How to Drive B2B Digital Commerce in 2021

Customer Experience.  We hear it over and over, but it is truly one of the most important factors – if not the most important factor – to drive your B2B digital business.

But who are your customers, and what types of experiences are they looking for?  This may be a surprise, but millennials are critical to the B2B buying process. In fact, 73% of millennials have a hand in B2B buying decisions. This generation is especially technology savvy and expects a seamless ecommerce experience when interacting with your business.

So as you think about optimizing your digital commerce operations, here are a few considerations to keep the millennial audience in mind and accelerate your digital sales.

It’s time to hang up your legacy system for modern platforms

If you’re holding onto your legacy systems, you might be doing more harm than good. While you may get by with system patchworks or workarounds, you could ultimately jeopardize your organization by not having the agility of new-age digital commerce platforms. Digital commerce channels that drive the most results have the flexibility to adapt to meet partner and customer expectations quickly.

Modern, cloud-based technologies are the best way to attain this. Leading digital commerce platforms streamline your complex sales processes and enable scale. They enable you to sell more and faster with automation, go-to-market quickly, increase cross-functional collaboration, make more informed decisions with real-time analytics and reduce reliance on manual sales activities.

Functionalities to look for in B2B digital commerce platforms

Choosing the right platforms and right implementation partner for your specific business requirements are big decisions that will have long-term impact on your future growth.  Top B2B digital commerce platforms include Oracle and Salesforce, but with over 370 e-commerce platforms available for businesses, the decision can seem overwhelming. No matter what platforms you choose, it’s imperative you consider options with the following capabilities:

  • Self-service – for a true e-commerce experience
  • Personalized buying experiences – to build relationships with your customers
  • Guided-selling options – to help sales sell fast and efficiently
  • Omnichannel functionality – to close deals and make sales at any location
  • Configure, price, quote (CPQ) – automate the quoting process for your most complex product offerings
  • Contract Lifecycle Management – automate contracts and approvals to shorten they sales cycle
  • Subscriptions – add new revenue models and automate renewals
  • Real-time reporting & dashboards –  make confident decisions at the pace of business
  • App integrations – seamless connections with all of your platforms

Create meaningful engagements with your partners and customers in every channel

Digital is everywhere, and it is no longer associated with a device. Your B2B digital commerce experience needs to be omnichannel – accessible and consistent in every channel your partners and customers can interact with your company.

If you have an agile approach to your digital commerce transformation, seamless mobile channels need be a priority as a significant amount of B2B business is done through mobile today:

Deploy intuitive partner and customer interfaces

As more and more B2B buyers are looking for their B2B buying experiences to match the convenience of their personal shopping experiences, you should evaluate and implement B2C commerce functionality to create frictionless partner and customer experiences. Examples include:

  • Responsive design – that works across all channels and devices with intuitive navigation
  • Live chats – allow customers to ask questions to a live representative of your company
  • Chatbots – allow customers to get quick answers they need, without any support staff
  • Widgets – digital signage that auto-updates on webpages. Customizable, simple and can capture potential customers who need, or are looking for your services
  • Educational Content – explain industry problems, how-to scenarios, or job-related tasks
  • Search filters – allow customers to easily find and sort through complex products on your site

Your future digital commerce experience

As a B2B organization, you need to take every measure to ensure a lasting first impression, a seamless digital experience and satisfying service that continues to deliver in the long run. With competition primarily running on experiences, successful B2B companies focus on partner and customer experiences and embrace their perception as reality. By investing in modern digital commerce technology and process improvement, you can provide fast, simple and efficient experiences that develop lasting relationships with your partners and customers.

For more on how you can successfully prepare your business for the future of digital commerce, contact us today.