Do B2B companies need an app

B2B Mobile Commerce: How important are smartphones & tablets in B2B?

Mobile First! A hype that currently does not leave any company that sells online alone. But is sales via mobile devices essential for every company? One thing we can definitely say: Without a mobile shop version, you will lose your share of 23 billion euros!

This is the value that, according to estimates, will be implemented in Germany alone in 2018 through sales via mobile devices. Does that also apply to B2B companies? We got to the bottom of this question.

In a nutshell: what is mobile commerce?

Mobile commerce (also M-commerce) refers to electronic trading via mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets that are connected to the Internet. This is part of the e-commerce business that companies use today to reach their customers in the best possible way and at all times. The greatest advantage of m-commerce is that customers are mobile and can place orders from any situation - the only requirement: Internet access.

With the steadily increasing use of mobile devices (instead of desktop devices), companies are also increasingly reorienting themselves in order to meet customers where they are.

An essential part of the mobile commerce strategy is the adaptation of the online shop to the mobile devices. This can be done through a responsive design of the online shop or a mobile app implement. In addition to the design, other features play an important role in mobile commerce in order to meet the expectations of mobile users. You will see, it's all about time efficiency.

The 4 most important features of mobile commerce

Why is m-commerce so popular? Because it's easy, quick and flexible! Make sure your mobile webshop does it justice.

1. Fast processing

With mobile websites or mobile apps, the page load time plays a major role. If this takes too long, the buyer will leave your site faster than is the case with desktop applications.

2. Quick and easy ordering

The mobile web shop must be clear and easy to navigate. Meaningful and not too small buttons guide the buyer transparently and quickly through the buying process. The steps of the buying process should be kept to a minimum.

3. Ease of use

Small display means more focus on the essentials. Personalization helps to show the buyer only what they want to see.

4. Flexible accessibility

Mobile commerce means flexibility for the user. Your web shop should therefore react flexibly to all mobile devices and always be available.

B2B mobile commerce

The features or also Must-haves of mobile commerce in the B2B area hardly differ from those in the B2C area. There are innumerable statistics on mobile commerce in the B2C area that show and predict strong growth in this sales channel. The question of the benefits of B2B mobile commerce in sales to end customers is therefore superfluous. But how does it look in the business to business area? The Boston Consulting Group came up with some interesting results in the course of research in collaboration with Google:

  • 80% of B2B-Krunner use mobile devices at work and more than 60 % report that the mobile device played an important role in a recent purchase.
  • Google found that around 50% of B2B inquiries can be done on smartphones today. BCG expects that number by 2020 to 70% will grow.

The possibilities of mobile commerce in B2B

But what options are there in the B2B area. As KShop operators can use mobile commerce to increase their sales and customer satisfactionohen.

Sales channel

Use mobile commerce as a sales channel. Enable your customers to place orders anytime and anywhere - be it from a construction site or on the train to work.

Product presentation

Equip your sales staff with a tablet so that they can easily present products visually when they visit customers. Your employee can place a new order directly with your customer and close the deal directly.

Customer communication

Mobile commerce via mobile apps offers completely new ways of communicating with your customers. Send push notifications directly to your customers with updates about new products or products that are available again.

The content of your web shop can also be made available offline via an app. It is also possible to use mobile apps to access functions and content of the end device, such as the bank app for payment. Localization enables customers to be addressed at the right time in the right place.

Challenges for mobile in B2B

In addition to all of these advantages for B2B mobile commerce, there are unfortunately also a few Challenges ffor the use of mobile devices for sales in B2B.

Illustration of detailed product information

Especially in the B2B business, customers want to receive more product information and need it, for example, when it comes to individual parts of a machine. After all, an order in the B2B area often includes several 100 pieces.

The customer wants to be 100% sure that it is the right product. However, a lot of information stands in the way of the “less is more” principle of mobile commerce. For a good customer experience, you have to find a way to provide your customer with all the important information without restricting usability.

From the web shop to the mobile web

Many B2B companies that already have a web shop still have a first generation web shop. Optimizing these outdated systems for mobile devices requires a lot of effort. The idea here should be to rely directly on new software in which everything is developed directly with a mobile way of thinking.

One B2B company that has successfully implemented this transformation is IHL Canada. The old webshop could not be connected to your Microsoft Dynamics ERP system. In order to offer a better omnichannel experience across all channels, the company decided on a future-proof new webshop - Sana Commerce.

Conclusion: B2B mobile commerce is the future

While the number of B2B purchases made via mobile devices is still low today, the trend towards the use of mobile devices in B2B can be logically derived. According to Forrester Research By 2020 already 12% of all B2B salesetch through e-commerce to be generated.

As already mentioned, research on mobile devices is already an important step in the customer journey for many B2B purchases. If you put one and one together, you will see a clear trend for B2B mobile commerce, which is mainly being driven by the new "digital generation" (millennials), the managers and employees of tomorrow.