As we continue to highlight 2020’s lasting effects on brands’ relationships to their eCommerce capabilities, having previously shared B2C relevance and examples on reaching consumers directly and digitally, we’re moving forward into digital trends and executions that are also shaping business to business (B2B) relationships.
“Within the next few years, more than half of B2B sales will be done via
e-commerce channels, creating both new opportunities and threats for companies
focused on the B2B market.” – Gartner
Similar to our analysis from a consumer standpoint, relationships with customers are becoming increasingly established and cultivated through digital channels. This reality poses a multitude of opportunities for enhanced outreach and efficiency.
As the B2B ecosystem shifts, categories long dependent upon transactions via cash and check are moving to digital remittances and business payments. As part of this digital transformation, brands are redefining their customer sets and how they do business with them. Mastercard is using its non-card payment capabilities to redefine and grow its business customer base, and PPG Industries has recently launched a digital operations function focused on connecting with its customers and trading partners.
“We’ve evolved who we think of as our customer to be not just the bank
and their consumer, but merchants, governments, digital players, fintechs,
and companies large and small.”
– Craig Vosburg, Chief Product Officer, Mastercard
Digital transformation is a comprehensive entity for most organizations, with eCommerce being just one part of it. Below, we take a look at a range of digitally-focused B2B executions with noteworthy outcomes:
Grainger is considered one of the leading B2B industrial suppliers. Their continued investment in the functionality of their website and mobile app makes purchasing easy and convenient for their customers by reducing the time for re-orders, and effective filtering options allow customers to see only the items they have previously purchased. It is easy to see how this functionality is a win for Grainger along with its customers as easy reordering aids inventory management.
Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev is taking a holistic approach to its digital transformation, leaning into serving both consumers and customers. For its retail customers, the beverage leader has developed a proprietary mobile application called BEES to enable digital ordering across its portfolio. Using algorithms, the BEES app gives AB InBev customers access to ordering, promotions, delivery information, and new products. As the company continues to add functionality to the platform, it has seen the number of users increasing nearly 40% in one quarter.
AB InBev is advancing “toward being a truly customer- and
consumer-centric organization.” – Carlos Brito, CEO
In an effort to sustain an uptick in consumers’ reliance on convenience and quick trips to nearby c-stores for their foodservice needs, 7-Eleven and Quiktrip have further invested in their digital capabilities by launching mobile ordering and delivery services on their mobile app, expanding their distribution channels. And, B2B relationships involving delivery are transforming. Instacart is transitioning to new business models, including sharing its technology with retailers whose own employees would manage customer orders. Costco is piloting this at three warehouse club locations in New Mexico.
Furthermore, in solidifying their commitments to growing their digital transformation strategies, corporations are dedicating executives for the task. BigCos including Harley Davidson and Coty have appointed chief digital officers who report to their respective chairmans and are charged with digital interactions across business units which enhance service and experiences for customers and consumers.
Where does your brand stand in its B2B digital transformation journey? In what ways are you ensuring you’re the first to meet your customers in the eCommerce space by pursuing a comprehensive approach to digital transformation strategies?
At The Garage Group, we help BigCos solve their toughest strategy and innovation challenges, and we’d love to be your partner as you navigate a rapidly evolving digital environment. Get in touch with us >>>