Coronavirus Effects on B2B eCommerce – Trends & Strategy for 2020
The novel coronavirus has forced us to shift to a world of social isolation where people are now getting used to not physically seeing and interacting with one another. In other words, virtual interaction has become the new norm. All sorts of businesses, meetings, conferences, and events are shifting to virtual platforms and people are adapting to these changes.
Businesses now have to look for alternate courses of action to adapt to these changing times. This is because employees are now working from home, there is next to no travel involved, the pattern of working has changed and so has the expectations of our customers. Businesses all over the world are trying to identify the long term effects of coronavirus and how it will affect the way they conduct business.
However, we are also moving into an era of digital transformation. Businesses are seeking alternate solutions like blockchain to now revolutionize the way they work. So, the bog question here is what are the new trends in B2B e-commerce in a world infected by Coronavirus.
Here are a few trends in the b2b e-commerce world that such businesses must be aware of as they adapt with the implication of COVID-19:
Upcoming B2B eCommerce Trends with the impact of Coronavirus
1. A shift to an Omni-channel form of B2B e-commerce
Most parts of the world are in a state of lockdown and it is predicted that this life-style will continue in the near future. In other words, people are now getting used to living a life of social distancing. The burden to meet with the requirements of the various demands of customers is now shifting to e-commerce businesses. B2B e-commerce platforms like Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay are going to benefit immensely from this. Apart from the products they were already selling, they have now shifted their focus to selling essential items as well. Therefore, the trend Omni-channel will only witness growth in the coming days.
2. Digital innovation making its mark
With the norm of social distancing continuing for a long time, people are now depending on digital solutions to carry out their everyday routine. This also includes organizing meetings, conferences, and even large scale events on a virtual platform. With the dependence on digital solutions increasing, there is bound to be a breakthrough and up-gradation in the technology that we use. These emerging technologies are going to have a deep impact on how B2B businesses function. Augmented reality and virtual reality are expected to dominate this segment which could lead to high growth circumstances.
3. Growth in engagements through social media platforms
Due to people being shifted to a stay at home lifestyle, it is obvious that the time they devote to social media platforms is going to increase. Previously, social media engagement was just a part of a business’s marketing strategy, however, it will now become a separate genre itself. Social media will not just be used for advertising and promotions. Social media platforms like Facebook will now become platforms for hosting big events through its live features and we don’t see this trend taking a pause anytime soon.
4. Personalization of customer experience
B2B e-commerce businesses are now more than ever looking for as many B2C transactions as possible. Personalization of customer experience is one of the best ways to grab the customer’s attention as it has been found that the demand for online supplies increases as the content becomes more relatable and a relationship is formed between the buyers and the sellers.
5. Data and Analytics
The importance of the data and analytics generated will become important now more than ever. In other words, businesses will now heavily rely on these figures. This is because, the figures accumulated will help businesses in understanding the sales over time by the customer, ship to promise (used to understand how quickly an order can be delivered), the performance of the sales team, performance of the product, and length of the sales cycle. An analysis of this will help leaders in deciding the next big step that needs to be taken.
Now that we have discussed a few b2b e-commerce trends that will see a rise shortly, let us all discuss the strategies that can be adopted by such businesses during the stage of coronavirus:
B2B eCommerce Strategies
1. Host online events
The attraction towards online events and webinars has increased since people have gone into self-quarantine. Therefore, this becomes the best opportunity for businesses to host attractive and value-adding webinars or events to gain momentum and traffic on your page. You can also host online workshops. People are looking forward to learning and develop new skills as they stay in isolation and this also acts as a great marketing opportunity for your business.
2. Create relatable content
People nowadays are looking for content on what’s happening around them. Writing such content would be a great way to attract the attention of the audience. This would be a great time to start series or weekly newsletters on what’s happening around us. Taking this opportunity to conduct PR activities is also a good option for businesses.
3. Shift your customers to an online platform
Even in such times, the business should continue as usual. With no form of physical contact being the new normal, start shifting all customer-related operations to an online platform. This will also include letting your existing and potential customers know that you’ve established yourself online and guide them on how to access the required services through your online portal.
4. Market yourself extensively
The prevailing situation gives a brilliant opportunity for all businesses to expand overseas since everything will now shift to an online platform. This can range from overseas talent to customer acquisition. So, market yourself extensively, at every possible avenue. If you’re looking to expand, this might just be the perfect opportunity.
Coronavirus has revolutionized the way b2b e-commerce businesses can move forward and conduct business processes in the future. The way we communicate, connect, and create strategies will no longer be the same. Adapting to these trends will not only lead to survival but also the growth of your business. We hope you found this blog informative.
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