In the noughties the Internet’s biggest influence was as a medium for publication and supply chain dis-intermediation. While social media has gone on to dis-intermediate the media, eCommerce is increasingly a vehicle for service.
With early customer adoption of Payment/Credit cards, good Internet infrastructure and a strong consumer culture, the UK has been a leader in ecommerce trends. UK market analysis consistently shows high service standards beat other considerations, for B2B and B2C purchases.
> 65% of online shoppers would like to receive products within a matter of hours; > 33% are willing to pay extra for faster delivery; > Amazon & Google now offer same day delivery on a wide variety of products. AppNova: 2018
B2B customer expectations have been set by the B2C experience, which in-turn are being driven by Amazon.
“80% of companies implementing B2B eCommerce believe that their customer expectations have changed due to the influence of B2C practices.” Source: PushOn. PushOn | Attracting and retaining B2B customers in a world of choice (2019)
Customers must be at the core of B2B strategy A successful B2B eCommerce strategy is built on:
- Knowledge of customer requirements;
- Constant customer investigation feedback;
- Personalisation of the customer experience;
> 78% of B2B customers are more inclined to buy products for their business online; > 80% of B2B decision makers buy products online because it’s quicker & easier than bricks & mortar; > 21% of B2B purchases believe speed of delivery is most important; PushOn | Attracting and retaining B2B customers in a world of choice (2019)
Amazon sets the standard for B2C & B2B services standards. The partnering with Morrisons, to deliver same-day grocery orders, is setting even higher delivery time standards in the minds of consumers. 3-5 days for a domestic delivery is not acceptable retailers, aside from niche businesses at either end of the product value scale (eg: Wish.com), where snail mail can be justified.
With these factors in mind, businesses should feel assured that selling online need not be a race to the bottom on price; instead, customers still value service, expertease and trust above all.