Online B2B Interactions: How Business is Going Digital

By
Chris Layne
August 22, 2016

As an increasing amount of business leaders realize how critical it is to move online, B2B interactions are changing. Although business-to-consumer contact has been paving the way in today’s digital landscape, B2B is not far behind. Here are 3 ways in which online B2B interactions are changing business today.

Online B2B Interactions: 3 Examples

1. eCommerce

Global giant Amazon has irrevocably changed B2C purchasing, and it is also changing the face of B2B commerce. As of January 2016, Amazon Business (their new B2B-focused venture) had 200,000 customers, and has grown its customer base by 20% each month. The fact is, convenient consumer online shopping experiences pioneered by companies like Amazon have created similar expectations in the realm of B2B purchasing. These days, 52% of B2B buyers expect half of their purchases to be made online by 2018. These buyers are looking for omnichannel buying options, real time information on inventory, and easy access to product information. Manufacturers and distributors are answering these demands with their own dedicated online ordering portals, hoping to provide seamless ordering experiences similar to that of Amazon.

3. Digital Marketing

Marketing is another area that has been forever changed by the move to digital. Traditional advertising methods are now taking a backseat to content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and online advertising. Positions like "Social Media Manager" and "Content Specialist" have popped up in response to this shift to digital, with a new set of skills required to succeed.

3. Social Media

Social media is also taking the place of other forms of marketing and communication. 55% of B2B buyers state they use social media to look up product and vendor information. B2B typically requires a deeper form of interaction, and thus social media tactics for B2B usually include content that is focused on thought leadership and consumer education. Online B2B channels are some of the most effective means of interaction between two companies. This can be seen through how they buy, how they sell, and how they communicate. eCommerce, digital marketing, and social media are just three examples of how the future of B2B interactions lies in a digital space.