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Top Trends to Watch in B2B Commerce: Part 3

Traditional B2B selling channels have remained influential over the years. However, the rapid adoption of digital technologies and increasing buyer expectations have upped the ante for B2B sellers.
Today’s B2B commerce transactions need to be streamlined, providing an experience that’s quick, reliable and efficient to satisfy changing buyer expectations.
In parts 1 and 2 of this series, we reviewed the importance of optimizing the buying experience and delivering one that’s more personalized to the customer. What’s the next trend to watch?

Trend #3: Create an Environment to Support Self-Service

B2B commerce is shifting from printed catalogs and dedicated sales representatives to serving customers through online sales channels. This trend creates a need for self-serve commerce sites that let B2B buyers request a quote, place an order, view previous on- and offline purchases, simple re-order, and manage their contracts.

Over the next 3 years, more than 1/2 of global B2B buyers will make 50% of their purchases online
– Forrester Research

Additionally, customer account owners seek self-service to configure cost centers and departments while easily adding end-users with purchase authority. Other self-service features on a B2B commerce site include:

  • Assigning purchasing lists
  • Establishing credit spend limits
  • Restricting shipping locations
  • Assigning order approvers for specific buyers or cost centers

How can you create a self-serve commerce site to address these items? Learn more in our latest guide.

Thoughts on “Top Trends to Watch in B2B Commerce: Part 3”

  1. More excellent points here. Two of the things that I see the most are customers calling in for order status and shipment tracking information.
    These types of scenarios are perfect for two reasons:
    #1. These queries add very little to the businesses bottom line. The sale has already closed, the customer is simply looking for follow-up information.
    #2. By giving customers access to this information online they can get it when then want it. It can be frustrating if a customer calls in looking for this information only to reach the voicemail of their rep.
    When promoting a B2B eCommerce application I never start off by saying that you can order online. I always lead with the fact that you can get all necessary information online without ever having to pick up the phone.
    If you can teach customers to treat your website like a psuedo-customer service rep it frees up internal resources to do what they need to do: sell product and services.

  2. Stephanie Gallina

    Thank you, John. I appreciate your insight and feedback! Stay tuned for part 4 next week.

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Stephanie Gallina, Senior Manager, Microsoft + CXC Partner Marketing

Stephanie has more than 15 years' experience in marketing communications, leading and executing marketing strategies for corporate and non-profit organizations. She elevates the awareness of relevant digital solution topics and thought leadership for Perficient.

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