The Future of B2B Commerce: How Optimizely’s B2B Cloud Is Empowering Your Commerce

Jul 04 2022

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How Optimizely's B2B Cloud is Transforming B2B Commerce

The world of ecommerce is always evolving, and customer expectations also continue to grow as well. For B2B companies, this evolution can be even more complex than a B2C business model - balancing the conflicting needs of different channels, managing margins, adapting to a changing workforce, and automating processes.

Today, as we look forward, leaders in the B2B space are prioritizing digital commerce.

Regardless of the industry- distributers, suppliers, manufacturers, companies expect that their ecommerce platforms help them stay relevant in the market. In fact, a study by Salesforce states that 65% of B2B companies increased their investment in ecommerce last year.  

Now that brands have strong foot holdings with their digital initiatives in the new landscape- what's next? We’ve covered emerging b2b commerce trends that will have the biggest impact on businesses. Most importantly, we will see how integration of Optimizely’s B2B commerce cloud with commerce will continue to address these trends. 

Trend 1: With the rise of B2B eCommerce, pressure is building for a Customer-Centric, Omnichannel Experience

With more than half of buyers using five or more channels when researching products and services, it’s no surprise that buyers are expecting an omnichannel experience from their vendors. This means that companies need to provide a seamless experience across all channels — including web, mobile and social media — to keep customers engaged and happy throughout their purchase journey.

Customer experience must be a priority

In today’s competitive landscape, customer experience and referral programs have become an essential part of any business strategy. It is imperative that organizations focus on improving the customer experience by adopting a new b2b sales process that increase efficiency, accuracy, speed, and minimize costs.

Buyers Expect an Omnichannel Experience

B2Bcompanies are struggling to meet buyer expectations for an omnichannel experience. Buyers want to shop for products and services on their own terms, in the way that works best for them and their business. Customer service needs to be efficient, easy to use, and available at all times, not just during business hours.

The challenge for B2B organizations is how to provide this level of service in their business processes without sacrificing efficiency or profitability. This can be especially difficult when they're competing against other businesses that already have an established customer base, lead generation, and brand recognition.

According to a recent McKinsey report, the omnichannel, customer-centric experience is becoming the new standard, with 80% of B2B leaders adopting it over the traditional model and 64% planning to increase hybrid sellers in the forthcoming time.

The Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud is the only multi-tenant commerce platform that allows you to build and manage all of your digital experiences in a single place, from content to commerce. Using the platform, you can connect your marketing, sales, and service teams together with one consistent experience on every channel.

Trend 2: Third-party B2B Marketplaces can be used to sell products

With the rise of B2B ecommercepressure is building for organizations to become more efficient. In order to compete in today’s fast-paced business world, companies need to be able to respond quickly to customer needs and provide a high level of service.

Third-party B2B marketplaces can be used to sell products, making it easier for companies to scale their operations without having to build an in-house sales team. These marketplaces provide brands with greater reach and high-quality leads, so they’re a great way to boost your sales with very little effort on your part.

They also help you gain exposure to a new audience of potential customers. Some marketplaces will allow you to offer discounts and promotions, giving your brand a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Another benefit of using third-party B2B marketplaces is that they can provide you with valuable insights about your customers, including their behavior and needs with machine learning. This can help you better understand what type of content will resonate best with your target audience and improve your overall marketing strategy.

Optimizely's B2B Commerce Cloud enables product sales through third-party B2B marketplaces

Today’s consumers are getting savvier about their purchasing decisions. They want to be able to research and compare products in real-time before making a purchase decision. This means that brands need to be prepared to make the entire buying experience as seamless as possible for these savvy existing customers — whether they’re shopping online or in-store.

One way that brands can do this is by using third-party marketplaces like Amazon and eBay as sales channels. With markets like these, brands can sell directly from their own websites without having to build out an eCommerce site from scratch or manage inventory across multiple platforms.

Optimizely's B2B Commerce Cloud helps businesses manage their entire digital commerce strategy from a single place through a complete end-to-end commerce solution, therefore, increasing B2B sales. It offers powerful features such as site personalization, cross-selling and upselling recommendations, multi-product promotions, and launch campaigns — all based on real-time data analysis.

Trend 3: B2B eCommerce is becoming increasingly dependent on real-time inventory availability

As the number of B2B sellers offering products and services online increases, the ability to provide accurate and timely information about products is more important than ever.

Data quality is critical for online retail in order to ensure that B2B shoppers can get the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions. The most successful B2B retailers are able to provide their customers with a seamless shopping experience from start to finish. The technology behind delivering this experience may be complex, but retailers can ensure their data reach their customers' inboxes or mobile devices in a clean and complete state.

As a result, retailers must ensure they have a high level of product information available at all times. Retailers must also be able to respond quickly when "out of stocks" occur, which can result in lost sales or missed opportunities if they don't have an effective strategy in place. Having "out of stock" items can negatively impact customer satisfaction and trust in your business, as well as your brand perception among potential buyers who may not be familiar with your products

.As a result, Optimizely has developed an integrated solution that combines its customer-centric digital experience platform with its content management systems commerce platform. The solution includes all of the key capabilities required for successful eCommerce including product catalogs and personalization; order management; inventory management; and payment processing.

Trend 4: The Line Between B2B and D2C Will Get Blurry

In today's world, business decision-makers are increasingly involved in the purchase decision on a personal and professional level when it comes to b2b ecommerce trends. They still use B2C websites or ecommerce applications in their everyday routine. Because of this, their expectations have increased and they want a certain level of experience that B2B organizations need to meet. For example, search capability. Customers want smart search capability to help them quickly find what they are looking for. With Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud, search results can be audited or troubleshooted by administrators. As part of its "ease of use" features, including the handling of metric data, Optimizely enables users to organize search results according to the importance of product attributes, dramatically improving the "ease of use" of its search results.

Moreover, with the platform, you can increase leads and sales by making changes that improve how users interact with your website. Optimizely provides tools that enable you to test features, optimize content, and increase sales by improving your website or mobile app.

Trend 5: Customer Acquisition Will Be the Key Focus 

The customer acquisition process is a sales funnel that starts with acquiring new leads, then converting those leads into the ideal customer. This can be accomplished through a variety of channels, such as social media, SEO/SEM, content marketingemail marketing, and advertising.

The first step to building a customer acquisition strategy is to determine where your customers are located and which channels they use most frequently. You can then use these insights to develop an effective email marketing campaign or social media strategy.

You can also use customer retention metrics to determine whether your current approach is working. When customers leave the site soon after purchasing an item, it may indicate that they didn't find what they were looking for or that they were dissatisfied with their shopping experience.

72% of B2B buyers start their journey online- A Salesforce Pardot Report 

Many customer acquisition strategies are dependent on the ability of a business to scale its marketing efforts - meaning it may take several months for your efforts to start getting results from this customer data.

If you're running a B2B brand or even a small business, it's crucial to build relationships with potential customers to acquire new customers. It's also important to keep track of the metrics related to each step in the customer acquisition process so that you can optimize your strategies based on data-driven insights.

The Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud platform provides business users with an engaging, personalization engine that lets them create personalized digital commerce experiences in minutes, not months. The Optimizely Cloud Platform also enables marketers to run hyper-personalized campaigns across multiple channels to engage prospects at scale, including email and social media marketing. 

The Future of Optimizely's B2B Commerce Cloud

Consumer-focused brands have different needs than B2B companies. In contrast to consumer brands, B2B companies have multiple touchpoints with their customers, including email campaigns, website landing pages, phone calls, and in-person meetings. It's not just about getting customers from A to B, but also about keeping them engaged along the way through personalized engagement at each stage of the customer journey.

The next evolution in customer-centric digital experiences (CX) lies in creating an entirely new experience for business users. By taking advantage of these capabilities, they will be able to easily design and deploy commerce solutions that meet their needs, while also delivering seamless customer experiences across multiple channels.

Optimizely's platform is flexible, allows companies to scale out deployments on-demand, and improves order management and cross-selling/upselling customer experiences, thereby reducing costs and driving revenue for enterprise customers.

Icreon has the depth of expertise on Optimizely tools to partner with you on your digital transformation journey of CX. Through Optimizely DXP customer strategy consulting, we help customers achieve their key business goals. Ready to see the transformation for your business? Explore Icreon’s Optimizely services.