Individual consumers are becoming more engrossed in their personal electronic devices, making them likely to purchase items through a phone, tablet or laptop. The same mindset, it appears, holds true for B2B distributors.
An increasing demand for online tools and processes, as well as the need for omnichannel experiences that let customers connect across various touch points, are pushing distributors to seek out mCommerce options, recent research suggests.
So, what can B2B distributors look for to ensure they can seamlessly transition into the new digital age? With mCommerce capabilities, B2B distributors can streamline their purchasing processes, create a more informed sales force and improve their service delivery, notes a recent Marketing Interactive article.
For the purchasing process, smartphones or tablets can allow customers to schedule and track deliveries in real time, receive product invoices and make payments directly from the field. Similarly, mobile technology enables companies to provide field associates with current data for pricing and product availability.
As the news source explained, in a typical service scenario, technicians receive a predefined route or a list of service calls that don’t take into account the cancellations and delays that occur throughout the day. This can create wasted staff hours and customer complaints. However, with the option of mobile service orders, technicians get more thorough instructions and job assignments according to their current locations and availability.
Overall B2B eCommerce growth
In the U.S., B2B eCommerce revenue has now more than doubled that of B2C – with $559 billion annually in sales – according to a Forrester Research study. The report also found that that B2B organizations that fail to embrace online and mobile risk losing market share in the short and medium term. Moreover, those businesses could lose a sustainable competitive advantage in the long-term, according to Forrester.
eCommerce provides B2B companies with opportunities for up-selling, cross-selling and loyalty improvements, according to Rick Chavie, vice president of omnicommerce at Hybris, the provider that commissioned the report for Forrester.
“The pace of change in customer expectations, in technology advances and consolidation of B2B industry segments means companies need to jump in quickly, while doing their due diligence to pick a state of the art platform and advisors,” Chavie told CMS Wire.
Last week, PYMNTS.com reported on a study that found most small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are doing well in integrating new systems into their accounts receivables processes, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
For example, while almost half of surveyed businesses said that they’re using enterprise resource planning (ERP) business systems to manage credit and collections, 16.5 percent reported they still use manual, paper-based strategies or spreadsheets and reports to manage collections.
However, there are numerous companies working to make the mCommerce transition for B2B distributors and other organizations as smooth as possible. Take cloud and mobile commerce company Deem for example, which announced last week that it has new system updates designed to improve travel, spend and expense management for B2B firms.
Numerous B2B organizations seem that they would be able to benefit from mCommerce opportunities, along with other technological integrations. It is perhaps just a matter of when, and not if, B2B firms integrate some form of mobile technology.