Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the way of conducting business operations has changed dramatically. Work from home, social distancing, no contact delivery are some of the terms that businesses had to adapt after COVID-19.
Every business is trying to adjust to the new normal. All the B2B businesses are evolving in the post-COVID era and if you are one of them, there are some facts and stats you need to know about.
In this article, we will discuss how the face of B2B businesses is changing in the post-COVID era. By adopting the new trends, your B2B business can incorporate the unique B2B marketing ideas that will help your business grow in the post-COVID era.
- 1 Safety is the Number One Priority
- 2 A Human Connection Still Works Wonders
- 3 Online Shift is Real
- 4 Better Supply Means More Growth
- 5 Customer Support is a Must
- 6 The Market is Only Going to Grow
- 7 UI and UX Are Important
- 8 Faster Deliveries Will Get You There
- 9 Look at the Bigger Picture: Digital World
- 10 Don’t Compromise on the Quality
- 11 Key Takeaway
Safety is the Number One Priority
Perhaps one of the biggest changes with the COVID-19 pandemic is in the safety sector. Part of it is misinformation spread by the media, because of which people are now more concerned for their safety.
Mandatory masks, zero-contact delivery, proper sanitization of packages are something mandatory in this new post-COVID era. People trust the companies that take all the safety precautions and provide contactless deliveries. It is crucial to make sure that your brand is taking all the necessary precautions for the safety of the sales reps and the customers.
Digital interactions have become a part and parcel of our lives, thanks to Covid-19. The majority of the people now prefer video calls, virtual meetings for business-related calls.
According to some interesting data from McKinsey & Company, about 70-80% of B2B decision-makers now prefer remote human interaction or digital self-service.
This suggests that if you are a B2B business, you should brace yourself and be ready to shift to digital interaction. It would be great for your business to gather and implement all the tools for doing business online. It is safer and time-efficient.
A Human Connection Still Works Wonders
The COVID-19 pandemic created an economic shock in the entire world. Many businesses are still struggling to come back on track. While there are limited ways to support a business financially, empathy, human support and mentorship cost absolutely nothing but go a long way.
So do whatever you can do, to support the business and clients that depend on you. Provide that essential human connection that is rare in this digital era. You might not see immediate profits or benefits of the human connection but it will surely work wonders for you in the long run.
Online Shift is Real
The world was already moving into the digital era pre-COVID, the whole pandemic merely acted as a catalyst to the process of business shifting online.
According to data, around 36% of small businesses and personal businesses are selling products and services online.
With all the restrictions, lockdowns post-COVID, people now prefer to buy something online rather than going out and risk getting the virus. So if you are a business that still doesn’t have an online presence, you are in trouble already.
Better Supply Means More Growth
COVID-19 really brought the entire world to a halt. There were times when entire manufacturing plants were shut down. As a result, the production of goods got significantly low. We are now seeing the results of low production when everything is getting back to normal. The demand is increasing but the supply has taken a hit because of the pandemic.
All the businesses are facing a shortage of goods and generic products. If you are a business that provides the raw material or supply to other businesses, this can be your time to shine.
If you can supply the other businesses with what they need, you will outgrow the competitors that can’t.
However, the key here is to better your supply, you have to make contacts with reliable suppliers who can give you a regular flow of material that you can sell further.
Customer Support is a Must
The thing with B2B businesses is that they do not offer a lot of variations when it comes to selling products and services. Most of their products or services are generic with some added features. As a result, the competition in the B2B ecosystem is always pretty intense.
When businesses are selling the same products and services, the only deciding factor in growth becomes quality and customer service.
One thing that everyone loves is good customer support. The world moves fast and people want a quick resolution to their problems.
As per an interesting stat, about 75% of customers expect customer support online within 5 minutes.
The important point to note here is that you as a business should have solid customer support that listens and solves the customer issues quickly.
The Market is Only Going to Grow
The whole COVID-19 pandemic had negative effects for the most part but that shouldn’t disappoint anyone at all. Here are some interesting stats:
As per Statista, 14% of the total sales of B2B came from B2B eCommerce stores. And this is going to be about 17% by 2023 for the US.
The current market cap of eCommerce retail sales is 4.28 Trillion USD!
Another interesting report from Forrester claims that B2B eCommerce transactions will hit USD 1.8 Trillion by 2023.
Those are some great statistics if you are a B2B business. So no matter what the conditions were during the pandemic, it is only going to improve. This is also good news for anyone who is planning to start a B2B business.
UI and UX Are Important
When we talk about B2B eCommerce stores, the user interface(UI) and the user experience(UX) are two important terms you should know. The user interface is how your website or eCommerce store looks and the UX is all about how easy and simple your eCommerce store is to use.
Here are a few things you must know:
Your eCommerce store should be fast and snappy. If it does not load fast, people will move on to the others.
According to Toptal, If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, 40% of the users will leave your site.
Your site should be mobile friendly because 42% of B2B researchers use mobile phones during the B2B purchasing process. (via Google)
That is more of the user experience, the UI is also equally important as it creates the first impression. You can speculate how important the UI is by the fact that:
People form 75% of their opinion on a website’s credibility purely based on aesthetics.
People have a lot of options online and if you want to stand out, you should definitely work on your site’s UI and UX so that customers do not go to other sites.
Faster Deliveries Will Get You There
This is a particularly new trend. Back in the day, the eCommerce stores had one major drawback and that was late deliveries. With new and better inventory management technologies and delivery software, companies can provide faster deliveries.
Customers prefer faster deliveries and it is one of the important factors that contribute to the growth of any B2B business.
According to Accenture, 78% of B2B buyers consider next-day delivery for work purchases to be important or very important.
As a B2B business, that is one area you want to excel in and as mentioned earlier, faster deliveries are now possible and they are quite cost-effective too.
Look at the Bigger Picture: Digital World
I can’t stress enough how important an online presence is when you are a business.
Data suggests that eCommerce sales will make about 17.5% of the total retail sales worldwide.
If you want to grow your B2B business then you must have a strong online game. Having a website is not good enough, you need to have a strong social media presence as well.
Despite the solid trend, one-third of small businesses(37%) in the US do not have a website(via VisualObjects).
All you have to do is make sure that you are not one of those businesses.
Don’t Compromise on the Quality
Two important pillars for any business to grow are product quality and customer service. The latter totally depends on the former. The more quality products and services you sell, the better your customer service can be.
Also, in modern times, it is all about the brand image and the quality of your products and services play a vital role in it.
The post-COVID B2B businesses are evolving in many ways, from safe deliveries to virtual meetings, everything is going digital now and that is where you should also focus. If your B2B business does not have an eCommerce store, the time is now to set it up. Along with that, you have to focus on the business side too and that is getting solid supplies, improving customer service, and providing superior product quality.
If your B2B business evolves with the post-COVID B2B promotion ideas and trends, your business is only going to grow further.