By Head of B2B of Ninja Van Malaysia, Clarence Fernandez.
B2B companies are notoriously known for maintaining consistency in company legacy, in-house software, whilst also lacking in resources and funding. Instead, they should be putting their focus on digital transformation. Because whether you like it or not, digital is here to stay.
Here are three reasons why your B2B business should go digital right now:
The e-commerce market is growing
In Malaysia, the e-commerce market has grown rapidly in recent years and is currently worth US$4.3 billion. It is expected to double to $8.1 billion by the year 2024; at 14 percent CAGR, (Capillary, 2020). This is every bit as relevant for B2B players. Globally, B2B transactions continue to be the leading e-commerce activity (National ecommerce strategic roadmap, 2017).
In Malaysia alone, nearly 70 percent of B2B buyers now purchase goods online, while 18 percent spend more than 90 percent of their budgets online (Invoice Interchange, 2020). If B2B businesses want to appeal to this particular demography, they must have an online presence.
Additionally, the growth of the e-commerce market is also driven by digitally-savvy, mobile-first consumers. Currently in Malaysia, one out of three people now prefer online shopping even after the restrictions have been lifted, thus, creating a new normal.
The rise of digital consumers
By the end of 2020, the number of digital consumers in Southeast Asia is expected to reach 310 million. Out of all the countries in the region, Malaysia is poised to be the country with the most digital users, as more than 26 million of Malaysians access the internet and 80 percent of the current population are spending almost 8 hours online every day on social media, e-commerce sites and more (TechWireAsia, 2020). With that being said, in 2020, it was estimated that the country was expecting approximately 4 million more digital consumers (New Straits Times, 2020).
The Covid-19 outbreak has no doubt accelerated, with 40 million new internet users in Southeast Asia this year, whilst resulting in a 140 percent mobile penetration and 85 percent internet penetration in Malaysia (Capillary, 2020). Out of the number in Southeast Asia, 36 percent tried new digital services and 92 percent of these new consumers intend to continue their behaviour post-outbreak.
As such, B2B businesses need to take an omnichannel approach to their business model. This will also allow you to expand your customer base by targeting them on a global level – making selling easier than ever before. This is why top brands such as Amway and Estee Lauder (full disclosure: Ninja Van Malaysia’s B2B clients have also adopted a multi-channel approach for their businesses.
Consumer’s buying behavior is changing
Since Covid-19, this rise of e-commerce has made a drastic change in consumer buying behaviors and expectations. Customers today demand convenience, speed, and optionality. This is why it is important for B2B players today to innovate and diversify how they reach out to their customers. This is where your business strategy in a digital world needs to be game-changing to go hand-in-hand with the changing customer behaviour.
Since introducing our B2B solutions, we have observed how automation has been able to allow our customers’ businesses to run more efficiently.
With the integration of Application Programming Interface (API) to businesses, B2B players are able to improve their customer service experience with a hassle-free order processing procedure at a low cost. Additionally, features such as multi parcel shipments offer customers the convenience of catering to the different types of businesses be it from distributor to retailer or retailer to reseller.
The Ninja Chat for Shippers function is another example of how the use of technological capabilities is able to provide a newer and richer customer experience. As an AI-powered social messaging system, this function provides shipping customers with a suite of tools for the direct management and monitoring of deliveries and orders.
Take charge now
The right strategies in place can serve as a powerful weapon to enhance B2B businesses’ overall brand appeal, reduce the cost of operations and, not to mention, an increase in sales. The future of B2B businesses is quite clear–you either go digital or go bust.