Back in 2017, CPG wholesale distributors frequently questioned if their business should invest in a native mobile B2B e-commerce app if they already have a web app and mobile-responsive web ordering.
Five years later, we’re seeing more and more CPG wholesalers aggressively pursuing native B2B e-commerce mobile apps. According to internal data from Pepperi, by the end of 2021 more than 55% of B2B e-commerce transactions took place through native mobile apps. In the fast-changing retail landscape, where digitally advanced consumers are driving forward exponential growth in demand for convenience and choice, it’s no longer enough to simply have an e-commerce site and hope your products will sell themselves.
Why Do CPG Wholesalers Favor Native Mobile Apps?
For CPG wholesalers, mobile B2B e-commerce apps are becoming an essential tool for success. Not only does this technology make ordering quicker and more efficient, but it also provides opportunities for one-on-one interaction with buyers.
Native apps are in fact better than mobile websites when it comes to converting visitors into buyers because they're more streamlined, customer-friendly, and easier for visitors to navigate on a smaller screen. However, there are additional reasons why native B2B e-commerce apps are preferable to websites and mobile-responsive websites.
Mobile B2B e-commerce apps do just that by making it easier for customers to order the products they need and when they need them. A study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) reveals that mobile plays a significant role in B2B purchases for 60% of buyers. B2B buyers aren't always sitting at their desks; in fact, many of them are out in the field, in warehouses or retail spaces inspecting goods.
Compared to web pages, mobile apps load pages 1.5 times faster. Unlike web apps, which download data from servers, mobile apps retain user data settings locally on the mobile device. With larger orders, the loading time of the web ordering system might occasionally exceed three seconds, which can be very frustrating.
Mobile apps are designed for quick checkout, which can be done in a matter of seconds. Finding the appropriate product, adding it to their cart, and entering payment and shipping info may take a website visitor a few minutes. The conversion rate for mobile apps is typically 130% greater.
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The fact that mobile apps shorten the time to purchase by 20% and increase consumer engagement and loyalty is further supported by a Boston Consulting Group study.
Built-in Mobile Features
By utilizing numerous native device functions, like the calendar app, camera, geolocation, push notifications, and barcode scanning, native mobile apps improve the user experience for customers and boost conversion rates. Push notifications, which have an average open rate of 90%, give B2B companies plenty of opportunity to communicate with their customers around-the-clock by sending personalized messages, discounts, and loyalty benefits.
The desire for company presence in the app stores is another factor driving CPG wholesale distributors to choose native and white-label mobile apps. Compared to a standard website, a B2B e-commerce mobile app has a wider audience and more visibility. Having one's own branding, messaging, promotions, and customer evaluations also helps a company position itself in the market.
CPG wholesalers are finding that adopting native B2B e-commerce apps lead to higher profitability and increased satisfaction among their customers. Best performing wholesalers claim that native mobile apps result in higher sales conversion rates, reduced customer acquisition costs, and overall better metrics than a traditional website alone.
CPG distributors recognize desktop cannot support the entire customer journey, and if they don’t prioritize a B2B e-commerce app, they will be missing a clear opportunity. Having a strong, reliable, native mobile B2B e-commerce app is no longer a choice, but a requirement that allows B2B buyers not only to place orders whenever and wherever they want, but also provides them added benefits! The only way for a B2B brand to stand out in a competitive marketplace is to provide a true mobility solution for their B2B buyers.
—Yana Persky at Pepperi