As the world continues to adapt to the challenges and changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses in the B2B ecommerce space are looking ahead to the future and trying to predict what the industry will look like in 2023.
Here are a few trends and predictions for B2B ecommerce in retail in 2023.
Increased selling through third-party marketplaces
In the second quarter of 2022, Amazon’s sales from third-party sellers grew by 13% compared to the same period in 2021. In addition, the percentage of buyers who made their purchases through Amazon Business increased significantly – 15% of US buyers and 20% of UK buyers, to be precise. This shows the power of selling through third-party B2B marketplaces, a trend that will continue to rise in 2023.
Undoubtedly, one of the key benefits of using third-party marketplaces is access to a whole new pool of buyers. This enables B2B brands to expand their products to new markets.
In addition, third-party marketplaces allow B2B companies to get a good overview of their competition without having to venture to other websites. Finally, selling on such marketplaces gives B2B brands the opportunity to increase their game in terms of products and improve product curation procedures.
The rising power of omnichannel sales
After years of digital growth, offline sales have finally recovered compared to last year. According to NielsenIQ, store visits rose by 7% in November 2022 compared to 2021. 2023 will see B2B businesses and retailers opt for a blended, omnichannel approach to sales.
Omni-channel sales are an important strategy for businesses looking to reach a wider audience, improve the customer experience and drive results. By selling through multiple channels, B2B businesses can reach a wider audience and tap into new customer segments. In addition, omnichannel sales allow companies to provide a seamless and consistent experience across all channels, which can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
By offering their target group several ways to buy products and services, B2B businesses can increase their sales and drive results. This is because omni-sales empower audiences to choose which channel suits them best.
Apart from sales-related advantages, omnichannel sales give businesses a better picture when it comes to data. By collecting data from multiple channels, businesses can better understand their audience and make data-driven decisions.
B2B will get in on the AI and AR action
In 2021 and 2022, B2C brands have used artificial intelligence and VR/AR to their advantage. Brands such as Hyundai, Samsung and Gucci have all created a virtual reality experience to elevate their shopping experience. 2023 will be the year B2B brands will do the same to enhance the buyer experience.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) can be used in a variety of ways to increase B2B sales. Here are a few examples:
Personalised product demonstrations: VR can be used to create immersive product demonstrations tailored to the needs of individual clients. This can be particularly effective for complex products that are difficult to explain or demonstrate in person.
Predictive analytics: AI can be used to analyse data on past sales, customer behaviour, and market trends to predict which products and services are likely to be most successful with particular clients. Having automated data analysis helps sales teams focus their efforts and resources on the most promising opportunities.
Chatbots and virtual assistants: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can help streamline sales processes by answering customer questions, providing product information, and scheduling appointments. Undoubtedly, this can free up time for sales teams to focus on more complex tasks.
Lead generation: AI can be used to identify potential leads by analysing data on customer behaviour and interests. Thanks to AI, sales teams can target their efforts more effectively and increase their chances of closing successful sales.
Personalisation is key to B2B brand success
Personalisation is important in B2B ecommerce, because it helps businesses build stronger relationships with their customers and increase conversions. By providing a personalised shopping experience, businesses can make customers feel valued and understood, which can lead to increased loyalty and repeat business.
In 2023, buyers will continue to expect a personalised and seamless shopping experience. Therefore, businesses will need to focus on personalised product recommendations, targeted marketing campaigns, and a streamlined checkout process to meet this demand.
There are several ways businesses can use personalisation to improve their B2B ecommerce efforts:
Personalised product recommendations: By analysing customer data and behaviour, businesses can create personalised product recommendations tailored to the specific needs and interests of each of their buyer personas.
Targeted marketing campaigns: By creating buyer personas, B2B businesses can create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to be relevant and effective.
Personalised checkout experience: By using data to pre-populate forms and suggest products or upsells during the checkout process, B2B businesses can create a more seamless and personalised checkout experience.
Social media commerce is more important than ever before
While social commerce is largely considered a B2C strategy, it is increasingly becoming a strong B2B strategy, and with good reason. By 2026, social media e-commerce is expected to surpass the $2.9 trillion mark. Therefore, in 2023, we are more likely to see B2B getting in on the action.
The key to success when using social media as a B2B business is to choose the right social media platforms for your business. More and more B2B buyers are using platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter to research and discover products and services. By having a strong presence on these platforms, businesses can reach these buyers and drive sales.
This is because social media allows B2B businesses to engage with their target audience and build relationships in a more personal and direct way. Personal relationships are especially important in the B2B space, where building trust and relationships are key to success. Furthermore, by providing an integrated experience across social media and e-commerce platforms, B2B businesses can expand their brand and improve the buyer experience while increasing sales.
The B2B ecommerce industry is expected to continue to evolve in 2023, with a focus on third-party marketplaces, omnichannel sales, personalisation, and social media commerce. Third-party marketplaces, such as Amazon Business, offer B2B brands the opportunity to reach a wider audience and improve product curation.
Omnichannel sales allow businesses to reach new customer segments and provide a consistent shopping experience across all channels. Personification helps businesses build stronger relationships with their customers and increase conversions, while social media commerce allows businesses to reach their audience where they spend most of their time.
By keeping these trends in mind, B2B businesses can stay ahead of the competition and launch their brand into the future.
Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/qwtCeJ5cLYs
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