Table of Content
- 1. 2021 B2B Trends Recap
- 2. B2B eCommerce Trend Predictions for 2022
- 3. Conclusion
2021 was the year that pushed most traditional brick-and-mortar shops into an online environment. As millions of stores entered the market at the same time, the competition became fiercer than ever.
The way the world does business changes all the time, but the coronavirus pandemic has kicked things into overdrive. It sparked all kinds of B2B eCommerce trends, such as AI-driven product personalization, omnichannel selling, and mobile-first sites.
The platforms that followed design trends saw more customers than those that didn't. That's why it's essential that you keep following B2B eCommerce trends in 2022 as well. Let's see what 2022 will bring in more detail.
2021 B2B Trends Recap
By 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic has been shaking the world for two years straight.
All lockdowns and restrictions worldwide have changed the way consumers purchase their products.
Instead of going to local stores, most people had to order what they needed online.
Even though online sales have been growing steadily for years already, the pandemic sped up existing trends by pushing millions of businesses into the online environment.
eCommerce reached a new high during 2021, with a steadily increasing trend that doesn't show any signs of stopping.
Unlike before the pandemic, when most eCommerce stores focused on desktop users, in 2021, the focus was on mobile users.
Other trends as the personalized customer experience also shaped the future of eCommerce. Businesses had to look for ways to increase sales and attract more customers, so omnichannel selling also became a thing.
With 2021 behind us now, it's time to see what 2022 will bring to the table.
B2B eCommerce Trend Predictions for 2022
With 2021 behind us now, it's time to see what 2022 will bring to the table. Some trends are new, while most others are simply an extension of the trends that shaped 2021.
Let's start with the most obvious trends that are already in motion.
1. Access to A New Market - The Metaverse
Mark Zuckerberg's new project called Metaverse is designed to bring online interaction to an entirely new level. The so-called "Meta" is an augmented reality that combines elements from the real and virtual worlds into one seamless experience.
The Metaverse is supposed to re-create a realistic world in a virtual environment allowing people to interact through virtual characters called avatars.
You might think, "what does this have to do with my business?". Well, even though the Metaverse is a virtual extension of reality, it's also a whole new space where you can spread the word about your brand!
In short, the Metaverse provides all kinds of advertising options you can use to increase sales. Some brands are already offering free skins for virtual assets in an effort to spread brand awareness.
Moreover, the Metaverse allows you to create interactive games, similar to Roblox, allowing you to attract new customers.
This new trend provides all kinds of options that allow you to express your creativity. For example, you can create a virtual product test site where your customers can get a better feel for your offer.
The Metaverse also has a virtual currency you can leverage to provide unique offers, discounts, loyalty rewards, etc. The possibilities are practically endless. As long as you can imagine it, you will be able to put it into action.
We can't wait to see where the Metaverse leads us in the future.
2. AI-Driven Personalization
Personalization became a huge thing in 2021. With so many options available everywhere, consumers prefer brands that offer unique product personalization features.
The entire process is possible only due to advanced artificial intelligence solutions that analyse heaps of user-generated data.
AI solutions turned out to be more helpful than anyone originally thought. AI-driven analytics reached a point where they can gather, extract, and analyse essential data about the customer's preferences. That allows marketers to create campaigns aligned with their targeted audience.
Over time, AI monitors how customers interact with your brand and website. It can tell how often your customers return to your site, what type of content they prefer, and many other similar details.
Artificial intelligence learns from that data and becomes even more flexible. Marketers can use the information to improve their strategies and launch personalized campaigns making customers feel like someone is listening to their needs.
It turns out that most customers don't mind interacting with a brand more often, as long as the content they get is personalized. That means that brands have to invest even more time and effort into data analytics if they want to increase customer satisfaction.
3. Fast and Easy Order Fulfilment
The so-called digital transformation and the rapid eCommerce mobile app designs that reached the markets in 2021 had a drastic effect on B2B online growth.
As mentioned earlier, the COVID-19 pandemic has helped eCommerce flourish, but it was also followed by various logistic problems. The sudden growth of eCommerce led to supply chain disruptions, order surges, and many other problems.
Companies have to find a faster and easier way of collecting and delivering orders.
Omnichannel supply chains became the only solution to this new problem. Most customers don't want to wait to make orders, so B2B companies had to find ways to fulfil the sudden surge of orders.
The omnichannel strategy is gained popularity in 2021, and it's surely going to be one of the most prominent trends in 2022 as well as businesses find new ways to get closer to their customers.
4. Self-Service Buying
As many as 39% of B2B buyers prefer platforms where they can purchase products without communicating with live agents.
The trend became obvious during the pandemic, and it's showing no signs of stopping. The emphasis is on providing buyers with an easy way to purchase products.
The trend is changing the game for everyone involved, including manufacturers and vendors as well. Most manufacturers use some kind of ERP solution, so B2B eCommerce should follow the same approach.
Moreover, the entire process has shifted from traditional to mobile interaction. Millennials prefer platforms that focus on mobile app design rather than traditional ones.
5. Real-Time Inventory Availability
As most consumers switch to online markets, inventory management became a serious problem for many B2B eCommerce platforms.
Again, traditional supply chain management practices can't keep up with the increased orders, so many B2B organizations introduced ERP systems with real-time integration.
Customers today interact only with platforms where they can place an order and claim inventory immediately. They want to know that they'll get what they paid for on time, which requires a higher level of transparency.
Features such as requested delivery dates are a must in this new environment, as customers won't even place orders without it.
B2B eCommerce trends that were arising throughout the past few years became the norm in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buyers' expectations have increased during the pandemic and are now stronger than they ever were.
Manufacturers have to follow these trends and create offers that fulfil customer expectations. Those that fail will simply become obsolete in a matter of months.
Keep a close eye on the latest trends and your business will grow in this new environment.