departments in your B2B business you’re actually simplifying and optimizing their workflow on both sides. While data remains ever so important in B2B marketing, the emphasis on simplicity is greater than ever.
Distributor, wholesale e-Commerce and retail B2B buyers have a pretty specific idea in mind in terms of what they’re looking for. If your e-commerce site is simple enough to seamlessly direct them to what they’re looking for, you can ensure yourself a higher level of conversion.
2. Sales Rep Incentives for B2B Online Sales
Incentivize your field sales reps to train your B2B customers –while visiting your customers – to order online via your e-commerce site. The more comfortable your B2B customers are with your e-commerce site, the more likely they are to order when they need to.
Make sure to reward your sales reps for the online orders that their B2B customers make. This will erode any conflict between your field sales and online e-commerce business.
Whether it’s on any form of social media, including your own company blog, your content must be shareable. I can’t stress this enough. B2B selling can be complicated with long sales cycles, Video content is a great example of shareable content that can educate customers and support your complex sales processes. Interacting online with your distributors and wholesalers can increase your visibility and likeability, which is sometimes better than any online sales app.
4. Quality Content
If you’re going to be successful in B2B marketing this year, you have to learn the art of storytelling and high-quality content. Not only must your work be shareable, but it has to be worthy of your audience paying attention to as well. Your content doesn’t speak for itself so make it tell a story. If you lack writing resources, open it up to your sales team; this will drive internal collaboration and ensure everyone has a solid understanding of your products and marketing efforts. Each week a different team member can provide an expert contribution for your team’s blog or social media site.
You can impress local wholesalers and distributors by posting riveting articles about the industry, and sharing case studies or statistics about your business impact. B2B e-commerce sites that also have a blog or an inbound marketing strategy see more focused and relevant traffic, helping you work your way up on the search engine rankings.
5. Data Security
An increased focus on security is an exceedingly important trend in 2015. According to Forrester’s 2014 Technology Trends, brands lose a minimum of $10 million for every data breach! Any type of security breach of any size reflects poorly on your brand’s image and reputation. Protecting your customer data is an imperative when building your relationships with your distributors and retail stores. Their heightened sense of security and privacy is in your hands.
You likely share a wide range of sensitive data with your B2B customers which may be exposed in your B2B e-Commerce system, leading to an increased risk of confidentiality, integrity, or availability being compromised. With a B2B e-commerce business, your cyber-security is under even more pressure to remain secure because your entire reputation is at stake.
6. Converging Technologies
When it comes to marketing strategies in B2B e-commerce it’s important not only to understand the secrets to producing quality content, but also to understand how your site can affect and enhance your content strategy at the same time. The next step in B2B marketing is to converge your front-end e-commerce site to your back-end operations.
Pepperi B2B e-Commerce Storefront uses ERP integration to synchronize inventory, pricing, shipping and invoicing information with its B2B e-commerce site. Your product catalog presents up-to-date inventory levels of your items, your customers are presented with their specific pricing, and once order is submitted on the web store, it’s automatically sent to the ERP system for order processing.
E-commerce web stores are increasingly becoming a profitable and meaningful sales channel for brands and wholesalers. We hope you find these trends useful in modifying or even slightly tweaking your B2B e-commerce priorities to grow your online business.