How Covid-19 will map the B2B future
During the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, much media coverage has been devoted to how businesses have been meeting the needs of consumers, from online grocery shopping to the supply of home fitness equipment.
However, far less attention has been devoted to business-to-business sectors, although as we point out in “The way forward for ecommerce,” global B2B ecommerce sales dwarf those in B2C markets.
The new normality brought about by the pandemic will see the need for businesses to focus on online methods for sales and for communicating with their target markets. BBI Brandboost’s experience and expertise in building high-performance B2B ecommerce sites and in implementing effective strategic digital marketing programmes can help them do so successfully.
We also continually research the effects that Covid-19 could have on our B2B clients and their business sectors, and would endorse a particular source of information as being invaluable.
Pandemic impact on B2B services
Strategy& is the strategy consulting business unit of PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and they offer in-depth evaluations on the effects of Covid-19 on both public and private sector organisations and forecast their prospects for the future. We recommend their “Where Next” series of reports for expert-led information and insights.
In “Where Next for Business-to-Business Services?” the authors describe the B2B service sector as ranging from “professional advisory to business process outsourcing, and from talent to transport, distribution and logistics – and its 2.5 million employees serve every part of the UK economy.”
The report admits that it is difficult to apply universal trends across a widely varied range of businesses, but that those involved in sectors such as groceries and pharmaceuticals have done relatively well while those serving mothballed businesses like hospitality have been hard hit.
So have there been any positive outcomes from the emergency?
Innovators have enhanced their reputations
The report points to the fact that companies reacting flexibly and proactively to the challenge would benefit from positive public perception. “Firms that have demonstrated agility and responsiveness in meeting the challenges at hand will boost their reputation. For example, those in transport, distribution and logistics that have pivoted from mothballed industries to service the surge in demand in the grocery and health and pharmacy sectors will exit the immediate crisis with an increased standing.”
We would also cite the examples of those companies that switched from normal production to manufacture ventilators and PPE for the healthcare services. Their invaluable contribution will not be forgotten.
Technology that empowers business potential
It has been obvious throughout the pandemic that online communication has been essential to keep businesses in business and the Strategy& report states that 72% of workers in B2B services have been able to work remotely during the crisis.
Strategy& states that the drive to embrace technology is of paramount importance: “Across all business services sub-sectors, it’s time to reassess the role of technologies that can automate the manual, deliver greater efficiencies, and remove the dependency on location. This means, for example, investing in solutions that enable digital and remote sales and marketing…”
This bears out our assertion that B2B ecommerce and digital marketing, which are core elements in the services offered by BBI Brandboost, will play an increasingly important role in times to come. We can also testify that our B2B clients in a varied range of sectors have increasingly seen the value of doing business online.
As we gradually emerge from the Covid-19 crisis, the trend for businesses and their customers to migrate online is certain to grow dramatically. Please contact us for any advice and support in meeting these new challenges.
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