Manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors are preparing for expected growth in B2B ecommerce by exploring new technology — even though many say they are satisfied with the ecommerce platform that underpins their transactional website, according to data analysis from the 2023 B2B Ecommerce Growth Strategies Report from Adobe based on a survey from Digital Commerce 360.
Experts project business buyers will increase their online purchasing. Research and advisory firm Astute Analytica forecast a 14.1% compound annual growth rate in global B2B ecommerce from 2022 to 2027, reaching $18.8 billion. In the U.S., B2B ecommerce will grow by 10.7% annually during that period and will account for 24% of all B2B sales by 2027, up from 16% in 2021, Forrester Research says.
Given that projected growth, it’s no surprise that B2B companies would put ecommerce platform and applications at the top of their tech shopping list for 2023. That’s closely followed by digital marketing applications and customer and site analytics solutions.
Larger firms are more focused than smaller ones on payment and security investments (28.9% to 15.8%). That may reflect the greater likelihood that larger firms are launching ecommerce sites in new countries where they may need to offer popular local payment options and address new security issues. Smaller companies are prioritizing order management (32.9% to 18.1%) and technology for building their own marketplaces (18.4% to 3.6%.)
It’s a sign of the growing appeal of B2B marketplaces that several vendors have emerged offering software that enables even midsized and smaller companies to invite outside firms to sell on their ecommerce sites. It’s noteworthy that only 13% of respondents are investing in what’s known as “headless commerce,” which separates what website visitors see on a website from the back-end ecommerce systems.
That’s touted to provide additional flexibility in website design. But it adds complexity to site design and management as it requires continual data exchanges between the front-end presentation layer and back-end systems.
The headless approach may be best suited for organizations with the IT resources to ensure the smooth flow of data between systems. In our survey, 14.8% of larger companies cited headless as a priority. versus 11.8% of smaller ones.
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