Business-to-business (B2B) firms that sell online are getting more sophisticated about their efforts, according to recent research, and overall are becoming more Amazon-like in user-experience. They’re more than twice as likely to offer click-to-chat features as a year ago, and also significantly more likely to have a responsive website design, pricing guidelines and more up-to-date business user tools.
The ecommerce solutions provider Gorilla Group published a report this month that surveyed the websites of 78 B2B wholesale distributors and brand manufacturers in the US, following up on similar research conducted a year earlier, and found a number of changes.
According to the analysis, 50% of websites studied have implemented a responsive which is twice the percentage with responsive design in 2015 (26%).
In addition, 45% of these websites offer click-to-chat features, up from 21% in 2015.
Additionally, the report indicates that B2B sites are catching up with B2C counterparts in terms of adopting more consumer-like experiences to make business transactions easier on any device.
"One of our largest customers, Whole Foods, empowers employees to replenish product by walking down the aisles of the store and warehouse, iPad in hand, using the same interface and code base as our public direct to consumer site,” said an executive officer at a B2B business in the food industry. “This and the ability to empower the outside sales force with data on the go vita their mobile devices will make responsive design a necessity in the future."
Further, B2B companies continue to adopt common B2C functionality to boost engagement and grow business, the report suggests with companies moving towards implementing business user tools to enhance sales and outreach in favor of using in-house platforms.
Becoming more 'Amazon-like' will also soon be the norm for B2B merchants the report suggests. This transformation is similar to the companies that strove to become as social as Facebook or as easy to use as Uber within their industries several years ago.
With a shift to more sophisticated platforms, a rise in importance of relevant content and an increased focus on 'Amazon-like user experiences, the commerce landscape for manufacturers, wholesales and distributors has continued to evolve alongside industry trends, the report concludes.