It may only be the beginning of 2018, but the digital world of e-commerce and B2B has already started changing drastically. Staying ahead of other B2B companies requires taking advantage of this changing landscape and new e-commerce trends. By doing so, you can stay top-of-mind with clients, position yourself as the leader in your industry, and drive brand awareness and sales.
10 E-Commerce Trends to Adopt in 2018
Unfamiliar with the new trends in B2B? Here are 10 important e-commerce trends you should adopt this year.
1. Mobile First Design
One of the most important e-commerce trends today is mobile first design. 79% of Americans now shop online, and that number only continues to grow. This means you should be optimizing your B2B mobile experience first and making sure it’s as pleasant of an experience as your desktop experience is.
Websites that don’t consider mobile users will have fewer visitors, lower engagement, and rank lower in SEO, so you’ll not only drive away potential customers, but your spotlight will be stolen by your competitors.
If you want to see what an optimized website looks like, check out this website.
2. Increased Emphasis on Data-Driven Marketing
If you want to effectively target your customer base, you need to know as much about them as possible. By leaning in on data, you can tailor your messaging, product offering, and services, to drive sales. Data can be a great way to predict future customer behavior, and help you target high-intent customers more effectively.
3. Adoption of AR and VR Tools
Two of the hottest e-commerce trends of 2018 are augmented reality and virtual reality. Augmented reality, as seen in Pokemon Go, adds digital elements to a live view by using your phone’s camera. Virtual Reality, on the other hand, is a completely immersive experience that transports users to a virtual world using tools like Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard.
Since AR and VR are still relatively new, investing in them could serve as a unique brand differentiator for you. You can turn skeptical shoppers into repeat customers by letting them interact with your product in exciting new ways. What better way to sell products customers can’t see in real life than to provide them with an experience where they can easily visualize it?
4. More User- Generated Content
If you want to increase your brand awareness and attract potential customers, you should invest in user-generated content. By interacting with your target audience on social media and encouraging them to create content, you can strengthen your relationship with them. You can incentivize customers to do this by rewarding them with discounts and other benefits by sharing their content.
User-generated content is 20% more influential than any other type of media in convincing millennials to make e-commerce purchases. If your B2B audience consists of millennials, you absolutely need to jump on this trend.
5. Embracing Triggered Emails
In general, e-commerce companies, especially B2B ones, should avoid bombarding their customers with emails. But triggered emails are a great way to reach out to prospective customers in a way that’s enticing. By emailing them about abandoned carts, recently viewed items, and incomplete transactions, you can retain customers and stay present in their mind.
6. Increased Role of Chat
Another new e-commerce trend is the increased role of chat, specifically chatbots. 48% of customers would rather talk with a company via live chat than any other type of customer service. By investing in chatbot technology, you can provide 24/7 customer support so customers won’t have to wait around for customer service.
This will allow customers to easily troubleshoot their problems and get the information they need to feel confident in purchasing from you.
7. More Same-Day Delivery Service
As e-commerce trends evolve, so do customers’ expectations. Customers are no longer willing to wait long-lead times for products, and many will abandon your site if they can get what they want quicker from another website. If you want to keep up with your B2b competitors, you need to invest in quick-ship delivery or same-day delivery to convince customers to shop with you.
You can do this by setting up a large network of local delivery centers that can help ship and deliver products to customers more quickly. This will reduce the burden on your centralized distribution centers, and delight customers who are willing to pay more for shipping to get their beloved products home sooner.
8. Use of Digital Wallet Payments
As more and more business shoppers use their phones for online shopping, the need for quick and easy payments is becoming greater. This need is especially great for B2B shoppers who have to make multiple or frequent purchases. By taking advantage of digital wallet payments, you can make the payment process easier for customers, and you can also incentivize them to shop with you by offering special discounts and deals for digital wallet customers.
9. New Ways to Use Social Media
In 2017, Twitter doubled the number of characters users can use in a tweet. This means you now have double the space to message your brand and business benefits to customers. Take some time in 2018 to experiment with your Twitter account and see if longer tweets or shorter tweets resonate with your customers.
10. More Video
In 2018, video will no longer be a “nice to have”, it’ll be an essential for your business and B2B marketing strategy. Video is an eye-catching and engaging way to connect with customers, and studies show that users are more likely to remember and emotionally connect with videos than they are text or any other kind of content.
Video is a great way to spread awareness, showcase your product offering, and sell yourselves to prospective customers. If you don’t take advantage of this media, you’ll surely fall behind competitors and lose customers.
Final Thoughts on B2B E-Commerce Trends
If you want to be truly successful as a B2B company, you need to embrace new e-commerce trends and stay ahead of your competitors. By following these 10 trends from 2018, you can stay top-of-mind with customers and drive profit.
Have you incorporated any of these 2018 trends? Which ones have worked best for you? Let us know in the comments!