Online retail sales are predicted to reach £52.25bn in the UK this year, a 16.2% increase on 2014 when the total stood at £44.97bn. This equates to 15.2% of all retail sales in the UK and means that on average UK consumers will spend £1,174 online in 2015, which would make us the most frequent online shoppers in Europe. (From – https://econsultancy.com/blog/66007-uk-online-retail-sales-to-reach-52-25bn-in-2015-report/)
As the world of advanced technology continues to mercilessly expand and develop at astronomical rates, so does ecommerce. And to stay ahead of the pack, it’s important to keep up with – and incorporate – proven trends. In this blog post, we’ll be looking at five key B2B ecommerce trends for 2015. Enjoy!
1. Business On The Go
B2B buyers are frequently turning to their mobiles to hunt for companies they might like to do business with. As a result, it’s absolutely vital to ensure that your ecommerce webpage is mobile-compatible. However, as important and obvious as this trend might seem, many retailers could still do more for mobile shoppers. Somo has analysed the mobile capabilities of the top 50 high street retailers, finding that:
- 40% do not have a mobile optimised store locator.
- 20% don’t have a transactional mobile site.
- 30% don’t have an iOS app.
- 28% don’t have an Android app.
- 44% do not have a tablet optimised site.
- 46% don’t support responsive web design.
2. Emergence Of Online Marketplaces
Some B2B companies are have entered the world of online marketplaces. As a result, they can now sell their own products alongside other wholesalers. This may not be suitable depending on the nature of your SME’s industry, but entering online marketplaces like Amazon Business, Kinnek and DHgate appears to be a trend that’s really taking off in B2B ecommerce.
3. Eight out of 10 consumers will shop online more if offered free shipping
New data from Walker Sands reveals that the offer of free shipping and returns goes a long way, with consumers saying they’d not only shop online more frequently and across more product categories, but would also buy expensive items online without seeing them first.
- 76% of consumers now say they would spend more than $100 online on a product without seeing it first, up from 70% in 2013.
- Free shipping (83%) continues to be the top reason consumers say they would shop more online.
- Free returns can help drive higher ecommerce sales for big-ticket items – nearly three times as many consumers (27% vs. 10%) would purchase a product online costing more than $1,000 without seeing it first, if returns were free.
Personalised recommendations help conversion
A new study by Barilliance indicates that up to 31% of ecommerce site revenues were generated from personalised product recommendations during Q4 2014.
- The conversion rate of visitors who clicked on product recommendations was found to be 5.5 times higher than the conversion rate of non clicking customers.
- Above the fold recommendations were found to be 1.7 times more effective than below the fold recommendations.
- Out of the 20+ product recommendations types that were reviewed in this study, the most engaging recommendation type was ‘what customers ultimately buy’.
- The Click-through rate (CTR) of personalised ‘Top Sellers’ recommendations was found to be two times more effective than the CTR of global (non personalised) ‘Top Sellers’ recommendations.
4. High-Quality Content
It’s all about the content these days. Successful B2B ecommerce involves producing high-quality, fully engaging content that will bring fellow businesses to your webpage, keep them there, and ultimately encourage them to begin to work with you. It’s important to remember that B2B buyers also want facts and figures among this content – dependable data that reinforces the creative content bigging up the business.
A trend that’s also rapidly emerging in terms of ecommerce solutions is the aspect of procurement processes. The web is a terrific place to purchase products and to do business – eliminating the mountainous piles of paperwork that were required as little as five or ten years ago. Buying online has been big for a while now, with this trend already very much in place in B2B ecommerce.
6. B2B = B2C?
It’s true, ecommerce solutions previously considered to be key markers of B2C have begun to creep their way into B2B ecommerce – elements such as customer reviews, interactive online catalogues and also Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques. This trend suggests that SMEs need no longer be concerned about appearing to enact a B2C-style way of doing business. On the contrary, embracing some B2C ecommerce might actually be a hugely beneficial way to deal with other businesses.
Online voucher code use grows 43% in 12 months
An independent survey of 1,000 consumers commissioned by Voucherbox.co.uk reveals that the number of people who frequently seek out discounts when making purchases online grew by almost half over a 12 month period (from 23% in 2014 to 33% in 2015).
The findings also show that those who ‘always’ use a voucher code when shopping jumped by 70%, up to 17% of all consumers, while ‘regular’ users grew 27%, representing 16% of UK shoppers.
Meanwhile, the number of people who say they have never used an online discount dropped by 15% to just over a third (35%). 8% of those surveyed didn’t know what a voucher or discount code was; a slight decrease on 2014’s figure of 10%. (https://econsultancy.com/blog/66235-12-illuminating-ecommerce-stats-from-january-march-2015/)
How well did click and collect really do over Christmas?
Following on from Postcode Anywhere’s claim that 95% of online shoppers will use click and collect during Christmas, the company has just revisited the research to find that the results are somewhat shy of this prediction. Although it still reflects a growing trend for this method of fulfilment.
- 47% of UK consumers used click and collect this Christmas
- Most popular category for this method of delivery was fashion, gadgets and household technology such as TVs
- Least popular goods for purchase using Click and Collect included the more bulky items such as furniture and kitchenware, with only 3% of shoppers using this delivery method.
Read the following article to find out exactly what we learnt about click and collect this Christmas. (https://econsultancy.com/blog/66235-12-illuminating-ecommerce-stats-from-january-march-2015/)