At this Fall’s Digital Commerce 360 virtual event, our CEO, Brandon Spear, kicked off an afternoon workshop with his presentation “Beyond the Buy Button.”
During his presentation, Brandon shared insights into how B2B buyers have come to expect B2C-like online purchasing experiences—thanks to the pandemic, of course. The result? In 2020, B2B sellers rushed to optimize their eCommerce channels. There are many complex aspects to consider, including customer experience (CX), loyalty stickiness, and business ID fraud mitigation—all of which are ultimately powered by B2B embedded payments.
In 2021, B2B embedded payments providers continued to innovate. One of their most powerful enhancements is the “buy button.” For example, it can reduce checkout times from 176 to 99 seconds, so it’s no wonder that 76% of online merchants—including the best B2B ecommerce platforms—have implemented these buttons during 2021.
But the buy button is only as powerful as its underpinnings—and that’s where an embedded payments strategy comes into play. By including BNPL for B2B, trade credit, and all forms of payment, an online B2B merchant can earn new customers, grow loyalty and repeat purchases, and ultimately improve cash flow.
How Can Growth Really Continue?
As part of the workshop, Brandon’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion. Participants included Adam Coyle, CEO of Digital River; Dina Vardouniotis, Principal Consultant at Payments and Partnerships; and Matthijs Koorn, Research Director Payments at MGI.
The moderator, Jennifer Tramontana, President of The Fletcher Group LLC, kicked off the discussion with a question about the pain points that come with an accelerated digital transformation. “How do you think a payment strategy can alleviate these issues so that growth can really continue?”
Coyle answered first, noting that to be the best B2B ecommerce platform, you must focus on meeting the needs of customers. It’s critical for merchants to address “the expectations that [customers] already have, but also to introduce them to potentially new ways to pay, new ways to transact, new models that they can operate in.” In other words, customers are experiencing this digital transformation along with the merchants.
“Yes,” agreed Koorn. “What are the needs of your customers, what are they accustomed to today? How can you make that experience better in moving to an online world or an online experience, rather than trying to take stuff away.”
As for overcoming the challenges of digital transformation, Koorn suggests that merchants need to “quickly understand” that “there are tools out there that they can use to solve that problem. And that they can recreate the experience or the expectations that their clients have for a particular settlement window, settlement timeframe or whatever, and just do it in a much, much easier, much more seamless and user-friendly, and as Brandon alluded to, kind of, consumer-like way.”
A “Wow” CX Makes Payments A Loyalty Play
“But the reality is,” Vardouniotis noted, “how do we take and really turn it on its head and truly re-engineer, not retrofit, but re-engineer the B2B processes to really be consumer-like?” In her experience, the most successful solutions make it “super easy” for sellers and buyers to interact, allowing payments to be part of a true loyalty play.
For example, Vardouniotis continued, “I think what’s interesting is sometimes you don’t even know what the problem is, you have that glaring view of the obvious problems, but then when you work with a partner like TreviPay … you really ratify a tremendously better experience.” She went on to describe such an enhancement:
Wow, I didn’t even realize that being able to see my credit limit in a digital manner when I’m sitting in store is such a value. So, it’s back to that point where sometimes you don’t even realize where that incremental value to amplify loyalty can really lie. And that’s, I think, one of the benefits of working with a partner and really pushing on some of the user experiences that make a true difference to our end customers.
More Online Customers? Fraud Is a Fact of Life
The discussion turned to one of the disadvantages of having the best B2B ecommerce platform with a frictionless B2B payments solution: fraud. “If you don’t think you have a fraud problem, you have a fraud problem,” Coyle wryly noted. “The point I would make is, as you think about moving online, you need to think about really working with experts and or third parties who can help you in that regard.”
“Yeah. And if you’re selling online, you are selling globally, right?” Tramontana asked.
“That’s why I bring it up, right?” said Brandon. “Particularly if you’re selling, a digital asset, right? If you’re selling software or you’re selling images or something else that can be downloaded. If you’re selling a digital asset, by definition you’re probably selling everywhere.”
Even the best B2B ecommerce platform will deal with fraud, including business ID theft, Brandon continued. “Because this is a real challenge. It’s something that you will experience, it’s just really a question of time. … as [buyers and sellers] meet online for the first time, as that volume goes up, that’s where you acquire your customers. So, you’ve got to become much more aware of the risks of doing so, and I think there’s a role for partners to play, to help with that.”
The Real Key to Ongoing Growth
As the panel discussion came to a close, Coyle summarized why a proven B2B payments solution is an essential part of doing business. “Credit is money you don’t have today. And that’s what keeps the world’s economy moving. And it certainly keeps the B2B economy moving. We see that in our business, and I’m sure Brandon and others see it in theirs. But having credit vehicles, new and modern credit vehicles that are low friction and meet the needs of buyers and sellers are, I think, the real key to the continued expansion of online selling.”