There are multiple reasons for the shift towards the B2B e-procurement field. The improved efficiencies, scalability, broad reach for suppliers, more brand awareness, better business to business relationships, etc. are the primary benefits of the B2B procurement. Also, much of the online traffic is generated through the e-procurement methodology.
Also, the B2B procurement allows the real-time order promising, access to the customer as well as the product data, more relevance of the searched products, replacement of outdated catalogs, etc. Also, there are minimal chances of the intermediaries, and the costs involved are also reasonable.
With the changing times, the B2B procurement trends are also changing. The technological advancements are paving the way for more liberal and transparent procurement methods. Read along to know the B2B procurement trends for the ongoing year, 2018:
Mobile in the mainstream
Earlier the use of mobiles for the e-commerce was confined mainly to the B2C procurements. But now the trends are changing. Because of the ease to use and the more accessibility, the mobiles are taking over the other gadgets for the procurements in the B2B marketplaces. The availability of the personalized content, meaningful buying, and browsing experiences, comprehensive analytics, broad search capabilities, etc. are some essentials being provided by the mobile-oriented catalogs.
The mobile marketplaces are no more a luxury but an essential for all the B2B procurements in the coming times. From the search operations to the sharing of the feedback, everything is being done by the mobile phones. Thereby, the websites must be responsive to the customers to have a good experience as there is ample of competition in the market for the customer to skip your site.
Also, try to develop a native mobile app for the more convenient user experience!
Tap on the analytics
The B2B procurement systems are enabling the buyers and sellers to see the broader picture of the analytics and the figures and the data involved. The customer-business can easily have a track of the order history, billing deadlines, inventory, etc. and the seller-business can keep track of the website traffic, ordering patterns, buyer’s behavior, etc. It enables the broader range of information to change as per the requirements for better procurements and sales.
A customer-centric approach to the marketing techniques is what Omnichannel marketing is all about. As the name specifies, it’s essential to be present in all the relevant places, where the customer wants you or might be expecting your presence. The Omnichannel is quintessential to build up a cohesive brand experience for the customers.
All the changes coming in the B2B marketing approach are primarily to make the user experience better. What-so-ever platform the user might use for searching you, your presence must be there. Select various media channels to show your presence. The studies show that approximately 44% of the marketers use three or more media channels and two or more media channels are being used by more than 65% of the marketers. This increases your visibility and aids your business.
The analytics should be analyzed for all the channels, and also the feedbacks should be taken into consideration. The Omnichannel marketing efforts must also include the following:
- Promote an interesting online content across all the channels you are available at.
- Make healthy relationships with the customers and the potential customers through these platforms.
- Conduct various surveys and review-giving platforms for the customers to share their viewpoints.
- Along with encouraging the customer feedback, focus on analyzing it as well and work to resolve the issues enlisted.
Artificial Intelligence is becoming the driving force behind the B2B procurements. 80% of the marketing executives believe that the Artificial Intelligence has a revolutionizing scope in the B2B marketing and it would rise like anything in the coming year.
The significant benefits of the Artificial Intelligence are as stated under:
- Aid suggestive selling – The B2B buyers are confined to searching and purchasing on their own. The AI is expected to chart out the buyer’s needs by analyzing the past purchases. It would build up sync and aid the buyer by bringing forward only the relevant results. It would also help the sellers by showcasing only those items that the user can buy rather than frustrate the buyer with the whole lot of insignificant products.
- Predict the potential customers – The AI would be able to study the shopping patterns and the shopping history of the customers in general. This analysis would enable the AI to predict the potential customers and would thereby widen your business periphery.
- Identify the trends and choices – There is no use of accumulating the products that won’t be purchased by the customers. The AI would be equipped with the programming to identify the unimportant products and thereby helping the seller to discard them.
- Discriminate between buyers and visitors – The way of dealing with the buyers and the visitors must differ. The AI would be able to discriminate between the two.
- Drive more revenue – Better decision-making abilities and the evaluation of the consumer’s choices helps the businesses drive more revenue for the company.
An e-procurement software application from Ariba, the Punchout helps the buyer to access the supplier’s website from the buyer’s procurement application. The buyer leaves their own company’s system to reach the supplier’s online catalog to order the products. The application of buyer however transparently maintains a connection with the supplier’s website to gather the purchasing information. Also, the transaction takes place through the buyer’s e-procurement system.
A punchout catalog enables the supplier to add ample of items to the catalog. This is an easy and cost-effective way to reach en masse. The Punchouts are used from the buyer’s end to ensure accurate ordering and for making the transactions faster and easier. The significant benefits of the Punchouts are:
- Lesser or no maintenance of the catalog from your side.
- Provides extensive information about the supplier a well as the product.
- Faster order processing and thereby, more productivity.
- Better money management and simplified procedures.
The Chatbots are the future of the B2B procurement. It not only justifies the consumer expectations but also saves a big lot of money for the supplier. The Chatbots would be using the conversational interfaces powered by the AI. These Chatbots would address the customer queries in a better way. They are not to be used in the place of the humans, but they are being brought forward to bridge the gap between the suppliers and the consumers.
The year 2018 is promising enough to bring in more transparency for the buyers as well as the suppliers. The year is to bring in the ease and the efficiency in the B2B procurements. The buyers and the suppliers both would be able to trace their needs efficiently. The year and the advancements promise a more extensive and broader customer base for the suppliers and better products and services for the buyers.
All this is possible because of the above-stated B2B procurement trend changes that are being expected to come this year!