The evolution of B2B commerce and why your business needs to change too

In B2B commerce, there is increasing momentum for digital commerce solutions. This means that the market as we know it is changing. It is no longer B2B commerce and B2C commerce, but nowadays we see more and more hybrid business models and B2B2C commerce companies that work online. But what does this mean?

The reality of it is that we live in a digital world. When you are one of those B2B businesses that is strictly doing B2B business then you have to pay attention and think about creating a new strategy. A digital strategy. Why? The numbers show that only doing B2B business is no longer enough. Forrester Research, for example, predicts that 5.4% of all B2B sales in Europe are going to be digital by 2024, forecasting steady growth of the total online turnover in B2B. Also, 61% of manufacturers are not yet selling online, neither do 38% of wholesalers. However, 75% of this group does have concrete plans to launch or improve their digital commerce capabilities within two years from now, (January 2020). So, this means that most B2B companies see the relevance in improving their digital commerce capabilities. If you are one of those manufactures or wholesalers who aren’t thinking about that yet, the moment is now to do that. 

Digital transformation

With that, a large number of questions will arise, because planning and executing a digital strategy is not something you do overnight. In fact, it takes time, money and knowledge. One of the biggest challenges is not identifying the need for digital transformation, but creating advocacy throughout all levels of management, and eventually all levels of the operation. Without conviction throughout the entire business, digital transformation is going to be lengthy and painful. But is worth the struggle. In the end, you will give your business a new futureproof existence. 

A different buyer

This existence will not just be in the B2B market, but also in the B2B2C market, with the help of the digital transformation your company will probably also enter the B2C market. You see this happening already right now. B2B companies are selling their products in marketplaces, on social media channels and directly to the consumer via a webshop. Because of this, the markets are changing. Or better yet, they changed already. This is also because the buyer demographics have changed. Millennials will be 44% of the workforce by 2025. These buyers are digital natives, they are used to the convenience of digital interaction in commerce in their private lives. They research and shop online; they don’t like a hassle and they do not appreciate a middleman in their purchasing process. If you want to sell to these buyers you have to contact them, be visible to them and you need to be online because they are there too, they are not going to search for offline B2B companies.

The need for an online portal

In other words, a B2B commerce company with an online portal will increase their customer and prospect base. Also, digital commerce makes it easier to reconnect with inactive customers. This shows that not only the B2B commerce market is changing, but the entire world is changing, the people are changing and the way we are doing business is changing. Want to know more about how you can change your B2B commerce business? And more importantly how you can make a digital transformation? Download the whitepaper: How to make a business case for digital transformation in B2B and learn what needs to happen now. 

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