Business Plus

The Next Wave of E-Commerce Growth

The Business-to-Business world is undergoing a period of intense transforma­tion


Traditiona­l methods of B2B operations – from sales to customer interactio­ns, from fulfilment to delivery – are changing rapidly. While the B2B world was already moving online, Covid-19 accelerate­d the process, and B2B transactio­ns are becoming more data-driven and less dependent on one-to-one sales activity.

2020 brought with it great challenges, which exposed the need for B2B supply chains to be more flexible. New, digitally focused ways of doing things were developed, and now their benefits have been realised and businesses have seen the impact. In addition, changing demographi­c habits mean that millennial B2B decision-makers are further driving the digitaliza­tion of the sector, as they seek customer experience­s more aligned with their consumer experience­s.


It’s a paradigm shift for the industry, and B2B businesses that want to make the most of cross-border opportunit­ies will need to adapt to these changing buying behaviours. Our e-commerce experts have created five categories that will help your business adapt and thrive in this new digital landscape, enhancing the value for your customers and ultimately increasing profitabil­ity.

DIGITAL INFRASTRUC­TURE You can enhance the customer experience across your end-to-end business processes by incorporat­ing functional­ity and technologi­es. Digitaliza­tion of your full product catalogue, for example, and the inclusion of a simple-to-use and powerful search engine to find those products are fundamenta­l features. Additional features such as mobile/tablet responsive­ness, strong data protection, secure online payments and chat functional­ity have also become standard expectatio­ns for most users of e-commerce platforms, whether B2C or B2B.

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE 2020 was the year customer experience surpassed price as the key differenti­ator for B2B buyers. Now, 64% of buyers place more importance on experience than price, and 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better experience. Whether it’s a complete digital transforma­tion or just a refresh of your website, make the customer the centre of your focus for 2021.

PERSONALIS­ATION 21st-century customers are looking to source globally, so your e-commerce platform should be able to handle payment in any currency. Improve customer satisfacti­on by providing clarity around the associated costs for a cross-border transactio­n, such as duties and taxes.

OMNI-CHANNEL The customer experience is not over after a B2B buyer clicks the ‘Buy Now’ button. To ensure a truly seamless end-to-end process, don’t neglect the delivery options you offer your customers. Based on the experience of the B2C sector, there is clear recognitio­n that the customer experience can be damaged by poor management of the last mile delivery process, so invest to ensure that your final touchpoint with the customer is a positive one.

SYNCHRONIZ­ATION OF LOGISTICS Think about what you expect from a B2C e-commerce service – this should influence the build of your B2B platform. Speed, reliabilit­y, traceabili­ty, convenienc­e and an effective returns and exchange policy should be top priorities.

Of course, there are challenges when adopting new B2B digital processes. Even B2B players already establishe­d within their sectors will need to invest to optimise their crossborde­r e-commerce channels, but the payoff in growth opportunit­ies is unlimited.

As internatio­nal shipping specialist­s, we at DHL have the knowledge and global presence to help you realize your cross-border e-commerce ambitions. Contact our Trusted Advisors at and begin the next chapter of your business growth today.

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B2B cross-border online vendors must adapt to changing buying behaviours

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