"The younger generation is increasingly becoming a part of the B2B purchasing process."
Nena Speets, Copywriter
4 B2B ecommerce trends
you have to keep an eye on
B2B ecommerce trends 2019
Which trends should you keep in mind as a B2B entrepreneur? Or on which trend do you need to respond straight away? In this blog we discuss a number of trends in B2B commerce: digitization, headless CMS, Progressive Web Apps and online market places.
Digitization in B2B commerce due to an increase in young buyers
The younger generation is increasingly becoming a part of the B2B purchasing process: three-quarters of the millennials have a share in the decision-making process for B2B purchases of their organizations and a part is responsible for this process. These data imply that a change is coming that is accompanied by a new generation of B2B buyers.
Knowing this, you naturally ask yourself: how do I respond to this? As B2B buyers are becoming younger and younger, the number of online purchases will increase considerably. B2B ecommerce is therefore gaining momentum, whereby an ecommerce platform is no longer a plus but a must. It is important that it meets the expectations of (millennial) B2B buyers, namely:
- An online buying experience that is quick and easy;
- A reliable and, moreover, fast transaction processing;
- Personalization, which can be realized more and more easily because of the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning;
- Be clearly informed when making product choices.
The Lavazza Netherlands coffee brand also saw the need to replace the current ecommerce platform and to make use of personalization. The coffee brand has established a new ecommerce platform that fully meets the growing needs of customers with regard to personalized transaction and product information. The new ecommerce website learns from customer behavior and this enables Lavazza Nederland to better respond to customer requirements.
Headless CMS: separate front and back end B2B ecommerce platform
More and more entrepreneurs with an ecommerce platform prefer a headless front-end CMS. The front-end (which visitors see online) is hereby separated from the back-end (all background processes that the visitor does not see).
By using a separate ecommerce module (back-end), such as Virto Commerce, you get the best out of two worlds. This way you have a back-end that offers the desired functions in combination with the CMS that suits you. And because both the ecommerce module (such as Virto Commerce) and the Headless CMS (such as Squidex) operate the front-end via an API, you are completely flexible in setting up your front-end. The choice of a separate front-end also makes your ecommerce platform feature proof. If you have outgrown your ecommerce system or the CMS, you only upgrade what is needed.
The main advantage is that you have a specialist tool for both front-end and back-end. With full-service systems that offer a front and back-end, you often have to make concessions in either the design of your ecommerce platform or the functions. Concessions that you do not want to make and no longer have to make with a headless CMS.
B2B Progressive Web Apps: native app experience in the browser
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are one of the most discussed trends in 2019. A PWA can best be described as a website with certain functions that you normally only encounter in native apps. Functions such as sending push notifications, loading pages offline (if you have opened them before) and access to the video, audio and camera. In addition to these functional benefits, PWAs offer many more benefits, such as less development time.
A Progressive Web App actually combines the best of both worlds: the offline operation and possibilities of an app and the quick accessibility of a traditional webpage. Many B2B and B2C companies use this. And with success: AliExpress discovered a 104% increase in conversion rates since they switched to Progressive Web App.
Our Technical Lead GK has also used a PWA for the website of rb2 - where you are now reading this blog. “The main reason for us to switch was the speed that this entails. In addition, pages can also be cached in parts. For example, the footer and header remain fixed and only the rest is reloaded. "
B2B commerce on online market places
That online market places are popular in the B2C market has been known for some time, but recently they have also entered the B2B market. 92% of B2B buyers use online marketplace Amazon to do research for business purchases and 82% of this group also purchase via this online marketplace. And the predictions are that B2B purchases via online market places will only increase. For example, it is expected that more than 50% of B2B orders will be placed via online market places in 2022.
So there will be an increase of B2B providers in online market places. You should not only think of traditional market places with products such as eBay and Amazon, but also newer forms. For example, the online booking platform Meetingselect brings supply and demand together in a unique way. This platform makes it possible to search, book and offer locations for meetings and events worldwide. This example illustrates that online marketplaces are on the rise not only for B2B products, but also for services.
Technical realization B2B ecommerce platforms
At rb2 we have extensive experience with the technical realization of all kinds of ecommerce platforms for leading clients. We work with innovative and scalable technologies that ensure that the platform is ready to realize all ecommerce ambitions. Are you curious how you can extend your B2B commerce online with an ecommerce platform? Contact us and we will be happy to help you.