Brexit Besides, B2B E-commerce is About to Boom – Are You Ready?
The B2B E-Commerce industry is the unsung market that’s about to boom even more. At over $800 billion, the B2B e-commerce market is worth more than double that of the B2C market in the US, with similar trends elsewhere, Forrester predicts that on a global level by 2020, B2B e-commerce will account for $6.7 trillion in trade worldwide and will be over twice the size of the B2C market at $3.2 trillion. As far as share of spend by B2B companies is concerned, Forrester predicts, by 2019, manufacturers and wholesalers will account for a combined 30% of spending on e-commerce technology, up from 20% in 2013, compared with a 28% share of 2019 spending by online retailers, down from 41% in 2013.
With the potential for huge gains and a need to grab market share early, the biggest brands are poised to take significant steps to ensure they have as much of a land grab as quickly as possible. To do this they will have to take note of the key ways the market is maturing and keep pace with the trends.
Integration is key
The e-commerce ecosystem is continuously evolving with new additions being added constantly and B2B vendors are keen to keep up with the latest trends, seeking out every possible advantage to ensure growth. Suppliers are keen to integrate their B2B platforms with a range of backend systems, like ERP, CRM and accounting software, but are also looking to partner with systems integrators with the technical and commercial knowledge to leverage the new advances in technology that enhances the customer experience, leverages business intelligence (big data), improved workflow, marketing optimisation, supply & delivery and financial management. Systems Integrators are a vital resource partner, to help any B2B vendor leverage, ‘what’s out there’, and it’s key to partner with the right one.
Rethink your approach to buyers
There are several compelling trends that should force B2B vendors to rethink their approach to e-commerce strategy:
Business buyers are used to shopping online and do not expect a different experience from a B2B site which includes mobile optimised websites and apps, easy to use online search, integration with social channels and personalisation.
Buyers are getting younger with around 50% being millennials, (almost double that of two years ago), the demands for the three C’s is growing, these are Convenience, Collaboration and Customisation.
Buyers pay more for a great customer experience, as a study by Avanade found that B2B buyers will pay on average, 30% more for a superior customer experience.
Get ready for the boom
In conclusion, if you’re not ready – get ready, because for any B2B vendor to make sense of, and keep up with, the huge changes over the next 5 years including Brexit, a key step will be to find the right Systems Integrator/e-commerce Agency to partner with. It should be partner that effectively embeds themselves in your business and helps you to analyse your current methods, identify your pains and quantify the effects these have on your costs/growth/client retention and then helps you to find the best solutions to take advantage of the future growth in B2B e-commerce, whilst having a footprint in the EU and UK markets. We at Monsoon Consulting are the leading B2B partner for some of the most innovative manufacturers and wholesalers in the UK & EU.