Statista’s B2B Ecommerce Report summarizes the situation with a punch: “Even though B2C eCommerce has witnessed widespread adoption, it is the recent evolution and growth of B2B eCommerce that is attracting the attention of buyers, sellers and investors all over the world.” Comparing each market’s total annual value represents a nearly fourfold difference (278.6%).
Why is B2B ecommerce such a ripe global opportunity?
First, B2B marketplaces operate much like their B2C counterparts. They provide ready-made connections between buyers and sellers.
Second, the B2C preference for self-service has infiltrated B2B and alleviated the offline barrier of hiring a large sales force. Gartner found that B2B “customers now wait until they are 57% through the purchase process before contacting a rep.” This gives ecommerce a distinct advantage as self-guided online sales are already the norm.
Lastly, many wholesale customers prefer simple ordering experiences. This is particularly true for independent retailers, small-to-medium franchises, and B2C outlets. Such buyers still often rely on paper orders and invoices. Recreating line sheets in digital form and onboarding new wholesale customers with easy-to-follow reordering processes eliminates the need to create a wholesale channel with all the bells and whistles of B2C ecommerce.