Ecommerce in 2021 was a great way for many entrepreneurs to find customers in a changing economic climate. But not only the type of platform had to change, but also the list of products to offer, as there was a change in user preferences. This was due to a variety of reasons:
- The financial capabilities of buyers have changed so that some products no longer suit the price;
- the value of some products has changed: some products are no longer in demand, on the contrary, they have become more popular;
- Customer convenience is a priority – if a product can not be purchased through a delivery service, the user is likely to give it up;
- users appreciate the safety of in-app purchases.
These trends are only increasing, which means that businesses that have not switched to an online environment can “get left behind”.
You can now see that this trend has touched not only the entertainment industry (gambling, betting companies, casinos), which simply had to go online to keep attracting people but many other areas as well. By visiting the sites you can read that the services of the site are provided online with certain requirements, as well as see attractive advertising. All this happens because in the conditions of general pandemic and incomprehensible economic situation the competition for customers is getting fiercer. Signs of competition can already be seen: on such sites as eBay, Amazon, and others, many B2B users have appeared.
So the longer a company delays such a transition, the harder it will be to compete later.
In this article, we will discuss some trends in the B2B and B2C ecommerce marketplace.
Key Trends in B2B Ecommerce
1. Transition to Online Sales
Nowadays, there are fewer and fewer B2B companies that want to communicate with service providers in person. The rest actively interact via the Internet, thus increasing the sales market and the opportunity to find the most favorable offers from suppliers.
2. Purchase of Goods Abroad
Many users have long preferred eBay and AliExpress. Now, these sites are mastered and representatives of the market B2B, which is trying to find more convenient and cheaper manufacturers. As a result, global brands are beginning to care more and more about the availability of their services and the interest of their offers.
3. The Variety of Shopping Depends on the Availability of Channels
The choice of one or another supplier is now made by opening websites, comparing prices and offers. Users pay attention to the convenience of delivery, the original features of the application, the unique design that will get you noticed, and will help you sell your products (for example, popular business themes named Elite or Finesse).
So if you’re going to attract B2B customers, you need to research your competitors’ offerings, understand your customer’s logic and make sure your service meets today’s needs.
4. Big Brands Have Their Own Marketplace
Until 2020, name-brand companies worked online exclusively with big buyers (government, chain stores). However, in 2021 the situation has changed dramatically. Now global brands are offering their products to small businesses as well, making collaboration deals. Most brands now have platforms for working with B2B customers.
5. Flexible Pricing
B2C customers are often attracted by entrepreneurs with discounts, promotions, etc. Already we can see that a similar trend has begun to spread to the B2B market. So far, it’s noticeable on the large trading floors in seasonal discounts. But if you expand such a system for partners by being responsive to market changes, you can run your business profitably.
6. Use of New Payment Systems
Working remotely, many companies began to make payments using different payment systems. You do not have to be limited to a certain way, the more variants will be offered, the more clients will prefer your company.
7. The West Is Losing Its Importance as a Leader
Previously there was a stereotype that only Western countries can work with B2B, using modern tools of commerce. Now the situation has changed, European, Asian companies are taking over the sales market. Now the competition is more evenly distributed.
To remain the leader, Western countries are trying to come up with new opportunities for their customers, developing IT systems, making web applications more user-friendly.
8. The New Trend Is Transparency
Transparency refers to the ability to track the movement of funds, documentation. For many B2B clients, this is a key factor in choosing a company, no one likes speculation and deception. Already now in the application of some trading platforms are available functions of electronic documentation, which replaces the paper document flow and has legal force.
9. Shopping on Social Networks
In the B2C market, this method of sales has long been actively used. But now companies that work with B2B clients are also trying to use it. Some are still only launching integrated advertising, while others are using corporate accounts not only for awareness but also for sales.
10. Increasing Personalization
Just a few years ago, targeted advertising discouraged people who saw it as a variant of surveillance, an invasion of privacy. But now it is used for the benefit of business development. Many began to present their products on major marketplaces because they quickly adjust to the consumer and advertising from there is shown to the more interested user. If an app doesn’t use personalization channels, it loses its audience.
Trends in Ecommerce Apps
Now, this method is actively used by B2B clients as well. Therefore, it is necessary to know and understand the current trends in this sphere in order to actively develop the representation of your own brand.
The average person spends about 5 hours on mobile gadgets, but for businessmen, this time increases by 1.5-2 times.
The question arises – but what features should be in the application? And what new features can be used to develop your brand?
First of all, it’s worth defining the basic functions that any shopping app should have:
- A registration function, including options to register via social networks;
- registered user status, taking into account the rating (points, bonuses, etc.);
- product catalog;
- search engine;
- integration with payment systems;
- order placement form;
- integration with social networks;
- the ability to leave feedback.
There are also additional functions that can be installed if you find out the need for them after testing the audience.
- Recommendation system. When the application collects statistics on the behavior of users on the site and can give hints. Some users find this feature convenient, saving time.
- Chat with support. If users can consult with the owners at any time, it will have a beneficial effect on brand credibility and sales growth;
- Delivery monitoring. Some users want to be aware of what stage their order is at and where exactly the product they have already paid for is now. If your company has established logistics, this kind of feature will be approved by your customers.
- If the user hasn’t been in the application for a long time, the system of notifications reminds, urges to pay attention to the actions, tell what’s new.
There are such functions in many apps. But new trends are already emerging. Some have already passed the beta-testing stage and are beginning to be implemented in applications for trading platforms.
- Augmented reality. Not being able to go into a store and look at an item has led to a drop in demand. Augmented reality makes up for this lack. Users can look at the item itself before buying, and B2B customers can appreciate the aesthetics of items that can be put on shelves, in display cases.
- Voice shopping. If users already know what they want by going into the app, they don’t want to waste time searching through the catalog, and not everyone likes typing a query. Now many already have smart speakers that allow them to place an order using their voice. A similar feature can be adapted to a B2B app.
- Electronic document management. You can already find purchase receipts in some apps, but soon there will be features that allow for documentation – contracts, reporting. Now some companies are already testing integration with accounting programs, soon artificial intelligence will be able to do this on its own.
Ecommerce – an opportunity to save the business, to adapt to the new realities. Small and medium-sized businesses need to understand that a website and an app are not a luxury now, but a necessity. There is already a lot of competition to enter this market, and soon it will be even higher.
But at the same time, there are many new opportunities, which, if used properly, can help find reliable suppliers, expand the geography of partnerships, and expand the sales market.