B2B eCommerce: The Growth Potential Is Real

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While the Business to Consumer (B2C) eCommerce growth rates are gradually declining, Business to Business (B2B) eCommerce is picking up its pace, especially in the Asian B2B eCommerce industry.

A recent Forrester research has shown a forecasted growth in B2B eCommerce of 12.1% per year, and a promising market future as we sail through 2019. As of current, China appears unstoppable at the top of the competition, outperforming the US by almost twice.

Though B2B firms are not yet prioritizing its investments in B2B eCommerce platforms, this is changing rapidly. Let us dive deeper into the growing potential of B2B eCommerce.

Potential of B2B eCommerce: The Game is Changing

According to a recent research, it is shown that millennials (age range between 23-38) are currently the largest generation of workers within the workforce. More and more millennials play a role in B2B purchasing decisions nowadays.

Millennial entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs or simple consumers will be the ones changing the rules of the business game. As such, the days of high-touch, relationship-based sales are largely gone. The need to revolutionize traditional B2B sales channels is as profound as ever.

More and More B2B Buyers Prefer to Shop Online

While B2B eCommerce may still be in its infancy, it is growing rapidly.

“89% of B2B  buyers use the Internet during the research process, and 71% start researching potential purchases on a generic query” - Think with Google

Large and international companies are starting to (if not already) migrating to online platforms for services such as aftermarket, support, and lead generation. They also intend to move from legacy systems to online platforms - where buyers and sellers can trade goods and services conveniently.

From private portals that allow retailers to place orders with registered suppliers to wholesale sites targeting business owners, the vast variety of new B2B trading models are truly impressive.

Applying lessons learned from the B2C world, more and more businesses are hopping on the B2C eCommerce bandwagon, offering eCommerce sites designed to match consumers’ buying habits and to provide the best customer experience.

As a result, businesses are starting to realize that SEO, ease of search and navigation, comprehensive product pages, imagery, mobile friendliness, and simple check out processes are highly favoured by buyers.

The industry follows where the public sector leads.

The widespread emergence of eGovernment initiatives that support online transactions for businesses and local consumers is setting the tone for the future, driving a wave of development and momentum in eCommerce.

Increased Efficiency Across Business

While many companies have gladly adopted digital innovations such as social media to increase brand visibility, generate traction and build a stronger rapport with customers and prospects, it is surprising that many remain backward when it comes to eCommerce adoption.

Let’s see how eCommerce can help eliminate the inefficiencies that cost companies dearly. First of all, managing paper-based, email and telephone orders often means that the company requires a larger administrative team, which means larger payroll.

Manual processing and offline orders create pressure on the administrative team and when there is an increased volume, the potential for human error is also heightened.

Online orders are less costly to process and are less susceptible to errors - and customers are not limited to ordering only during office hours.

With that, sales and customer service representatives will have more time to focus on strategic activities, while costly catalogs are no longer needed to be printed and handed out.

Your Competitors Are Doing It

Your competitors are likely initiating their online presence through B2B eCommerce while you’re in a quandary. You may risk customer leakages as your buyers choose to move over to using the more convenient way to buy.

Additionally, eCommerce platforms open ways for companies to automate processes across the business, which allows them to lower their cost-per-sale, translating to profitable operations.

According to Forrester's research, B2B companies that have introduced self-service eCommerce features were able to slash the cost of serving and selling to customers by as much as 90%. Meanwhile, 52% reported that they’ve managed to reduce support costs by migrating offline customers online.

Digitalization and adoption of the eCommerce model are becoming the norm, and you may soon find yourself at a competitive disadvantage if you don’t follow suit.

In Summary

It’s high time to break the mentality of the sales force and position your company in the eCommerce world because today’s B2B buyers are buying more online. This new wave of tech-savvy B2B buyers expects the right experience, information, and support alongside with the convenience of self-service eCommerce sites.

The rapid development of the B2B market means that companies must move along rapidly, or risk being left behind.

The time is ripe for B2B eCommerce investment.

At Dropee, we help companies deliver an unmatched B2B customer experience through simple, easy-to-use, and intuitive user interface, all by using the latest web and mobile technologies that our team developed in-house.

Schedule a 10-minute call with us HERE to find out how Dropee’s enterprise solution can enable your business to be more customer-focused, highly efficient and agile.