Berlin, January 10, 2019 – The new year is getting off to a turbulent start: Players in digital commerce are facing decisions that will be groundbreaking for the future. Daniel Nill, CEO of the digital agency Turbine Kreuzberg, looks at key trends in digital commerce in 2019.
Automation of procurement is picking up speed
2019 will be the year of automation in commerce. Initially, this will be nothing more than efficiency optimisation on a technological basis. Resources that were previously tied up are suddenly freed up again, enabling companies to focus more strongly on their actual business. By automating the procurement process itself, purchasers can transform themselves into purchasing strategists. The automation of demand fulfillment will change B2B, but also B2C, dramatically in the future. In B2C, there will be a separation between "emotional" needs and "standard needs", which, for example, can also be covered by AI as a purchasing assistant. End customers will be able to concentrate on activities that are more valuable to them, purchasing behaviour will change and there will be enormous effects on marketing in the consumer sector.
B2B Commerce: The end of the online shop
Voice Commerce is a mega-trend and driver of a fundamental change in e-commerce - at least when it comes to products or services for private individuals. The impressive charisma of the development and the enormous consequences for content marketing and content optimization cross-fade the development that interface automation has for the B2B business. In fact, in the field of B2B we are not only talking about the end of keyboard input, but the end of the online shop itself. In the future, manufacturers, dealers and customers from the business world will order directly from their own IT structure, without a search engine or online shop as an intermediate step. The buyers' systems will be connected via interface to all available, relevant databases. Whether the end device will be a keyboard or VR glasses, with which articles required in a dental practice, for example, can be scanned and reordered, will then be almost irrelevant. But whether retailers and manufacturers will receive orders at all in the future will depend on whether their offers are available in databases via a suitable interface and connected to the buyers' systems.
Customer Centricity continues its triumph in B2B Commerce
Customer centricity is already a common B2B commerce vocabulary. The trend towards greater customer centricity, also in the business customer segment, will continue to intensify towards end-to-end processes. Those who take into account and communicate the individual characteristics and requirements of their customers and also the complexity of their purchasing processes will gain a direct competitive advantage. Those who think B2B from the customer's point of view will also talk about the fact that they have gigantic storage capacities or offer same-day delivery, for example. From a technological point of view, the central drivers of customer centricity in 2019 will be artificial intelligence and machine learning, in which individual customer preferences are identified and specifically served. But beware: AI and ML will not replace personal interaction with customers in the B2B area either. Success in the long term will come to those who find a meaningful mix here and use technology to enable fruitful interaction with buyers that strengthens customer loyalty.