9 B2B Trends Shaping e-Commerce in 2021: What to Look Out For

07 Jan. 21
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Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses have had to completely and drastically alter how they do business. The demand for in-person interactions between buyer and sellers has fallen off completely, while digital e-commerce has skyrocketed. As we enter into 2021, there are several emerging trends that are going to shape B2B marketplaces and the industry as a whole.

1. A Transition from Physical to Digital Sales.

The preferred sales model for B2B e-commerce is transitioning away from in-person sales to digital, remote sales. This is because the percentage of B2B e-commerce buyers that want to interact with sales representatives is decreasing drastically, with only 30% preferring in-person interactions. With the ongoing pandemic, a remote, digital sales model is not only necessary but is likely to be the preferred method for 12+ months after the pandemic ends. This also signals that the growing demand for online B2B marketplaces is unlikely to slow.

2. Small Vendors Will Move Online.

With lockdowns and stay-at-home orders across many countries, small vendors must shift their focus to online selling in order to stay alive. Small manufacturers must choose to join B2B marketplaces in order to keep the lights on, otherwise, they will have to close up shop and leave the market.

3. Marketplace Creation by Large Manufacturers.

While numerous manufacturers have moved to using large marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba, many are choosing to forge their own path and create their own long-term marketplace solutions. This helps them stand out against similar manufacturers by providing a competitive advantage over those selling on third-party platforms.

4. Integrating a Wider Range of Payment Options.

Without a doubt, the ongoing pandemic has completely disrupted the flow of cash flow and revenue for many businesses that have been able to keep their doors open through online platforms. This has caused new payment platforms to open up, allowing businesses to either make purchases through payment installments or postpone payments for up to 60-days after receiving an invoice. Businesses that choose to postpone do not have to worry about fees or interest.

5. Dynamic Pricing to Meet Goods & Service Demands.

Top leaders in the B2B marketplace are getting an edge against competitors by using dynamic pricing. According to Bain & Company, these top performers are twice as likely to use dynamic pricing, which protects them against losses caused by changes to the marketplace and helps them take advantage of those changes instead. Here is how.

  • By analysing the market and prospective customers, businesses can tailor the pricing of their goods to match buyer demands for certain goods and services.
  • high-value item that is low in stock can be made more expensive, while a low-demand item that is high in stock can have its price adjusted to make it more desirable (E.g decreasing its cost).

Pre-pandemic, all negotiations would be done between the buyer and seller, whereas, the marketplace now looks to address the need of the buyer through vendor to manufacturer negotiations. This builds more transparency between buyer and sellers.

6. B2B Prefer Exceptional End-to-End Service.

Many B2B buyers want as little purchasing friction as possible, which is why many prefer self-service channels for researching, evaluating, ordering, and re-ordering goods. However, the self-service needs to go above and beyond just providing accurate and reliable platforms, but should also meet the following 3 key aspects.

  • Speed. Buyers should be able to make and receive orders quickly.
  • Transparency. Buyers need to know where products and services are coming from and where they are during the delivery process.
  • Expertise. Sellers should provide live support to answer buyer inquiries and ensure a smooth ordering process.

Finally, B2B marketplace platforms should also provide exceptional services for carrier options, order management and tracking, and shipment status alerts.

7. Higher Demand for Large Consignments.

Where reluctance existed before, businesses are now much more willing to make large purchases online in order to meet their needs.According to McKinsey, 15% of B2B survey respondents were willing to spend $1 million on their purchases, while 12% would spend $500,000-$1 million, and 32% would spend between $50,000-$500,000. The high demand for large, costly products allows marketplace owners to widen the array of available products and vendors, while increasing revenue as a result.

8. A Greater Focus on Mobile App Optimization

While mobile app ordering has steadily been increasing over the past few years, the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically increased and sped up the amount of customers using mobile app ordering. To put this in perspective, there has been a 250% increase in mobile app ordering on B2B platforms, with 30% of customers preferring this method.

9. Government Partnerships With B2B Marketplaces.

Government bodies have started signing contract agreements with large marketplace platforms such as Amazon Business, Overstock, and Thermo Fisher Scientific for furniture, office, and lab supplies.These contracts are lucrative and important, as their success means continued million dollar procurements.

The drastic shift from in-person sales to digital eCommerce due to the novel coronavirus, has caused some major trends to emerge for B2B marketplaces. If you’re looking for business opportunities in 2021, focus on these trends and take advantage of what they offer.

Looking for a team to help you implement your B2B marketplace idea and enter the market quickly? contact us. and tell us about your project.

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