We enter 2022 with optimism. In 2021 the pandemic continued to boost customer expectations for online buying experiences and further amplified the role of technology in sales and marketing. Buyers and purchasing professionals clearly want to do business with companies that can meet them when they want on the channels they prefer.
In 2022, customers will continue to demand an omnichannel experience that includes in-person meetings, videoconferencing, self-service, and digital commerce. At the same time, they look for business partners that understand their B2B buying process and purchasing needs.
Offering engaging and profitable experiences in 2022 will require a strategic fusion of sales, marketing, and technology to create relevant, personalized, purchase journeys.
In this December 2021 News Roundup, we look forward to 2022. We’re covering key trends and predictions in digital commerce, B2B marketplaces, and marketing that impact manufacturing, distribution, and wholesaling. You’ll also find a few B2B success stories to inspire you.
Looking Forward to 2022
2022 Digital Commerce Trends
For our 2022 B2B eCommerce trends report, we surveyed some of the most knowledgeable professionals in B2B eCommerce to get their take on important B2B eCommerce trends. We also asked them to identify trends they thought were rising, holding steady, and on their way out. This year, self-service portals are the top B2B eCommerce trend as eCommerce for manufacturers and distributors becomes mainstream.
McKinsey: Digital Sales Outlook For 2022
At the end of 2021, McKinsey surveyed B2B decision-makers about their preferences for finding suppliers and establishing and maintaining supplier relationships. They also asked about the sales and marketing activities happening in their own companies. It’s clear that omnichannel experiences are more important than ever, as respondents now use 10 or more channels to interact with their suppliers. When it comes to selling their own products, they agree that digital commerce is the most effective channel, even more effective than in-person sales.
B2B eCommerce improves supply chain resilience
One way B2B businesses can gain supply chain resilience is through diversification. While it’s challenging to diversify resources such as labor, suppliers, and vendors, technology can help. In fact, B2B eCommerce platforms can play an essential role in establishing global supply chain partnerships to improve resilience. In 2022, companies will use B2B eCommerce to penetrate new markets and verticals, helping others improve the resilience of their supply chains too.
Web 3.0 Brings More Trust to B2B eCommerce
The internet continues to evolve. Web 1.0 was the read-only version of the web, and Web 2.0 added user-generated content and social media, but both relied on trust that wasn’t always warranted. Web 3.0 is the next generation internet based on read-write-truth philosophy. Replacing trust with blockchain truth, data becomes more private and secure than ever. This makes large financial transactions exceedingly safe. Buyers will feel secure executing multi-million dollar contracts and purchases online.
Manufacturing News in B2B eCommerce
2022 manufacturing outlook
While the manufacturing industry demonstrated remarkable resilience in 2021, 2022 will continue to be marked by material shortages, supply chain disruptions, and a volatile labor market. Deloitte’s 2022 outlook explores 5 trends with the potential to turn risk into an advantage. From the front office to the factory floor, technology will play an important role.
Digital strategy for manufacturers
If you haven’t completed the budgeting process for 2022, Randy Higgins, chief strategy officer of Shift7 Digital, has some suggestions on how to prioritize digital marketing and engagement resources. He recommends a three-pronged approach that includes in-depth customer research, aligning investment with business objectives, and using tools to create self-service applications.
Changing relationships with China
The US-China relationship is projected to be tenuous at best according to Eamon McKinney, an expert on China-related business issues. Inflation in the US and China as well as container shortages will continue to erode long-standing goodwill between trading partners. His analysis looks at the causes of rapidly decreasing goodwill and how manufacturers can respond most effectively.
Marketing News in B2B eCommerce
2022 SEO, PPC, and other marketing predictions
2021 was a year in which Google made major updates to its search engine algorithms. One of the biggest changes includes the MUM (Multitask Unified Model) algorithm, which revamps how Google deciphers complex search queries across a wide range of languages and inputs. In 2022, search will be focused on intent. Marketers must be prepared with video, audio, imagery, and text as all content becomes discoverable in 2022. Econsultancy brought together a diverse group of search marketing experts to get their predictions.
Payment News in B2B eCommerce
B2B payments: There’s room to grow
In an interview with Modern Shopper, Bar Geron, co-founder and CEO of Balance, shares his thoughts on the gap between digital commerce and digital payments. While tech-savvy buyers want to move purchasing online, their payment options continue to be limited. B2B sellers need to provide the B2B payment methods B2B buyers want. “Every type of service you are providing needs to be consumer-grade,” he says. “It sounds like a cliche but it’s important.” According to Geron, B2B players have options that match B2C experiences.
Europe to account for 28% of cross-border eCommerce sales
Cross-border transactions will continue to soar in 2022 and Europe will account for 28.3% of cross-border digital transactions. As cross-border sales increase, companies must find ways to work with constantly fluctuating exchange rates. Fintech tools that mitigate impacts from foreign exchange rates and cryptocurrency will play a greater role in cross-border payments.
B2B eCommerce and B2B Marketplace Success Stories
Nestle plans to make eCommerce 25% of sales
Nestle, the maker of food products, laid out specific plans and metrics that demonstrate how the company expects to grow their B2B2C and B2C business with digital commerce. Today, online sales represent 13% of over $91 billion in annual sales and they expect to grow that to 25% in just 4 years. If past performance is an indicator of future success, they will be right on target.
B2B eCommerce platform raises $110 million
B2B eCommerce platform Bizongo completed a Series D round of $110 million with the help of Tiger Global Management. The startup offers enterprises vendor management, supply chain and eCommerce automation, and financing. The funds will be used to increase the company’s digital offerings.
Major truck parts distributor upgrades their B2B eCommerce website
FleetPride, a midwestern truck parts distributor, operates 281 stores, 55 service centers, and five distribution centers. They updated their website so that mechanics and dealers can search their inventory of 176,000 parts by part number, make, model, year and even VIN. In addition, the new site provides transparency into inventory levels and supports multiple delivery methods.
That’s It for This Roundup!
We hope you found this month’s roundup informative. Do you think we missed an exciting story or want to submit an article? Get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter or in the comments below. Don’t forget to keep checking the OroCommerce blog for more updates.