Hear from Fortune 500 brands that have been forced to pivot as consumer preferences evolve, as well as entrepreneurs building brands from scratch to meet new consumer needs. This event peels apart the layers of brand building with a carefully crafted roster of top marketing, technology, and creative leaders.Learn more
Forrester's latest report, "Key Trends in B2B eCommerce for 2013," provides the first snapshot of the market in more than a decade. A couple of the trends cited in the report include increased demand for both a b-to-c-like b-to-b e-commerce experience, and scarce b-to-b e-commerce talent.
Today, consumers all over the world have become accustomed to sophisticated online buying experiences for b-to-c transactions; and they're not lowering their standards when it comes to making purchases for business. Purchasing agents at b-to-b companies want e-commerce sites that deliver superior customer service, functionality, customization, ease of use, even exclusive Web-only specials. Essentially, they want everything a b-to-c site delivers and more. And because there are often multiple decision-makers at b-to-b companies, testing and complex customization is often necessary, requiring innovation and expertise. Simply finding the talent to execute will be a huge challenge for many b-to-b companies.
Just like customers in the b-to-c space, b-to-b customers want to compare products more quickly and easily—for quality and price. Companies don't just want speed; they need it to compete.
Just over 85% of b-to-b purchasers surveyed in the "2012 State of B2B E-Commerce study," by hybris Corp. said they enjoyed the e-commerce option because it saves time. In the same study, 94% of b-to-b purchasers said they needed an online buying experience that was just as easy as using a b-to-c site.
Designing and implementing a robust b-to-b e-commerce solution is just the beginning. It's both a logical and critical first step in meeting b-to-b purchasers' demands. But if you look around the room—whether at home or at the office—it should become apparent very quickly where the market will take us next. B-to-c purchasers serve as an excellent barometer for what's to come for b-to-b. And that, b-to-b friends, is mobile. It's charging up behind b-to-b e-commerce websites, and will be a requirement to remain competitive (for now).