5 Top B2B Trends in 2021: What to Keep an Eye On

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Each year, it’s normal and expected to see a shift in trends. The very word “trend” suggests fads that change over time. Now, add in a global pandemic, an election year, and countless other historic moments in 2020. Of course, we’re bound to see some changes. The B2B world is no different, and there are quite a few expected top trends for B2B in 2021.

Various studies done throughout this year show that there are some things we can expect heading into 2021. Here are five that you should keep your eye on in the new year.

1. More Time Online Due to COVID-19

According to a study that Forbes did earlier this year, the average screen time for people jumped up 70% this year. It goes without saying that this increase in screen time means an increase in time online. As you would expect, increased time online leads to more exposure to brands, their products, and their marketing strategies.

By no means should you take unethical advantage of this increase in screen time. Instead, you’ll need to focus your marketing efforts on effectiveness and clarity. People will be more likely to be exposed to your brand, yes. However, they’ll also be more likely to be exposed to other brands, as well. What sets you apart from the others?

2. TikTok

Due to more time online, B2B businesses are having to move into different platforms. This year, we’ve seen businesses everywhere break into the TikTok sphere. Just like there’s space for B2B on Instagram, there’s space for B2B on TikTok.

TikTok allows you to set up a business account similar to the way Instagram or Facebook allows you. You can run ads on the app just like you would on other social media platforms. The key to a successful TikTok marketing strategy is a creative, fun approach.

TikTok has popular trends that cycle through, and many successful businesses have taken advantage of these trends. The general idea is to adapt a trend (i.e. a dance to a certain song) to your business, putting a spin on the original that generates interest in your brand. In the new year, we’ll likely see many more businesses break into the TikTok space as a marketing tool.

3. Efficient Delivery Processes

Although we are starting to see things returning to “normal,” the likelihood of businesses staying remote in the wake of COVID-19 is high. The convenience factor of remote business is high, as are the cost-saving practices. B2B businesses should plan for remote work being here to stay.

In light of that, efficient delivery processes are a must. If remote is here to stay, so is delivery. According to a recent study, 94% of buyers expect the same delivery efficiency with business purchases as they do with personal purchases.

There’s nothing worse than placing an order and not getting it delivered in the manner or timeframe you were promised, right? You expect the companies you place personal orders from to deliver your purchases in a timely manner. Likewise, businesses expect that for their business purchases. If you want to succeed in 2021, it’s important to set up an effective and efficient delivery process now.

4. Brand Trustworthiness

Lily Ray, SEO Director of Path Initiative, told Top Rank Blog this year, “But from my perspective, the biggest overarching trend in SEO in recent years which will undoubtedly continue in 2021 is the focus on E-A-T: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.” – Lily Ray, SEO of Path Initiative told Top Rank Blog.

Simply put, businesses want to know that they can trust you – especially after this year. There’s been no shortage of conflicting, confusing, and chaotic information circulating. Businesses don’t want to deal with that from you. While brand trustworthiness has always been important, we expect to see this stay one of the top trends in B2B in 2021.

5. Customer Service

Similar to brand trustworthiness, it’s never been a secret that customer service is crucial. However, there’s clearly still a disconnect between expectations and delivery. According to a recent study by Google, “One in three buyers still indicate that suppliers under-deliver on post-purchase support. They are also looking for reassurance throughout the purchase process.”

The study mentions, “Buyers want to feel supported, especially after a purchase.” In other words, customer service shouldn’t stop when businesses purchase from you. Going the extra mile to ensure top of the line customer service post-purchase will set you apart and help you succeed in B2B in 2021. 

As we saw in 2020, unexpected things can always happen throughout the year that will affect trends and the way business functions. It’s important to be adaptable while also being prepared. If you keep an eye on these five B2B trends, you’ll be prepared for whatever 2021 ends up bringing our way.

Looking to take your B2B efforts to the next level in 2021? We’d love to chat! Get in touch today.

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