Boardrooms across the globe are buzzing with talk about how to prepare for a potential economic decline in 2023. After more than a decade of unprecedented economic growth, the fear that a recession is imminent has left businesses uncertain about the best way to protect shareholders’ interests.
So, what should you do? Batten down the hatches for the next few years and weather the storm? Or hoist your sail and hold fast, so you’re in a better position when it passes?
Many will take a fiscally conservative approach and tighten spending, while others will look to these next few years as an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage. Trend reports, like Forrester’s Predictions 2023: Commerce, will give you a glimpse of what to expect.
Opening their report by reflecting on the “big swings and quick thinking” born out of the pandemic, Forrester says that moving forward, “Fortune favors the bold and focused.” They suggest that in 2023, “smart business leaders will get focused—pruning efforts that aren’t bearing fruit and prioritizing long-term growth.”
Forrester reminds us that, if your financial position permits it, continuing to invest during an economic downturn will pay off in the long term. The report points to both the front and back-end of commerce, reinforcing the importance of a satisfying customer experience across the customer lifecycle, and declaring that “2023 will be the year commerce operations take center stage,” with at least 25% of digital businesses strengthening their commitment to optimization technology and operations.
And while Forrester says “Efficient and effective commerce operations will be in the starring role…aided by the machinery of commerce technology and analytics,” it doesn’t mean you have to pursue major efforts right now. Consider creating efficiencies in your B2B Commerce operations, and, in doing so, creating a better customer experience and more loyal customers. Opportunities also exist to reduce spending in underperforming sales channels and reallocate those resources to channels that can deliver more return for less. Investing in self–service capabilities is one easy way to try new types of customer engagement. You can also reap massive rewards by focusing on reducing the buying friction in your existing digital channels.
Have you watched enough of your B2B customers struggle to find what they want to buy, get frustrated, and head to a competitor’s site instead? How long until they stop coming to you all together?
Whether you navigate your business into 2023 with gusto or trepidation, you need to think about what opportunities you do feel comfortable taking because the next generation of B2B buyers expects more from you. You must keep earning their loyalty, transaction after transaction. Their patience isn’t just finite, it’s short. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, if they can’t serve themselves when they want to, if they can’t get help from you when they need it, and if their experience on your site doesn’t live up to the ease and simplicity of everywhere else they shop online, you won’t see them again.
Regardless of which direction you turn, heed Forrester’s warning that “Trust will be at the forefront of business priorities in 2023.” So, whether you’re planning a major overhaul or a series of smaller optimizations, let’s talk about how you, your stakeholders, and your customers will get the most out of your investments in 2023.
See what we can do, together.