The growth of e-commerce, generally, is undeniable. The number of packages that arrive on your doorstep, whether they are birthday gifts or household necessities is a testament to the way that shopping has changed in recent years, becoming much more online-centric.
The same is true of the B2B market. Last year, online sales across B2B e-commerce sites, log-in portals, and marketplaces in the US grew by 17.8%, reaching $1.63 trillion. This growth looks set to continue, with 62% of B2B brands predicting that they will receive ‘at least half’ of their revenue from e-commerce by 2025.
But while growth is clearly visible in both the consumer and B2B e-commerce markets, the two sectors are not interchangeable. The audiences are fundamentally different, as are the payments, products, and checkout experiences. In both, however, mobile is playing an increasingly important role – and needs to be prominently positioned within your e-commerce strategy.
The importance of digitization
In the past, B2B brands engaging in e-commerce sales may have relied on manual processes to ensure transactions were completed. However, the rapid growth of the market has meant that digitalization has become increasingly important for managing order fulfillment and meeting customer demands.
While growth has been welcomed, it has added to the challenge of coordinating with logistics partners, business vendors, and other supply chain stakeholders. Combined with demographic change – Millenials are set to make up 75% of the B2B workforce by 2025 – B2B buyers are demanding faster, smoother, more efficient transactions. Digitalization has been essential in meeting these demands, improving flexibility, increasing speed, enhancing visibility, and lowering costs.
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The ease of doing business
In the B2B e-commerce world, the ease of doing business is key, even with the complexity of the sales process ramping up considerably. B2B buyers make supplier decisions based on ease of ordering above other factors, even in scenarios when your prices are higher than your competitors’ products.
Making large-scale, repeat orders as straightforward as possible is key. Leveraging data and analytics can streamline the order process and ensure the buyer experience is a positive one. It’s also worth remembering that B2B e-commerce is about more than just the transaction itself.
The ease of doing business in the B2B e-commerce world starts long before money changes hands. More than half (61%) of B2B customers head online to start the buying process, which means optimizing search and making digital a core part of your client relationships.
Mobile in the B2B world
With mobile devices ubiquitous in our everyday lives, it should come as no surprise that they are of paramount importance for B2B e-commerce. In fact, Frost & Sulivan report that 91% of all B2B buyer searches are carried out on mobile devices. Searches are usually precursors to purchases (when organizations have the right sales funnel in place), which is why making the mobile experience stress-free is crucial. The ease of doing business that we stated was so important above has to be translated to your mobile e-commerce strategy too.
One in four B2B buyers bought a product online through a mobile device and more than 90% of consumers say they’re likely to buy again from a brand with a superior mobile web experience. Getting your B2B e-commerce strategy right means focusing on your mobile customers and their needs, ensuring you offer a mobile B2B solution with the best possible user experience.
Creating an effective B2B e-commerce strategy
For businesses seeking to significantly increase their ‘ease of doing business,’ mobile e-commerce presents the best way forward. Organizations must grasp the fact that buying behavior in the B2B space is different from the consumer world. It involves bigger quantities, multiple decision-makers, complex credit terms, contract negotiations, and various payment processes.
Any successful mobile-first B2B e-commerce strategy must not only recognize these challenges but seek to solve them with the right mobile B2B solution. It should offer a bespoke, secure experience, complete with optimized B2B payment flows. It needs to enable ordering (and re-ordering) on the go and offer push messages that make it clear when items are back in stock.
B2B buyers have changed. They want robust online search capabilities, flexibility, personalization, and real-time updates. And they want all of this via their mobile.
The power of a future-proof B2B solution
Mobile web browsing is fraught with challenges. For too long B2B buyers have had to put up with websites that lack mobile optimization, making e-commerce transactions frustrating. It doesn’t have to be this way.
By partnering with JMango360, you can give your customers the time-saving independence they need using a feature-rich and well-designed B2B solution. Thanks to our flexible and affordable Open SaaS platform you can supercharge your B2B e-commerce strategy today!
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