Some insights we take with us that show high expectations for digital B2B commerce:
- The Covid-19 pandemic is a key trend that drove digital transformation and got 44% of companies to either start or accelerate their digital sales initiatives.
- Wholesalers are ahead of the other segments, as 91% now use digital channels for sales or sales opportunities.
- 73% of B2B companies that sell online predict that their online sales will continue to increase over the next three years. For wholesalers, the figure is as high as 92%.
- 21% of all companies that do not already have an online store today plan to launch an e-commerce solution within 3 years.
The key drivers for digital commerce are similar regardless of industry and organization size. The goal of simplifying administration and streamlining sales is still in the top. This is considered important to support more agile business models and improve scalability. It enables B2B companies to bring in more new customers without increasing overheads, administration or payroll costs.
Digitizing product information is even more important for companies that do not yet have e-commerce. For those who have digital sales, 23% use a PIM solution to display their products online, either as a standalone PIM application or integrated into their e-commerce solution. More B2B companies are investing in PIM to better manage, enrich and present what they offer.
The companies that already have experience in online sales are more focused on meeting customer needs, improving their position, strengthening the brand and offering faster deliveries. The customer experience will be an important competitive factor. This is driven by an increasing demand from B2B customers for 24/7 self-service and order management.
Companies that do not yet sell online have difficulty integrating new digital channels with their existing business models. It can be both difficult to translate personal sales and relationships into digital or to integrate digital sales with their existing business strategy.
The B2B companies that are ready to invest in new digital sales solutions must realize that the investment is far more than implementing a new technical solution. The investment requires alignment throughout the organization where everyone is involved and works in the same direction and contributes to the solution to handle the complexity of B2B sales.
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