We absolutely must stop measuring B2B marketing success in terms of campaign clicks, quarterly reports, and lead volumes alone. The B2B brands who will win are the ones we’ll remember.
B2B sellers are adjusting – albeit sometimes reluctantly – to a vastly different world. The reality is buyers are increasingly turning to digital channels, which B2B e-commerce statistics show.
Today’s B2B buyer prize speed and convenience above all. They want the same kind of experience they have shopping as a consumer on sites like Amazon. Instead of relying on in-person meetings with a sales rep, they research products online and want the option of completing their purchase online.“Success in B2B today is now wholly dependent on artfully balancing self-service online touchpoints with sales-assisted customer-interaction scenarios. Key to both is digital…digital commerce sites and apps along with digital sales enablement,” Andy Hoar and Brian Beck of Master B2B wrote in their 2023 State of B2B E-Commerce Report.
In this environment, savvy sellers serve as trusted advisors, leveraging digital marketplaces and tools to provide personalized customer experiences. Sales teams lean on guided selling tools to adopt an omnichannel sales model that helps sellers engage buyers on the channel of their choice.
B2B e-commerce will soar; offline B2B sales will remain flat: Top B2B stats
The fast growth of B2B e-commerce is astounding, and organizations are well aware of the trend. They’re working to transform their sales teams and experiences to meet customers’ growing digital preferences.
B2B e-commerce statistics in 2023 illustrate these trends, and can help guide business leaders.
- According to Forrester, B2B e-commerce will reach $3 trillion dollars in the US by 2027, up from $1.7 trillion in 2021. Offline B2B sales will essentially remain flat.
- 17% of B2B sales will be generated digitally in 2023, up from 13% in 2019, Statista estimates.
- A Gartner survey in late 2021 showed that 83% of B2B buyers prefer placing orders or paying for goods through digital channels.
Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels.
- B2B customers now regularly use 10 or more channels to engage with suppliers, up from five in 2016, according to a McKinsey & Company B2B sales study.
- Big opportunities for remote or online sales channels: 35% of B2B buyers said they’d spend half a million or more in a single transaction, according to the McKinsey study.
- Nearly two-thirds of B2B companies across industries offer e-commerce capabilities, up from 53% in early 2021, a McKinsey & Company B2B Pulse 2022 report showed.
- One third of 200 B2B buyers and sellers surveyed said they start their product search on Amazon, according to Master B2B’s 2023 State of B2B E-Commerce Report.
- Nearly half of sellers in the same study said they’ve lost sales because they couldn’t compete with Amazon on price.
The Master B2B survey also found that 61% of sellers said they lost sales because their site search wasn’t good enough.
B2B e-commerce in 2023 and beyond
As the statistics indicate, B2B e-commerce is here to stay. Organizations across industries will need to continue developing and honing their digital commerce capabilities to remain competitive as third-party marketplaces gain traction.
While most B2B companies are focused on ramping up e-commerce, many are facing the same problem: Lack of funding. The Master B2B survey notes 68% of sellers said budget constraints are holding back their e-commerce growth.
The study also revealed a lack of alignment between sales, e-commerce, and IT teams, which hinders growth.
“CEOs must demonstrate leadership here and ensure that e-commerce and IT departments are fully aligned – both strategically and financially – to ensure digital goals are achieved,” according to the report.