Consumers expect seamless access to brands - and their history with those brands - on every channel they visit, and business shoppers are no exception.
Business-to-business (B2B) buyers are bringing their same lofty ecommerce expecations to work, influencing how they research, transact and engage with companies vying for their company dollars. It's these changing consumer preferences that are impacting where B2B companies are investing. According to a new study from Forrester Consulting commissioned by NetSuite, 39 percent of sellers surveyed report they are either currently choosing a new ecommerce partner or plan to choose one within the next 12 months. What's more, of those considering a new ecommerce provider, two-thirds (62 percent) said they would lean toward a single-stack approach with their new provider, which could allow for more scalability and less resources internally for maintenance.
There are some factors that should influence a B2B seller's ecommerce platform decisions like the ability to (1) offer a consumer-like experience to business buyers including access to reviews, referrals and responsive sites, (2) empower buyers to self-serve at every stage of the buying process from researching to re-ordering, (3) easily cross-sell/up-sell, and (4) recognize customer preferences and use them to inform content delivery, product suggestions and more.
Some interesting stats to emerge from the Forrester/NetSuite report include:
- U.S. B2B ecommerce will grow from $780 billion in 2015 to $1.13 trillion by 2020. Forty-two percent of sellers in the study expect at least half of their customers to be buying from them online within the next three years.
- More than half of sellers reported focusing on ecommerce because their customers expect a high-quality online shopping experience.
-The sellers in the study who had adopted cloud-based solutions were driven to do so because they felt a cloud-based solution would do a better job of keeping up with innovations (66 percent), be faster to implement (64 percent) and more easily scale to keep up with growth in their businesses (64 percent).
-About 72 percent of midmarket, B2B sellers derive at least 25 percent of their revenue from online channels.