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Top 7 B2B Ecommerce Trends for 2024


The advent of chat GPT has caused a stir in the tech world, and businesses across all niches are rushing to get in on the action. Both the risks and the possible payoffs are enormous. 

The climate in B2B ecommerce is no different. On one hand, there is a surge of interest in the potential of AI and neural networks, while on the other hand, there is a post-Covid downturn in tech stocks, leading to layoffs and budget cuts. 

This has left consumers feeling uneasy, with surveys indicating the perception that tech and innovations are happening to them rather than being created for them.

As decision-makers and product owners, it can be challenging to determine the best strategies and steps to take. What should be the focus and priority? 

As we head into 2024, let’s examine what is currently on the agenda and at the forefront of discussions to help guide strategy for the year ahead.

Ethical personalization vs hollow numbers
Omnichannel CX vs off-the-road CX
Sustainability vs cynicism
Social Commerce vs offline commerce
Conversational AI (chatbots) vs video support
Authenticity vs mediocrity
Simplicity vs overcomplexity
Bottom line

Ethical personalization vs hollow numbers

Advanced personalization continues to be a prominent trend in the B2B ecommerce industry. Tech giants are actively seeking to gather as much data as possible to offer tailored service recommendations. 

Have you noticed receiving oddly targeted ads on social media for the things you were just discussing privately?

Yet, governments are trying to regulate these growing tech appetites, while users demand privacy and despise being treated like numbers.

Personalization implies somewhat continual surveillance, like having a private investigator following your every step. Cookies are one manifestation of this. At some point in time, this private investigator suddenly jumps out of the corner as a quirky dealer, hissing: “Psst, sir, I bet you’re going to need this.”

For better or worse, the personalized-everything approach seems here to stay. As a B2B ecommerce shareholder, it is your prerogative to strive for ethical practices. The challenge is to balance the benefits of tailored experiences with respect for your partners’ privacy and ensuring transparency in data collection.

Omnichannel CX vs off-the-road CX

According to Zendesk, 73% of consumers want to be able to seamlessly move between different sales channels like web, mobile, in-store, etc.

With so many options available, some customers may get lost or become frustrated by inconsistencies across a brand’s various touchpoints. They have less patience to repeatedly start their shopping journey from the beginning on each individual channel.

Omnichannel aims to minimize these disruptions and cut through the noise. The goal is to make the customer’s journey from start to finish as easy as possible, whether they engage on one device and finish on another. They should keep their place in the buying process and have their data connected.

Furthermore, omnichannelism involves sharing customer data between channels to enable personalized recommendations and notifications across devices. This approach enhances the shopping experience by providing frictionless interactions and tailored experiences for customers.

Long story short: “Win the journey, not just the transaction.”

Sustainability vs cynicism

With the visible and urgent impacts of climate change, businesses are facing mounting pressure to reduce their carbon emissions and adopt environmentally friendly practices.

Certain countries and states have implemented stricter regulations regarding waste reduction and responsible packaging, which ecommerce companies must adhere to.

Consumers themselves are increasingly prioritizing sustainability when making purchasing decisions. They expect brands to take responsibility and actively work towards reducing their environmental footprint.

From a business perspective, embracing sustainability in the long run can lead to cost savings. Although there may be initial investments required to implement sustainable practices, these efforts can ultimately result in lower operating expenses. 

Things like renewable energy sources, recyclable packaging, and efficient distribution networks eventually reduce operating expenses.

So as climate consequences grow more severe, adopting greener operations benefits both the planet and the bottom line if approached as a long-term strategy. 

Social Commerce vs offline commerce

If you’re online, you’re one way or another, into social commerce. People have a natural inclination to seek comfort within their social bubbles, relying on friends and buddies for information and content consumption. 

Trust and social proof play key roles in this context. When friends engage with and recommend products within their social circles, their influence carries more weight than traditional advertisements. People tend to trust the opinions of those within their social networks.

Social media and its captivating content have given rise to organic social distribution channels that prove highly effective for ecommerce brands aiming to connect with customers where they spend their time.

Influencers have added some spark to the trend. User-generated content plays a significant role in social marketing and online sales. Influencers sharing photos with products and providing reviews create powerful social forms of marketing that drive engagement and boost sales.

Social commerce puts products in a real-life context and accelerates a personalized shopping experience. With access to rich user profiles, behavioral data, and personalized feeds, brands can hyper-target relevant products to individual customers.

Conversational AI (chatbots) vs video support

AI Chatbots (conversational AI) and next-gen interfaces – are your B2B ecommerce partners accepting these new technologies? 

The numbers surrounding this topic are somewhat contradictory. According to Calabrio, 70% of consumers believe that contact centers should prioritize agent training rather than introducing chatbots. On the other hand, Hubspot reports that 48% of consumers feel comfortable with interactions managed by bots.

While this data may be more relevant for B2C scenarios, it’s important to consider that your B2B partners may prefer video support, depending on the services you provide.

B2B Ecommerce Trends: Conversational AI

Still, chatbots enable prompt customer support, simultaneously gathering a wide range of feedback. Hence, conversational AI may remarkably enhance personalization capabilities. It enables personalized recommendations, customized product pages, and targeted marketing based on individual shopping and browsing habits, which would be challenging to achieve through other means.

On top of this, AI has the ability to analyze vast customer databases and transactions. This analysis provides businesses with deeper customer insights that would otherwise be difficult to uncover.

So while some remain wary of bots (and video support with its human touch may be more suitable for B2B), conversational AI delivers value through data-driven recommendations and analytics that improve understanding of customers better than before. 

Authenticity vs mediocrity

Authenticity can’t flourish without creativity, uniqueness, originality, etc. Telling genuine stories helps drive discovery and loyalty. Customers are drawn to brands that feel authentic and connected to real people, rather than faceless corporations. 

Authentic B2B brands tell compelling stories about their mission, values, and products in a way that resonates more with the audience, which expects transparency from businesses.

Your potential partners today have a higher demand for authentic representation of various cultures. Brands that embrace and authentically showcase diversity meet this demand and resonate with a wider audience.

Businesses can build deeper connections with value-driven partners looking for brands that feel authentic rather than solely profit-focused. 

Simplicity vs overcomplexity

When faced with the growing impact of technology in our lives, do people feel more clarity and simplicity, or fatigue, frustration, and anxiety?

Information overload is a real issue. Customers experience decision fatigue due to the abundance of options and data. And.. simplicity cuts through noise effectively.

Businesses seen as overly slick or obscuring details with complexity lack transparency for some. Your partners and suppliers value their time and want focused presentations that don’t waste seconds. The form should follow the function above all. Fewer choices can paradoxically increase sales by reducing option overload. Editing down provides a clear purpose.

Overall, cutting complexity ensures clarity amid technological progression. It respects your B2B partners’ time while maintaining transparency.

Bottom line 

The current wave of AI development is too impactful to overlook. B2B ecommerce, like the rest of the tech, will inevitably need to incorporate certain AI functions to stay competitive. However, it’s crucial to remember that your partners are still human beings, not bots. Treating them with genuine care and personal attention is something people appreciate up to now.

Source from Grinteq

Disclaimer: The information set forth above is provided by grinteq.com independently of Alibaba.com. Alibaba.com makes no representation and warranties as to the quality and reliability of the seller and products.

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