E-commerce saw massive growth during the pandemic. Now, as consumers return to brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce trends are shifting again. Some studies suggest that things are beginning to flatten out. However, B2B e-commerce has a different outlook heading into 2023.
Competition is a significant factor that’s shaping new e-commerce trends. During lockdown measures, many businesses raced to build e-commerce websites to sell their products and services online. This caused a boom in e-commerce, and the space became more saturated. Thankfully, consumers also scurried to shop online, and these new behaviors have become habits. This is especially true for those shopping for their businesses.
In fact, 91% of business buyer’s now prefer to buy online (Digital Commerce 360, 2022).
It’s crucial to meet your customers and prospects where they’re shopping, meaning you need an online store! But in 2023, you’ll need to do more than just that. Competition is tough, and consumer expectations are more demanding. Fortunately, there are solutions that will help you stay ahead. If you’re aware of trends earlier and implement the right strategies, you’ll see results.
To help you start 2023 with the right e-commerce tactics, here are five trends that should be part of your business's New Year's resolutions!
1. Create an Omnichannel Shopping Experience
Consumers have tasted convenience, and now they’re hungry for more. As businesses have made drastic changes to accommodate different sales channels during the pandemic, their customers have grown used to how easy it is to shop. Now customers want the same experiences they had in the traditional brick-and-mortar setting, but they also want convenient online shopping, meaning businesses are expected to create a seamless mix of both.
The omnichannel experience provides customers with the same access to products, services, promotions, and customer support across all channels of your business. This includes in-store, on your website, on social media platforms, and with your sales team.
If, for example, you boast excellent customer service, then you need to ensure you’ve implemented the same level of access and consistent messaging across all channels. This includes your phone support lines, your website's chatbot, and through your social media platforms’ direct messaging apps. Although this may seem like a lot of maintenance, it will be worth it.
75% of buyers use multiple channels before making a purchase (The Future of Customer Engagement and Experience, 2022).
Creating an omnichannel experience lets your business meet customers at every sales touchpoint. Having a presence in each one and providing consistent messages will drastically help you increase conversion rates.
2. Build Trust with Transparency
One of the biggest concerns online shoppers have is security. This is especially true for older demographics, but even younger target audiences have fears. 49% of younger shoppers still consider secure payment methods a big concern when making a purchase online (AWIN, 2022).
Being transparent about how you process customers' data and what security measures you take to protect their information will ease concerns. This will help improve your customer retention, while drawing in new audiences who’ve been hesitant about shopping online. With the increased competition in the e-commerce space catering to these markets could help you rise to the top.
3. Excel in Your Delivery
Inventory levels have been a massive burden to businesses, as the supply chain networks are struggling globally. As a result, you could lose sales because you can’t get what you want when you need it. Frustrating, right?
Unfortunately, this is out of your control. But you can control how you deliver the stock you do have.
Two-to-three-day shipping and even same-day delivery have become the new norm. It’s important to meet your customers’ expectations, and to provide an estimated delivery date. Most importantly, you need to be sure that you get their product to them by that date.
Customers also want to know your return policies before they make a purchase. On average, 67% of customers check return policies before buying (invesp, 2022). A flexible return policy that’s easy to find can influence whether a customer buys from you or your competitor.
4. Give the Power to Your Customers
Traditional sales techniques, like over-the-phone conversations, are becoming less popular. This is especially true for millennials, who are becoming decision-makers in the workplace. They prefer self-service shopping, such as online, where they won’t feel pressured by salespeople. They respond better to businesses that give control to the consumer to reach out if they need assistance.
5. Get Personal
Personalization is key to success in 2023 because it can create a better customer shopping experience. But don't overdo it by asking for all of your customer's personal information too quickly. This can cause cart abandonment. Research shows that 25% of lost sales are the result of requiring customers to create an account to make a purchase (AWIN, 2022). Instead, give them the flexibility to choose whether or not they want to set up an account.
Later, you can use personalized sales techniques to retain these customers. For example, the option to create favorite lists can make their shopping experience easier, as they can quickly find and buy the products they like. Accounts can further give customers a sense of belonging, and the more personalized you make them, the more they’ll want to shop from you.
Starting or continuing your e-commerce journey can be exciting, given the growth and popularity of shopping online. B2B e-commerce trends are predicted to be even more advantageous if implemented successfully.
At MPSToolbox, we understand what imaging and technology customers are looking for. We’ve developed a software that will make your customers’ e-commerce shopping experiences seamless.
Reach out today to learn more about our services. We look forward to hearing from you, and to improving your businesses e-commerce sales by implementing these tips.