Even the most conservative of business executives are starting to accept that it will no longer be business as usual.
In this dark shadow of uncertainty, businesses are increasingly being tempted to consider digital platforms like B2B (business to business) eCommerce.
Yet what can we learn from B2B eCommerce statistics? Is B2B eCommerce much-touted growth—a fad or a fact?
We take a look at the following statistics:
- B2B eCommerce Platform: A global picture.
- The bulk of eCommerce is B2B.
- B2B and Gross Merchandise Volume.
- B2B eCommerce statistics in the US
- Sales on B2B eCommerce as a Percentage of Total B2B Sales in the US
- Which Economic Sector Drives the eCommerce Business Growth in the US?
- What is the Future of the eCommerce Store?
- How Effective is the B2B Business Model in Serving Customers?
- Which Sales Channels Do B2B Buyers Prefer?
- Demographics and Channel Preference of B2B eCommerce
- The B2B Online Marketplace Will Define the Future
- Which Services Do Buyers Prefer Getting on the eCommerce Website and Other Digital Channels?
- Buyers in eCommerce Business Models Value Personalization
- B2B’s Most Preferred Marketing Strategy
- B2B’s Top Areas of Marketing Spend
Let’s dive in.
B2B eCommerce Platform: A Global Picture
Analysis of customer data shows that the US is by far the number one leader globally when it comes to online selling and buying between businesses.
According to these UNCTAD estimates, global B2B e-commerce sales in volumes totaled about $21.8 trillion in 2019.
Of these, about 38.15% accrue to the US.
What this one means is that the US alone took up more than a third of global B2B sales on any eCommerce platform.
Japan, China, Korea, and the United Kingdom round up the top 5.
One surprising, perhaps troubling fact that emerges from these statistics is that ten countries account for 75% of B2B eCommerce sales.
This may portray not only complete economic hegemony but also technological dominance.
That’s not all that we can flesh out from these data, however.
The Bulk of eCommerce is B2B
In countries like Japan and Australia, nearly all eCommerce transactions are B2B.
At 87% in the US, the proportion of B2B eCommerce transactions as a total of all eCommerce transactions is not far behind.
What’s the upshot of all these?
If these trends tell us anything (remember this was before the pandemic), it’s that transactions on an eCommerce store are—with almost complete certainty—likely to be B2B transactions, especially in Japan and Australia.
B2B and Gross Merchandise Volume
When it comes to Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) which is the amount the eCommerce stores actually earn from the volume of sales that they facilitate, the global figure stands at $12.2 trillion.
Asian B2B eCommerce stores gobble up about $4 for every $5 that is transacted globally through B2B digital platforms.
This is because, according to Statista, the Gross Merchandise Value of Asian B2B eCommerce transactions amounts to $9.8 trillion out of a global total of $12.2.
North America accounts for 12% with $1.4 trillion as of 2019.
B2B eCommerce Statistics in the US
Since the US is a global leader in B2B, let’s have a peek at some relevant statistics and see what this means as far as digital commerce is concerned.
From an analysis of data, the B2B eCommerce model is evidently experiencing growth.
The year-to-year increase with respect to sales volume for B2B comes to an impressive 6.7%.
This steady increase in volume and the number of business customers who prefer transacting through an eCommerce website shows that eCommerce business models are defining the business landscape in the US.
Sales on B2B eCommerce as a Percentage of Total B2B Sales in the US
As of 2019, sales on B2B eCommerce platforms represented 13% of all B2B sales in the United States. While this figure is fairly modest, Forester Consulting projects that by 2023, this figure will reach 17%.
The projected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is expected to stand at 7.5% by 2027.
The online store and the online sales portal seem destined to replace the sales rep.
Another statistic that should perhaps interest an owner of an eCommerce site is an analysis of the sectors that are driving this shift to the eCommerce model.
Which Economic Sector Drives the eCommerce Business Growth in the US?
While the above statistics include B2C , it’s undeniable that an unassailable majority of business buyers bringing in more sales are from the manufacturing sector.
In 2018, B2B sales from the eCommerce sales channel accounted for 5.9% of all manufacturing sales. This figure jumped to 7.1% in 2019, representing a positive trajectory.
What is the Future of the eCommerce Store?
According to a McKinsey survey of business executives in the eCommerce system, only 20% are of the view that B2B online shopping is a temporary necessity.
75% are confident that B2B digital business processes are now a permanent fixture.
How Effective is the B2B Business Model in Serving Customers?
The same McKinsey report reveals that 75% of business executives are of the view that the digital model is serving their own customers well. This refers to their already existing customers.
When it comes to new customers, 76% of business executives affirm the effectiveness of the digital model.
Which Sales Channels Do B2B Buyers Prefer?
Individual customers do not prefer one channel at the expense of another.
Analysis of B2B buyer behavior shows that buyers want a seamless buying experience that involves (and possibly integrates) brick and mortar, social media, mobile apps, and eCommerce sites.
Many prefer to shop online, perhaps when perusing specific pricing, checking product pages, or doing price comparisons.
But they would also want the option of a physical transaction, perhaps to augment their online experience.
Demographics and Channel Preference of B2B eCommerce
About 1 in 5 of baby boomers prefer making B2B business decisions, specifically purchasing stuff from a B2B digital marketplace.
About 1 in 3 of both millennials and generation X prefer the same platform.
Going by the technological culture and online presence of these customer groups, these statistics are not out of the expected range.
The B2B Online Marketplace Will Define the Future
From about a paltry 7.5% of total B2B eCommerce sales, marketplaces will account for 30% of all B2B eCommerce sales by 2024.
This is according to research firm iBe TSD Ltd.
Marketplaces are currently preferred by Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s). But that picture may change if these projections are anything to go by.
Which Services Do Buyers Prefer Getting on the eCommerce Website and Other Digital Channels?
Studies done by B2B online research team in partnership with Mirakl and Oracle reveal that 73% of buyers prefer digital channels.
Of this number, the following are the online services that are deemed a priority.
- Pre-ordering and back-ordering: 72%
- Personalized product recommendations: 65%
- Scheduling: 63%
While buyers value personalized customer experience, 70% like the absence of drawn-out negotiations and haggling—that come with buying stuff from an online platform.
Buyers in eCommerce Business Models Value Personalization
While chatbots are fine, buyers prefer any medium that will offer the personalization of services. And they are willing to pay a premium for it.
A survey by Smarter HQ reveals that 72% of buyers will only accept personalized messaging.
69% of B2B buyers are even willing to pay more for personalized service.
Personalized service also trumps speed. In fact, a “rude and rushed” service is the number one cause of customer disaffection with a brand.
B2B’s Most Preferred Marketing Strategy
According to the 2021 B2B Marketing Mix Report (MMR) by Sagefrog marketing agency, email marketing is the most preferred method of B2B marketing.
B2B’s Top Areas of Marketing Spend
Multiple decision-makers in the B2B digital market prioritize website development in their marketing budgets.
That tells you one thing.
Regarding your website development, don’t gamble.
Seek out a company that has enough experience and a strong portfolio.
At Pivofy, we create exceptional, high-performing, and results-oriented B2B eCommerce websites on Shopify PLUS.