You are likely already aware at the speed at which the B2B e-commerce market is growing. While the B2C market is expected to be about $523 billion annually by 2020, the B2B market in the US is expected to be nearly double that at $1.1 trillion, according to the Forrester/B2BecNews Q1 2017 B2B Buy-Side Online Survey.
Along with this rapid growth, you have also likely heard about the many disruptors in the B2B market.
Disintermediation of supply chains is resulting in competition between former partners, as new partnerships form. Enterprises practicing ”business as usual” may find themselves with slimmer margins or being squeezed out of the channel altogether. Amazon Business is growing at 20% per month and already has more than 30,000 vendors signed on. With all these choices and the ability to rapidly price shop, brand loyalty is also taking a nose-dive.
On top of all of these changes, B2B buyers are behaving differently from how they used to. They are, in fact, acting more like B2C shoppers, which is who they are when they aren’t at work. Sixty-seven percent of ‘Millennial generation’ B2B buyers prefer to shop online, compared with 51% overall. Ninety-two percent of US buyers have used Amazon to research a work-oriented purchase and 74% confirm that buying online is more convenient that buying from a sales rep.
The takeaway is simple: B2B buyers now expect a rich e-commerce experience, each and every time.
Get Ahead with the Best Product Information
It is no surprise that B2B buyers begin their product search on Google or, increasingly, on Amazon. What may surprise you is where they complete their search and where they ultimately buy. You got it—it is where they find the best product information. Great product information is good for your top and bottom line!
So, What’s Next?
If you would like to continue delving into these data and insights, please join us to continue the discussion on July 20 at 1 PM CDT. Together with our partner, DATAgility, we are hosting a webinar to talk about:
Register now for the webinar, Why Manufacturers Need PIM in Their E-commerce Stack on July 20, 2017 at 1 PM CDT, hosted by DATAgility and inRiver. Hear more aboutthe changes in the B2B online marketplace and how you can ensure that you are doing everything you can to give your customers the best digital experience possible.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver
Although online shopping has continued to increase in both frequency and dollars year over year, it still only makes up about 10% of B2B sales transactions. However, online shopping influences many more transactions, even in B2B buying. B2B buyers want to make informed purchases with the least amount of friction possible—a trend that is illustrated by the increase in ratings and reviews, price and feature comparisons, and shipping options offered on B2B eCommerce sites.
B2B online shopping and purchasing will continue to increase; according to Google, the value of physical goods ordered via digital channels is expected to grow another 15% in 2017. With more than 100 billion searches per month originating on Google’s search engines, the company is instrumental in connecting brands and consumers. As mentioned in a previous blog, your eCommerce presence on Google Shopping is critical, because many product searches originate on google.com.
inRiver is partnering with Google to make it easier and more effective for our manufacturing customers to take advantage of the nascent Google Manufacturer Center (GMC). inRiver strives to enable enterprises to enrich product information so that they can tell perfect product stories, regardless of sales channel.
Google furthers this campaign for complete and accurate product information through the GMC. As the manufacturer of products, you have the deepest knowledge of your products and should be the ultimate authority on what information is displayed across your sales channels and throughout the buyer journey. Together with Google, inRiver can help you influence the accuracy, completeness, and consistency of the product information that is being syndicated to Google Shopping.
inRiver manufacturing customers, such as TOPS Products, are already taking advantage of the many benefits of the GMC—relevant searches based on key words, authority over syndicated product information, and comprehensive (and free!) analytics. And it is even easier to leverage this tool through the GMC Connector from inRiver, which “auto-magically” maps inRiver fields to GMC fields.
We invite you to take a look at the Google Manufacturer Center as an option to provide better product information, a more enriching brand experience, and improved eCommerce performance. And we are here to help get you easily connected with your product information! Download our Google Manufacturer Center Connector Solution Brief for more information.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager North America, inRiver