The 2022 edition of the annual B2B E-commerce Markt Monitor is out: 6,502 corporate buyers across the Netherlands were asked about their online ordering experiences and expectations. The report provides valuable insight into the state of e-commerce in the Dutch business market, including the associated growth opportunities.
In recent years, the number of online corporate orders has increased substantially. If you thought this was a temporary, COVID-related upswing—think again! No less than 90% of Dutch corporate buyers are now ordering online. And nearly half of them expect to place over 90% of their orders online in five years. This report clearly shows that B2B e-commerce is a growth market. However, it also reveals that B2B e-commerce currently doesn’t always meet the expectations and wishes of corporate buyers. That means plenty of growth opportunities for companies using e‑commerce to serve the B2B market.
B2B E-commerce Markt Monitor 2022: What are the top 3 takeaways from your B2B e-commerce strategy?
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1. Invest in time savings and ease of order to increase efficiency for your corporate customers.
Saving time turned out to be the main reason for ordering online for 35% of the Dutch B2B buyers surveyed, while delivery convenience was cited by 28% of respondents. These drivers differentiate B2B buyers from consumers, who are mainly interested in broad product ranges and extensive search and comparison options. If you want to serve the B2B market effectively, you’d be wise to set up your online shop so that navigating, searching, and ordering are all quick and easy.
2. You achieve more with compelling customer experiences – also in B2B.
According to the respondents, the most significant disadvantage of online ordering for the business market is that products cannot be physically handled or viewed (27 %). This is an area where B2B online shops and order portals can learn something from successful B2C e-commerce players, whose product pages are much more focused on the customer experience. Luckily, there are also plenty of opportunities for B2B companies, starting with displaying clear product photos, including from different angles, and with the ability to zoom in. In addition, you should provide accurate product descriptions and specifications, related and complementary products, instructional videos, reviews, and manuals. By describing and displaying your products as comprehensively as possible, you can overcome the reservations of experienced corporate buyers.
3. Personalization is your key to growth in B2B e-commerce.
Just 21% of the Dutch B2B buyers accounted for a massive 78% of all online corporate orders last year. These super buyers, called “heavy shoppers” in the report, ordered 127 times a year on average. So for B2B e-commerce, this is a very valuable group of buyers. Especially when you consider that these heavy shoppers often work for mid-sized and large companies and buy mainly from B2B shops and portals and less often from online shops that also serve the consumer market.
Optimizing the user experience for these heavy shoppers with a personalized customer journey across all order channels will boost conversion, the share of wallet, and customer loyalty. Options here include displaying a customer-specific range of products, personalized search results and recommendations, and having a personalized checkout where an order (or repeat order) can be placed with minimal effort.
A must-read for anyone using e-commerce to serve the B2B market
The B2B E-commerce Markt Monitor 2022 contains many more interesting facts, figures, insights, and opportunities. For example, what do corporate buyers expect regarding payment options, sustainability, and logistics? Which products are most often ordered online? And what adjustments can you make to your e-commerce strategy to ensure that you gain ground as a B2B supplier in the years ahead? The report answers these and other questions—supported by solid data. The B2B E-commerce Markt Monitor 2022 is a must-read for every company that serves the B2B market and wants to grow its e-commerce business based on hard facts. Because one thing is clear from the report’s subtitle: In B2B, the shift from offline to online continues unabated.