Just like the rest of the population, B2B buyers have grown accustomed to privately using online services offered by Amazon, Netflix and Uber, amongst others. Part of the reason for their success, is that the e-commerce experience feels almost effortless.
Conversely, as a B2B customer, the seller doesn’t want a lengthy validation process or to have to deal with any paperwork to determine if I can buy or not. They simply want a steady cashflow, free from the risk of losing money to fraudsters or having to finance the commerce themselves (i.e. not having to wait for cash until the customer pays his invoice).
Is it realistic to have these same expectations when doing B2B e-commerce?
Absolutely. You just need to be willing to embrace using financial services that support your business processes and which deliver a great overall customer experience. At AFS, we specialize in offering a suite of such services. In this post I’m going to focus on describing how Enterpay, one of our partners in Finland, is helping e-commerce businesses to transform in an unprecedented way.
Modernizing B2B e-commerce
Nowadays, regardless whether we’re conducting business online as B2B buyers or simply as consumers, we expect easy, seamless, highly personalized experiences wherever we interact with a business. In other words, we’re no longer prepared to tolerate putting up with manual, clunky processes. It’s annoying and lots of data suggests we’re willing to take our business elsewhere when we do run into hassle online.
If this is the new mindset, what can we expect in the near future?
We expect that innovation in the B2B e-commerce market will accelerate, as all research indicates that B2B will solidify itself as the largest e-commerce segment. And, as today’s technologies and changing consumer expectations are raising the bar for B2B e-commerce, providing the best customer experience will become essential for many B2B merchants, and payments will play a deciding factor in that race. Amazon will soon be localized in the Nordics, and it’s plausible they might target the B2B market one day. With this in mind, it is high time to prepare for this new era in e-commerce.
Making B2B e-commerce easier
Enterpay was founded to make B2B payments easier for business buyers and merchants and thus boost B2B e-commerce. Together we offer services to banks, finance companies and PSPs. Our offering is well-equipped to meet the changing expectations of B2B customers by enabling users to make invoice payments in B2B transactions easily, quickly and securely. By automating the buyer authentication and the end-to-end invoicing process, which is generally viewed as time-consuming, risky, and a tedious task, we’re providing value for every member of the B2B e-commerce value-chain.
Enterpay’s payment scheme consists of a platform where all necessary parties can enable automated B2B trade and cooperate seamlessly. As a result, B2B merchants can increase the number of both large and small customers. In summary, both the buyer and the seller experiences easier on-boarding at new merchants and more seamless check-out flow.
Though the e-commerce models of B2B and B2C are vastly different, the more ways in which you can infuse the B2C experience into your B2B buying cycle, the more customers you’ll close and the more likely you’ll retain them for the long haul. It is all about the consumerization of B2B e-commerce and the massive opportunity for B2B companies that get it right.
Finance leaders meet to discuss business reboot and 2020 agenda
CFOs need to ensure their organizations are prepared to increase conversions by: making online purchases easy and painless, identifying the buyer on the fly, minimizing any credit risk associated with payment, and reducing manual labor work, where possible. In addition, ordering and payment must be as effortless as in any B2C online store. In short, convenience really is a key factor for success in online shopping but time is also of the essence. If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this article it is that you really need to be seriously considering all of the above, or risk being left behind.
Myself and Ville Martin, Enterpay’s CSO will host a session discussing the transformation of e-commerce during the annual Chief of Finance event tomorrow, May 19. Tune in to our seminar, or send me a mail, to discuss how we can help you adopt the best B2B e-commerce solutions.