7 Crucial B2B E-commerce Issues and How to Solve Them
The B2B landscape is transforming rapidly as an aftermath of the pandemic situation. B2B buyers are readily embracing procurement through B2B e-commerce.
As per an estimate, B2B buyers will start procuring at least 75% of the orders online by 2025. Taking it into consideration, we are likely to witness the growth of B2B e-commerce at a great CAGR.
Moreover, we are already witnessing a significant percentage of B2B businesses adopting e-commerce solutions.
If we trust the present trends, B2B e-commerce is surely a promising future for the retail industry. However, the rapid growth of the industry has also taken many B2B businesses by surprise. And they are encountering several issues with capitalizing seamlessly on their newly attained e-commerce presence.
Furthermore, many B2B businesses are relying on makeshift e-commerce solutions. And this isn’t working as well for them as they expected it to deliver.
This, in tandem, has also given rise to huge competition in the B2B e-commerce world.
Sounds pretty logical right? You cannot dive head-first into a competitive sector without learning the new ropes.
And so, here we will highlight some crucial B2B e-commerce issues that businesses are facing. Moreover, we have some proven solutions to these issues, which we will discuss alongside.
Let us get the ball rolling.
Annoying B2B E-commerce Issues and Their Solutions
1. Lower Conversion Rate and High Cart Abandonment Rate
The rise in online B2B sales might help you in attracting good traffic to your site. But, this traffic isn’t worth your efforts unless you convert it into sales. And this is a crucial issue faced by many new B2B e-commerce businesses.
Adding to this pain is the issue of a high cart abandonment rate. Even if you convince the B2B buyers to add their order into the cart, there are chances that they might abandon the cart. And this issue has been a pain in the neck for both B2B and B2C businesses. Especially for the former, as they have limited no. of buyers, and every abandoned cart is a huge loss in potential sales.
So, what are ways to resolve these issues?
One of the first ways to increase your conversion rate is by delivering a superior purchase experience.
A significant amount of B2B businesses are using makeshift e-commerce solutions. And these solutions are merely assembled to serve as a temporary resort for your business. They fail to offer a good shopping experience and this increases your bounce rate.
Moreover, a bad shopping experience also fades your image as a B2B business. And so, it is better to plan for a feature-rich B2B e-commerce solution from the right service provider.
A custom-tailored and advanced e-commerce solution will help you deliver an impressive purchase experience to your buyers. And this will have a significant effect on your conversions.
Even if you have employed an accepted e-commerce solution, you might see an increased cart abandonment rate. And to reduce it, you can integrate tools that promote before-exit deals on your site.
However, you must make sure that your B2B e-commerce platform allows easy integration with such tools.
2. Slower Order Fulfilment Rate
Today, millennials are at the core of B2B decision-making. And they, as B2B buyers, are not willing to settle down for any inefficiencies in order processing.
Moreover, a majority of B2B millennial buyers find the slow order fulfilment rate off-putting. And so, if you are still relying on traditional order processing methods it will affect your sales. This B2B e-commerce issue can reduce your customer loyalty and even agitate negative social proof.
Slow order processing is generally an impetus of the traditional supply chain management process.
43% of B2B executives even believe the traditional process is a crucial reason for increased shipping cost.
So, how can a B2B e-commerce business speed up the order fulfilment process?
The main reasons for the slow order fulfilment rate is a gap in supply chain management. And so, many b2B businesses have already switched to automated processes.
The right way to embrace efficient supply chain management is via an advanced E-commerce platform. Your e-commerce platform must offer you features like:
- Inventory management
- Order management
- Integration with last-mile delivery software
- Order tracking and shipment management
- Delivery records management
- Automated tracking and notifications
These features will help you speed up the order and shipment processing. Moreover, you must integrate last-mile delivery software for your B2B e-commerce.
There are various perks of adding a last-mile delivery software for your B2B business. These include:
- Reduction in warehouse management cost
- Automated task allocation to the shipment management team
- Faster order fulfilment with real-time tracking
- Efficient delivery management and reduction in the shipping cost.
- End-to-end delivery records management
- Data from LMD software can be analysed to further increase the efficiency
You must also make sure that you choose the right LMD service provider and platform.
3. Choosing an Incompetent B2B E-commerce Platform and Technology Partner
In tandem with the increased online B2B procurement, many B2B retail businesses are employing e-commerce solutions.
Moreover, to save on the setup cost, many businesses opt for incompetent B2B solutions. And some wish to win online B2B sales with temporary platforms like social media shopping pages.
However, these temporary resorts fail to support your business in the long run.
Choosing an incompetent e-commerce solution has a significant impetus on your sales. And it arises several other B2B e-commerce issues like:
- Poor shopping experience and high bounce rate
- Inefficient e-commerce management
- No support for personalization tools
- Limited compatibility for the mobile platform
- Integration issues with other management tools and LMD software
- Lack of automation and backend management support
- No real-time data analysis feature
Therefore you must look out for the B2B e-commerce platform that meets your business goals.
What are some benefits of choosing an advanced B2B E-commerce platform?
An advanced B2B e-commerce platform has a higher initial setup cost. However, the right e-commerce provider will help you build custom solutions for your business. And you can expect perks like:
- A superior shopping experience that promotes better engagement and a higher conversion rate
- Easy integration of AI-based personalization tools for smart content and deals
- Mobile-friendly e-commerce sites and support for mobile e-commerce apps
- Data analytics feature for informed decision-making
- Support for automation, inventory management, and backend operations management
These features don’t just help you with better e-commerce management but boosts sales.
4. Reduced Repeat Ordering
The probability of an existing customer making a purchase is 60% to 70%. Meanwhile, the odds of successfully selling a product to a new customer is just 5% to 20%.
Moreover, the cost of acquiring a new customer is 7x higher than the cost of retaining an existing buyer.
These stats become all the more crucial for B2B e-commerce as it has limited no. of customers. So in the B2B industry, the customer retention and repeat ordering rate determine the success of a business. And every customer you lose is a huge gain for your competitor.
However, in tandem with the increased competition in the B2B e-commerce world, customer retention has become a challenge for B2B businesses.
A significant amount of B2B buyers, today, are millennials. And they are more invested in online research before making a deal.
And it has further increased the challenge of customer retention for B2B businesses.
How to Increase Customer Loyalty for B2B e-commerce business?
89% of businesses believe customer experience to have a significant impetus on customer retention.
Therefore, businesses must focus on offering them the best shopping experience, thus retaining them for repeated sales.
It is advisable to use personalized content and personalized offers for your existing B2B buyers. It will significantly increase the retention rate and repeat ordering rate for existing buyers.
Many businesses employ AI-based tools for promoting personalized upsell & cross-sell offers to existing buyers. And this helps them increase the conversions, and that too with the increased order value.
However, you must make sure that your B2B e-commerce platform readily integrated with these personalization tools.
Moreover, the right B2B e-commerce platform will offer several features to improve the shopping experience for the customers. One such feature is the data analytics feature.
Unlike, B2C e-commerce, in B2B e-commerce you have better access to the buyer data. And you can also use the data analytics feature to use the data insights like –
- Previous orders from a buyer
- The buyer’s shopping behaviour on the platform
- The main product pages and the offers a buyer has interacted with in the past
- The average order value of the buyer
These data inputs can help the personalization tool offer highly relevant deals. And it will increase customer retention rate and repeat ordering.
Also Read: Ways to Future-proof On-demand Retail
5. Losing Sales to Competitors
In the B2B retail sector where you have a limited no. of buyers, every lost lead is a huge gain for your competitor. So, losing sales to competitors is a crucial issue that can challenge the existence of your business.
In the past few months, we have witnessed a striking rise in B2B e-commerce competition. The changed B2B procurement trend has left B2B businesses with no resort but to embrace B2B e-commerce.
However, online competition works differently from offline B2B competition. And the B2B players who understand the online retail landscape better, have higher chances to succeed.
So, how can a B2B e-commerce business outperform its competitors?
One of the main reasons for losing sales to competition is lower online visibility.
You must opt for a feature-rich e-commerce solution that allows you to grow your business’s online visibility. This means the platform should allow building SEO-semantic e-commerce solutions. And it should seamlessly integrate with all the effective digital marketing tools. It must offer support for email marketing campaigns and mobile notification offers.
The right B2B e-commerce platform will offer you much-needed exposure for your business. Moreover, it will eliminate the other reasons related to low sales. These reasons can be poor shopping experience, evident lag in e-commerce operations, slow shipping process, etc.
6. A Gap in Inventory Management and E-commerce Backend Operations
You might already be aware that frequent “out of stock” labels can be off-putting for your visitors. They can decrease your potential sales and also fade customer loyalty.
With that said, some B2B businesses still follow the traditional stock management processes. These processes require more efforts and are not cost-efficient.
Moreover, inefficient stock management can give rise to several B2B e-commerce issues like:
- Delayed order fulfilment
- Increased operations cost
- Increased shipping cost
- Delayed shipping can attract negative reviews from buyers
- Reduced sales and a decline in repeat ordering
Another issue that can postpone or stop the growth of your B2B e-commerce business is inefficient backend operations.
57% of B2B executives believe that e-commerce integration has a high potential to increase the efficiency of backend operations. Moreover, these executives believe e-commerce integration can make overall B2B retail management seamless.
However, still, some businesses are reluctant in upgrading their e-commerce solutions. And some B2B businesses are trying to draw sales from makeshift e-commerce arrangements.
How can B2B businesses make stock management and backend operations efficient?
The most prudent way to increase the efficiency of these operations is by replacing the traditional (manual) stock management processes with software-backed processes.
It is advisable to upgrade to a B2B e-commerce solution that offers backend management features.
These features include:
- Inventory management
- Order processing management
- Customer KYC and Onboarding Management
- Integration with LMD software
- Contract and Payment management
- Automation support
These features will help increase the operation’s efficiency and decrease operations cost. Moreover, you can witness an increase in sales and customer loyalty.
7. Unappealing Shopping Experience
It is a crucial B2B e-commerce issue that many businesses choose to ignore.
Even today, a significant amount of B2B e-commerce companies use makeshift solutions and incompetent e-commerce platforms. However, this practice translates into a poor shopping experience for their buyers.
You might invest a good sum in your marketing and may even attract huge traffic on your site. But, the shopping experience remains a crucial deciding factor in the conversion rate.
An unappealing shopping experience has a direct impetus on your sales and customer retention. And thus, it affects your e-commerce success more than your marketing.
So, how can one enhance the shopping experience for their B2B e-commerce site?
With the increased B2B e-commerce competition, the shopping experience parameter has become crucial than ever. Moreover, no buyer wishes to settle down for bland shopping experiences and half-baked efforts.
Therefore, the surest way to lead is by employing or upgrading to an advanced B2B e-commerce solution.
The right B2B e-commerce platform allows you to offer an impressive shopping experience to your buyers. And it offers them various front-end features like:
- Crisp & clear navigation path
- Dynamic search
- One-click ordering
- Personalized content and deals
- Seamless delivery tracking
- Repeat ordering and hasslefree procurement
- Secure online payment
- Order history records and repeat ordering feature
- Loyalty rewards points
Moreover, m-commerce is rising rapidly and a poor mobile experience may cost you a loss of up to 50% of your sales.
If we consider some B2B e-commerce statistics:
- 60% of the B2B companies reported witnessing a significant amount of sales via the mobile platform in 2020.
- Even Google reports that 42% of B2B product research is done via mobile devices.
With that said, you cannot afford to ignore the shopping experience on mobile devices.
So, your B2B e-commerce platform must offer dependable support for e-commerce mobile site and app.
Into the Conclusion:
B2B e-commerce landscape is witnessing a major tectonic shift. Akin to the B2C e-commerce, the B2B e-commerce has evolved into a competitive sector.
Nevertheless, B2B buyers are readily leveraging B2B procurement online. They do not wish to settle down for bland and makeshift shopping experiences.
Buyers today do not mind switching to your competitor if they find a glitch in your shopping experience. Moreover, you need to make sure you have your customer retention strategy in place.
Above are some crucial B2B e-commerce issues that businesses face. And issues like high cart abandonment, lower conversion rate, and reduced customer loyalty can have a deep impact on your e-commerce success.
Further, issues like slow order fulfilment, high management cost, and inefficient stock management are more likely to fade your overall B2B reputation & sales.
So, check and contemplate the solutions listed above.
One of the most evident solutions to most of these issues is upgrading to a feature-rich B2B e-commerce platform. And you must always consult with an experienced e-commerce technology partner.
Further, if you have more questions regarding B2B e-commerce development, we at Archisys would be happy to help you. Connect with us today.