Global B2B commerce

by bizboon

January 24, 2015

Global B2B commerce

Global B2B commerce stands for global business-to-business commerce that is based on the purchase of products and services from business to business, rather than business to consumer. Under the global B2B commerce a company purchases for itself from other businesses operating in different parts of the world. The global B2B buying process is a complex one. Since in a global B2b space, purchases can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s not surprising that global B2B transactions often involves a complex purchasing cycle.  Typically a global B2B buying cycle is lengthy and usually involves multiple touch points.

Over the last two decades, the pace of both technological and economic evolution in the world has been notable, and this evolution continues to grow. Added to this, thanks to globalization, the economies of the world have become more open and connected to the world.  This has also resulted in the growth of more B2B connect.

The pace of businesses adopting the B2B business model continues to accelerate. Today B2B marketing is seen as an important part of commerce. The global B2b landscape is expected to grow at an attractive rate even surpassing B2C for the first time.

B2b business model and Social Media

Before the popularity of the internet and social media, the job of marketer of the B2B commerce was much simpler. The exponential growth of Internet has resulted in the rapid growth of information exchanged via B2B e-commerce between businesses.

The advent of social networking sites is making a huge difference to how global B2B market is behaving. Today, social media is transforming the way business is done. It is a smart selling tool which allows B2B marketers to know what prospects are saying about their brand and competitors.  The use of social media is an effective and cost-effective tool to target your customers. Naturally enough, the power of social media in creating brand awareness of Global B2B companies is immense.

The role of social networking sites for making new B2b connect is a truism.  Social media takes B2b businesses to their own virtual world where they can share new ideas, stories and thoughts. A fundamental aspect of B2b business model, social media allows the stakeholders to build their business connect, evaluate their brand and get feedback. Social media has created huge benefits for global b2b businesses.

Social media is an absolute must for global B2b businesses of all sizes to connect with their customers.

B2B Marketplaces

A fast emerging type of b2b business model, B2B e-commerce, or e-biz, is one of the hottest topics in e-business. B2b e-commerce is the electronic exchange of business documents between businesses for the purpose of conducting commerce. Several global B2B marketplaces have cropped up thanks to the huge opportunities provided by the Internet to create markets to enhance the purchasing experience from business to business.

It is to be noted that it is the development in business to consumer (B2C) ecommerce which usually hogs the limelight. But if one takes into the monetary value into account, the B2B ecommerce transactions outweighs those on B2B ecommerce. E-commerce is growing at a rapid pace throughout the world. Contrary to popular perception that B2C sales are more widespread on the online platform, it is the B2B that actually accounts for more than 90% of all e-commerce transaction.

According to prominent global research firm, Forrester Research, companies adopting the global B2b model are expanding in different ways how they reach prospects and clients through e-commerce. According tot the survey conducted by Forrester, the global B2b companies are now selling online to clients who once only bought offline through call centers or field sales representatives.

86% of the respondents companies which were surveyed had recently migrated their offline customers online.

The findings of the study also showed that companies operating in the global B2B space are also looking forward to use expanded marketing to build customer relationships and online sales. For 54% of the companies Forrester surveyed marketing their products and services was their top priority in 2014.

One of the interesting findings of the survey was that about 75% of global B2B companies are getting less than 10% of their online sales outside of their home countries. This creates a vast opportunity for the global B2b companies to expand their customer reach. Initially, this will include creating online sites for existing offline businesses as well as selling via established B2B marketplaces.

Half of the global B2B companies are looking to change or upgrade their e-commerce technology by mid-this year, compared with only 12% of B2C companies. Mobile commerce is also gaining traction. 35% and 38% of the B2B companies are selling through smartphone and tablets respectively. While for 52% of B2B companies, web content management tools are top investment priority, 44% cite product content management tools as the area where they will invest.

These days cross-border e-commerce has become a fierce market for online retail giants including Amazon and Alibaba. While Amazon offers services to end customers in a B2C business model, Alibaba takes aim more at companies with a B2B business model. According to data reveled by China’s customs, cross-border e-commerce trading volume in 2013 was US$11.4 billion and the compound annual growth rate from 2008 to 2013 was 31%.

Alibaba has recently reported the results of its Indian operations in India where the company operates as a business-to-business (B2B) service provider till now. The Chinese e-commerce giant reported a profit of Rs 13 million for the period 2013-14, an increase from the profit of Rs 10 million during the last fiscal. Alibaba had entered the Indian market in 2010 after making an acquisition of EasyBusiness India E-commerce.

B2b business model and Content marketing

Through content marketing global B2B can target their potential customers and prospects by sharing relevant content with them in the form of articles, blogging, press releases, videos, infographics, etc.  By aligning their content marketing with their B2b marketing strategy, their cost per customer acquisition comes down. Content marketing allows B2b companies to connect to the target audience and provide content that’s relevant to their stage in the buying cycle.