Being a digital Commerce Agency and priding ourselves on that title, we at Wpromote take the concept of commerce in a digital space very seriously. It’s our job day in and day out to monitor the way commerce is growing online, and how that effects businesses both brick-and-mortar and digital only. The impacts on traditional, product-focused Ecommerce have been fairly visible, and the subject of countless news articles across the business world detailing the rise of streamlined purchasing funnels, the impact of social media on buying habits, and so much more. Buying and selling goods on the Internet is becoming ever more sophisticated, and the online marketing that promotes this business has scaled accordingly along with the changing times.
However, the impact of an ever more powerful and omnipresent Internet on B2B commerce has been murkier to determine. B2B business models certainly have changed as more and more customers, be they small business owners or huge enterprises, have relied largely or even solely on the Internet for all their needs. But when your business doesn’t have a shopping cart to check out, what do you need to do in order to keep up with a rapidly evolving digital marketplace? The answer, of course, is to go mobile.
Did you know that mobile now accounts for 50.3% of all Ecommerce traffic? Increasingly, customers of all kinds are turning to their mobile devices for their shopping needs, and this extends to B2B and B2C transactions as well. eMarketer research from April of this year demonstrates that the time spent on mobile devices, in terms of hours per day, has officially surpassed the time spent on desktop computers. The Time of the Mobile Device is upon us, and businesses in all verticals and industries are feeling the effects.
A new report from Forrester Research, titled “Digital Is Busy Transforming B2B Commerce,” has demonstrated this tectonic shift. The report notes that the majority of B2B customers now start their research online, particularly on mobile devices, where they will in fact go on to make their purchases. In a joint survey conducted with Internet Retailer, Forrester also showed that half of all B2B companies that sell their services online expect that half or more of their entire customer base will buy from them online in the next three years. B2B and B2C companies will need to sit up and pay attention to the mobile space as much as retailers already do if they wish to stay competitive and continue to bring in ROI.
What this means is a fundamental shift in strategy away from traditional, analog B2B models that focused simply on the sale and then on the maintenance of service. At the heart of engaging the potential B2B customer and keeping the repeat B2B customer is a new model: the constant creation of worthwhile content. Content marketing is the way of the future, generating new traffic and leads as well as building invaluable brand equity with consumers. Striking the right content marketing balance can be challenging enough, especially in industries that may not seem to lend themselves well to fun content like infographics and blog posts, and ensuring that this content is mobile friendly as well only increases the difficulty factor. Wpromote’s own research into and experience with content marketing has led us to develop a number of best practices that any B2B company could benefit from when implementing their online marketing. A few examples include:
- Informative and engaging infographics
- Blog posts written to to be engaging and instructive, not sales pitches
- Fun contests that engage consumers old and new
- Constantly updated FAQs designed to teach and answer questions quickly
- Organic testimonials and reviews
All of these tactics can be implemented in the mobile space. A mobile friendly site makes huge strides towards cementing any business’s presence in the Ecommerce space, and ensuring all the content and pages developed are streamlined for that mobile site – a feature called mobile responsiveness – will ensure that mobile browsers who find your site will stay there, instead of bouncing to a site that they can more easily navigate from their phones or tablets.
In order to join the future, every company is going to have to embrace not just the digital space, but the mobile digital space. Engaging in mobile digital commerce and doing so intelligently, though expertly crafted content marketing, is the surest way to succeed as an online business.