Whilst some clients have struggled over the past 6 months we’ve also seen some of our ecommerce clients have seen their online sales up by as much as 244%!
We’ve witnessed a significant acceleration in online sales across the board so now is the time to reconsider how you sell to your clients. Have you considered selling any of your products or services online?
Some of our ecommerce clients have seen their online sales up by as much as 244%!
No doubt, whether negatively or positively your business has been affected by lockdown.
How can your business ride out current instability?
One route many SME’s have taken is getting their business online, selling their products or service using an ecommerce website, not only B2C, but to other businesses – yes B2B ecommerce is here and growing.
But ecommerce doesn’t just apply to selling products. Some of our clients have shifted their model completely and now sell their services online via a subscription model, e.g, Firestarter.
Ecommerce trends in 2020 show that B2B ecommerce is a growth market. Last year that sector grew by 24% and all indicators show this will not slow down in 2020 with 46% of B2B purchases now made online.*
* Source: Wunderman Thompson “THE B2B FUTURE SHOPPER REPORT 2020”.
The Times fortifies this expected growth, indicating a behavioural change in many over the last few months. Talking of buyers,… “25% tried out online retailers because of lockdown and intend to continue shopping with them. 77% expect they will continue to purchase more online once lockdown is over.”
One of the forces behind this growth is a buyer profile change. Millennials (ages 23 – 38) are now fully involved in the procurement process and their buying habits need to be addressed. A SnapApp and Heinz Market survey highlights:
“While Generation X and baby boomer buyers rely on salespeople for guidance, millennial buyers are more likely to rely on the opinions of peers or outside experts than to trust a salesperson: They actively avoid engaging with sales early on; nearly 60 percent say they don’t engage with a salesperson until they’re in the middle of a purchasing decision.”
So cold calling and making an appointment just to present your product will become a thing of the past. Millennials need to be far better informed, by researching the product themselves (online), prior to making a choice of who they will engage with to start a conversation about sales.
The evidence is clear then that B2B e-commerce is growing and is expected by a more demanding, less patient and better informed target audience. How can you cater for that?
We are all no doubt experienced in using highly developed and polished ecommerce shops such as Amazon, John Lewis and Apple. How do these platforms differ from a B2B website? In terms of general user journey and functionality requirements, they don’t.
It’s important never to presume that as you are selling only to business, great design and functionality are not required – they most definitely are and expected. On top of that all standard procurement options when buying from a business should be made available; VAT receipt, 30 day credit terms, next day delivery, purchase reporting, simple product re-ordering processes and specific account rates just to name a few. Don’t convince yourself that if you have an e-commerce site now it is serving B2B – without these basic features, it most likely isn’t.
An overview of the features and advantages a B2B site should have, is provided by the masters of all e-commerce (who are big on B2B, which tells you a lot) Amazon Business.
Getting online and selling online has helped save many businesses during lockdown. Read a few examples here.
There’s no magic wand guaranteeing success, but SOZO has two decades of ecommerce design agency experience and has helped businesses grow from bedroom ebayers to ecommerce entrepreneurs.