By Kyle Fitzsimmons, Marketing Content Manager for Ultra Commerce
B2B eCommerce is on the ascent, as evidenced by digital sales overtaking manual for the first time in B2B history. According to the 2020 B2B eCommerce Market Report, sales via eCommerce sites, log-in portals and e-marketplaces grew 18 percent from 2018 to 2019. So whether you are early on in your digital commerce journey or further down the road, it is important to invest even more resources into your B2B eCommerce.
As you grow and gain more online sales, challenges present themselves. It is a natural result of revenue growth, and should be embraced as a series of ‘good problems’ that must be addressed via your eCommerce platform. The right software will address these challenges out of the box.
Channel growth barriers
One of the most effective ways to capitalize on digital commerce growth is to expand the channels in which your buyers interact with you. Reaching new geographic areas or customer demographics is integral to revenue durability and growth. Utilizing your eCommerce platform’s functionality to host a Marketplace for your customers and vendors is one excellent way to boost your channels.
According to Gartner, only 6 percent of B2B buyers do not currently use online marketplaces while 75 percent of B2B procurement spending is projected to happen via online marketplaces over the next five years. Marketplaces and D2C wings of prominently B2B brands will be added to maintain revenue growth both now and in the future.
Complex B2B buying across multiple journeys
With any B2B purchase there can be multiple buyers, approvers and steps in the transaction that require alerting, routing and approvals at any or many levels. As your B2B organization scales, you will struggle to aggregate and provide one seamless and highly personalized customer buying experience with so many disparate systems at play. The right eCommerce platform will address this challenge by providing transparency and communication at every step of the order fulfillment and delivery process.
Why is investing in your OMS and, by extension, your digital commerce platform so critical? Statista estimates global B2B eCommerce sales will surpass B2C sales this year. Forrester predicts that B2B eCommerce will hit more than $1T by 2023. B2B organizations that want to not just survive but prosper will have to make serious investments in their eCommerce platform.
Making B2B buying easy for your customers and your teams
As simple as it may seem, many ‘common sense’ features for B2B eCommerce are anything but. Off-contract purchasing and customer specific discounts are difficult to impossible without the right software in place. Turning an RFQ from quote to order is not a simple or easy process, nor is managing the lifecycle from quote to final fulfillment.
The modern B2B enterprise has multiple, brands, multiple product lines and sub-enterprises to account for all on one platform. The digital journey for your buyers will require a robust system that can count for the innate complexities that come with a larger network of business.
We want to hear about your challenges around B2B eCommerce. Want to chat? Drop us a line.