We have been living in a world where the e-commerce landscape has been dominated by B2C players. However, recent trends point towards a market shift and the emergence of B2B e-commerce. While B2C e-commerce still continues to grow at an exponential rate, B2B e-commerce is gradually picking up.
According to recent study by Frost & Sullivan, global B2B e-commerce market will be twice as large as the B2C market — $6.7 trillion vs. $3.2 trillion by 2020. China is expected to emerge as the largest online B2B market with $2.1 trillion in sales by 2020. In the US, B2B e-commerce is already twice as large as B2C e-commerce.
The below mentioned emerging trends substantiate the case for businesses to set up their online e-commerce platforms
B2B buyers are getting younger – Almost 50% of buyers doing the initial research are millennials. They are young, tech-savvy and sophisticated. As the change progresses, they expect a B2C-like experience from you and the ability to self-service their orders 24×7.
Buyers are making purchase decisions online – Traditional sales representatives are no longer the sole gatekeeper of information and B2B buyers are no more their primary source of information. They prefer to do the research online themselves and source information independently.
Inclination towards online business model – The B2B customers buying from SME manufacturers and distributors offline are now inclining towards an online business model. The customers can compare quotes of different manufacturers on a single platform in real time, have access to unlimited manufacturers/distributors and take purchasing decisions as per their convenience.
Dependency on mobile devices – According to Google’s recent report, 42% of B2B customers use mobile devices during their purchasing process. Today, buyers are taking purchasing decisions on the go.
Therefore, as a B2B SME, if you want to retain your customers, be on the global platform and increase your revenue, you have to optimize your business operations.
This is possible only if you upgrade your e-commerce platforms by: