4 of the Biggest B2B Trends in 2021
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It’s already March and business is —somewhat as usual. Your B2B business probably looks a lot different this year than it did in previous years and that is no doubt a ripple effect caused by the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic and the changing landscape of commerce.
With such a dramatic swing in the way business is conducted, it’s important to know what trends and opportunities are coming down the pipe for the B2B industry, so you can be ahead of the curve.
Here are the Top 4 Biggest B2B Trends in 2021 and how you can take advantage of them
1. Self Service & Chatbots
AI and self-service are now the standard in B2C, but with people moving toward working from home, and working whenever they want they want the ability to access FAQs and support 24/7. With Chatbots almost matching a human experience in terms of directing customers to where they need to be, Chatbots have become very popular in B2B as well— and it’s only going to be more so as 2021 marches on.
Chatbots, AI, and self-service will continue to become increasingly popular, if not the standard of service for B2B buyers for time-saving, fast, convenient support that offers more engagement, and delivers a better overall customer experience. People want answers, and they want them on their time.
B2B Wave supports easily adding chatbots from Intercom, Drift, Zendesk, and more.
2. Original Video Content
Just as we’ve seen for many years in the consumer commerce world, video content is a staple in the B2B buyer’s experience. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million. Not only does original video content offer more accessibility to a larger buyer pool, grab attention on a product page or social media feed, but it can depict a very clear visual journey of the value prop you are trying to get across to a buyer.
In addition to this, with the reduction (ahem elimination) of trade shows, which were often a staple in B2B selling— having a visual representation to bring your offering to life through a computer or phone screen is going to be a non-negotiable in delivering a great experience for potential and existing customers.
There are many you can create original compelling videos. Here are a few video ideas for your B2B eCommerce business in 2021:
- Customer success storytelling
- Executive interviews with experts in your company
- Behind the scenes of the manufacturing process
- How-To Videos
- Product Demos with great animations
- Interactive Q&A’s
3. Virtual Trade Shows & Events
Tradeshows are often a B2B company’s primary lead and sales channels. So don’t worry - they’re not going anymore. However, in 2020, there was a definite swing to virtual events out of necessity to keep B2B businesses going, but in 2021 we’re going to see increased creativity in how virtual events will be conducted. It won’t just be thrown-together Zoom and Google Hangouts meetings, but rather full-fledged events that are a total customer experience, so you want to make sure you stand out in the virtual crowd.
Here’s how to stand out at Virtual Events in 2021:
- Send the virtual event’s invite list some swag or a personalized product to their home directly with a very branded feel.
- Pre-book meetings with leads
- Invest in a great graphic designer to create attention-grabbing virtual booths, content, or free digital downloads to give to attendees.
- Follow up with anyone you encountered after the trade show concludes.
4. Customer Centricity and Personalization
The events of 2020 and the continuation of the new business world in 2021 are pushing businesses in virtually every industry to adopt an agile, customer-centric approach. With CRM systems that take over the ‘paper cuts’ of day-to-day work and an increasing number of data we can use to learn about customers, the need to focus on who your customer is, what’s important to them, and offering them a personalized experience, is going to be not only important but expected.
We can get an accurate pulse for what products customers are searching for, what complimentary add-ons we can offer, and anticipate their needs, well before they have to ask.
B2B Wave allows you to offer personalized options to your customers for the following:
- Product catalogs
- Payment options
- Shipping options
In building a customer-centric model for your B2B business you will engage your buyers, drive sales, nurture repeat purchases, and increase conversions by establishing trust and building loyalty — which are all key pillars of buyers' expectations going into 2021.
Get ahead of the competition
B2B marketing is changing and the global impact of the last 12 months has accelerated those changes tenfold. It’s easy to get comfortable in what has traditionally worked, but as the modern digital age becomes more ingrained into our daily lives, so too will it become intertwined with our work-lives as well.
So get on board with these trends and opportunities while you can still be one step ahead of them and start planning on optimizing for a new virtual, voice-activated, robot world of B2B eCommerce.