While the craze of the Amazon Effect can be felt throughout the B2C market, B2B e-commerce is here for the long haul as well. With the convenience of online shopping and efficiently ordering supplies and inventory, transportation execution is an undeniable competitive advantage in the e-commerce logistical puzzle.
Regardless of industry or size of operations, e-commerce has impacted businesses from the way they have to strategize how to get goods to end customers, and also has many major decision makers rethinking their online presence versus traditional business models. In fact, even small businesses are now actors in global supply chains thanks to the fact that the internet has no geographical boundaries. Thanks to this interconnectivity, even how businesses, small and large, source their products has changed with them opting to find raw materials online rather than exclusively find local or nearby suppliers.
Although global enterprises have been combatting supply chain woes for a long time, e-commerce has undoubtedly thrown a wrench into the navigational complexities. Given that the North American B2B e-commerce market is expected to reach $1.8 trillion in 2023, businesses are going to have to adapt to the changing way the world conducts business, and that business is in the online marketplace.
A Personalized Experience
Thanks to shifting business models and rising customer expectations surrounding things like faster order fulfillment and sustainability practices, it’s no surprise that consumers, including those in the B2B marketplace, expect a personalized experience. In fact, according to a report by McKinsey & Company, 3,500 business decision-makers were surveyed and the research tank found that a customised experience is extremely important in e-commerce success.
Personalization increases the likelihood of turning first-time browsers into lifetime advocates and repeat customers. With the right e-commerce delivery software, those in the B2B marketplace can create customer loyalty while reducing online cart abandonment by:
- Providing accurate and guaranteed delivery dates
- Presenting flexible delivery options like free shipping, store pick-ups, and expedited shipping
- Enabling customers to consolidate purchases for a convenient delivery date
- Allowing customers to reroute deliveries before dispatch
- Minimizing packaging options for an eye to sustainability
- Localizing language for the shopper
Harness a Robust Multi-Carrier Network
Consumer preferences include sustainability throughout supply chains. Despite this, there is a serious disconnect between senior retail leaders and consumers when it comes to environmental sustainability. In fact, two-thirds of consumers say that they are willing to pay more for sustainable products, and two-thirds of business leaders believe that consumers won’t. Instead of viewing environmental sustainability as a difficulty, businesses should embrace it as an opportunity to create and leverage a loyal consumer base through sustainable practices.
With multi-carrier shipping software, not only can businesses exceed customer expectations with real-time insights and reliable delivery deadlines, businesses can leverage green carriers, like electric vehicles for last-mile deliveries and bicycle couriers for small parcels in urban areas. Leveraging local carriers for last-mile delivery, even when shipping internationally, reduces harmful environmental impacts. If the customer is always right, then greener logistics are a must-have to remain competitive in the global marketplace, regardless of industry.
Not only is this a positive green initiative, but access to such a vast carrier network also saves on any business’s bottom line. Leveraging multiple carriers allows for businesses to connect to global, domestic, regional, specialist, and white glove carriers.
Real-Time Insights: Domestic or Global
Technology-enabled supply chains are the future of logistics, and gaining visibility and control are vital to those innovations. Real-time end-to-end insights and tracking should be simplified for both end customers and in-house control. To ensure that goods are shipped cost-effectively and efficiently, organizations should embrace global e-commerce shipping software.
With tools like automated routing guides, automatically generated carrier-compliant labelling and delivery documentation, and seamless integrations with existing legacy systems like WMS and ERP, shipping efficiency increases from distribution centres. A global package tracking solution provides insights regardless of where the end customers are located throughout the world. Additionally, e-commerce software allows customers to experience flexible and personalized returns.
Consumer buying behaviour, both B2C and B2B, is growing stronger when it comes to online shopping. Businesses are going to have to adapt to these changing customer preferences or reap the consequences of the market.
This article has been authored by Brent Dawkins, Product Marketing Director, QAD.