With the digital age rapidly becoming a maturing market, many B2B businesses are evolving their online offering and finding that ecommerce is a constantly changing entity that requires regular and on-going tweaks to enhance performance.
We’ve looked at providing an insight into a few common industry trends and focus areas wholesalers may want to take into consideration for their business planning for 2013.
Creativity on the rise
The Digital Marketing forum Econsultancy have suggested that companies like Google have completely changed the way all companies, regardless of industry, do business. Now is the time to recruit the best tech-savvy staff, employ an online strategy and be more creative online in order to follow trends made by large blue chip corporations.
With many industries now highly competitive and seemingly saturated, before hitting the decline stage of a business’s lifecycle, injecting a rebirth into your branding and your business through innovation and creativity will be key to generating new growth. The ability to be innovative will be a strong focus for companies in 2013. Whether that’s accessing new business channels, sourcing interesting new product ranges, automating your business with technology or evolving your service offering to beat competitors, those businesses innovating fast and often will stand the greatest chance of surviving the hostile and fragile business world.
Mobile, tablets, even watches and bracelets. More and more technology is promoting the use of cross-channel experiences. The head of marketing at Metakinetic, Jocelyn Kirby, states that the user experience will be one of 2013’s biggest influences on ecommerce. The rise in mobile devices presents a huge opportunity for businesses to showcase their products, pricing and promotions to customers beyond simply an ecommerce website. Embracing responsive design, mobile ready ecommerce and the use of apps will become increasingly important for B2B businesses and those investing early in 2013 will gain a competitive edge over other competitors. Particularly the apps market is still relatively under-used by wholesalers and manufacturers and it presents a great opportunity for early bird adopters to get an advantage in the market place. For wholesalers, apps showcasing their product catalogue is a great first step. Read how wholesalers can take advantage of mobile.
The power of social media
Social media now influences everything from promotions to customer service. They work as key tools to interact with the public in whatever form you want. Additionally, social media provides the pathway for business news and information to be published globally to the unprecedented potential viewer base.
Looking forward to the rest of 2013, public driven social network sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest will see significant growth in usage by B2B companies as they realise the potential for communication improvements, client networking and benefits of viral marketing. B2C firms have already adopted frequent social network engagement, so B2B companies are destined to follow.
Read more on how wholesalers are taking advantage of social media platforms.
Customer is king
No longer are the days of mass production and standardised product ranges enough to seal a successful future, instead now companies more than ever are placing their customers at the heart of business procedures and product pipelines. Like the Japanese work technique of Kaizen, B2B firms will be looking to continually improve on how they can offer a better experience for their customers.
Whilst many businesses will want to be all things to all people, a more successful technique is to gently evolve what you already have by better understanding insights from your customers and their buying journey. Step back and invest some time in better understanding what your customer wants in order to work out the best ways to integrate business functions and improve the customer journey. Whether this be adding a discount voucher for customer orders, more efficient and simpler order processes or even sending a regular email newsletter to your customer database, 2013 will be a year of refining and making the customer experience the best it can possibly be.
Focusing on content
Previously it was acceptable to create websites and online content which may slip pass as just about legible. However, now with search engine algorithms filtering the good from the bad, the content which you decide to display on the internet will be largely scrutinised by the search engines in order to estimate your company’s placement on search engine results. Consequently, 2013 will see B2B companies investing in higher levels of search engine optimisation (SEO), quality content for product descriptions, on site copy, blogs and articles, and overall better quality website content.
Many businesses may be finalising their business strategies for 2013. Those business plans who that include investments behind innovation, cross channel integration, customer engagement and social media will stand the best chance of growing market share and beating the competition in 2013.
Contact the Williams Commerce Business Development managers to discuss in further detail on 0116 326 1116. It could be the most important call you’ll make in 2013.
Friedlein, A. (2013). 17 Digital Marketing and Ecommerce Trends for 2013. Available: http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/61806-17-digital-marketing-and-ecommerce-trends-for-2013-by-econsultancy-ceo-ashley-friedlein. Last accessed 11/01/2013.
Vadgama, S. (2013). Five Ecommerce Trends For 2013. Available: http://www.fourthsource.com/ecommerce/five-ecommerce-trends-for-2013-12620. Last accessed 11/01/2013.
Pearson, M. (2013). E-commerce Trends in 2013. Available: http://inspirationfeed.com/articles/business/e-commerce-trends-in-2013/. Last accessed 11/01/2013.