Business to business or B2B eCommerce industry is growing rapidly in terms of market size, sales, and influence. Experts predict that B2B, which is already much larger than business to commerce (B2C), will dominate the entire eCommerce industry in the near future.
The B2B marketplace size reached $7.72 trillion in 2021, almost double that of B2C, which is expected to hit $25.65 trillion by 2028Grand View Research, Inc
If you want to take benefit of the rapid growth and get your share of the huge market, you will have to be aware of the current B2B eCommerce trends and apply them to your business.
In this article, we will discuss 9 top B2B eCommerce trends that you should know in 2022, along with the eCommerce evolution, the current status of B2B eCommerce, and its future.
Table of Contents
- eCommerce Evolution
- Current Status of B2B eCommerce
- Top B2B eCommerce Trends
- The Future of B2B eCommerce
- FAQ on B2B eCommerce
Did you know the concept of eCommerce was born in 1979, much before the invention of the world wide web in 1989?
But the first true implication of eCommerce took place several years later in 1994, thanks to Pizza Hut for introducing online ordering in the same year.
eCommerce started to evolve afterward and an industry was built upon it in the following years. The eCommerce industry experienced a significant evolution in the 2000s.
Timeline of eCommerce Evolution: 1991 to 2021
Now, we are going to let you know some striking events that defined the eCommerce evolution briefly in the following timeline – from Michael Aldrich’s invention of electronic shopping to the current growth:
1979: British entrepreneur Michael Aldrich invented online shopping
1992: Book Stacks Unlimited launched as the first online marketplace
1994: Marketplace leader Amazon was founded, and Pizza Hut introduces online ordering
1995: Another online marketplace giant eBay launched
1996: Global online sales surpass $1 billion/year
1998: PayPal launched as the first eCommerce payment system
1999: Another marketplace leader Alibaba founded
2000: Google introduced AdWords as an online advertising tool
2003: Apple launches iTunes, the first major eCommerce for digital products
2004: Shopify launched, one of the top marketplace builders at present
2005: Etsy was founded, and the first Cyber Monday sales campaign introduced
2008: The era of mobile eCommerce has begun with the first mobile purchase
2011: Stripe and Google Wallet introduced as new e-payment methods
2016: Facebook launched Marketplace, revolutionizing social eCommerce
2017: Cyber Monday sales exceeded $6.5 billion, setting a new landmark
2020: Covid-19 dominated eCommerce growth (positively and negatively)2021: Global eCommerce market reached a value of $13 Trillion – IMARC
Currently, online marketplace leaders are giving emphasis on enhancing the user experience through introducing various modern technology, like AI, AR, omnichannel, and video shopping.
Current Status of B2B eCommerce
B2B shares the largest segment of the eCommerce industry and its size is almost double that of B2C. But it is not as popular and wildly available as B2C eCommerce.
The B2B marketplace leaders are developing new business strategies and integrating modern technologies to popularize their marketplace model. And most of their approaches are becoming successful.
Let’s check out the points below to have an idea of the current status of B2B eCommerce:
- B2B marketplace size reached $7.72 trillion in 2021
- The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of B2B is 18.7%
- 73% of millennials are involved in the B2B buying process
- 70% of B2B queries are made on smartphones nowadays
Sources: Grand View Research, Forrester Research, Boston Consulting Group
Despite a slow adaptation, B2B is thriving much faster than other eCommerce models. The leaders of the eCommerce industry – like Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay – are working as the driving force of the advancement.
Top B2B eCommerce Trends
At the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses, including the B2B industry, are still struggling to survive. Knowing the top trends will not only help you overcome such situations but also keep pace with the ongoing growth.
The top B2B eCommerce trends you should follow right now are:
- Self-Service Portals
- Mobile-First Websites
- AI-Driven Personalization
- Social Commerce
- Omnichannel Selling
- Sustainability Integration
- Increase of DTC Selling Model
- Revenue Optimization
- Rise of New Payment Methods
Now, we will talk about each of the trends in detail with the necessary data and evidence. So, stay with us till the end.
1. Self-Service Portals
B2B customers usually need to contact the vendors for negotiation or bargaining before making the final purchase, which is one of the biggest challenges in this industry.
About 39% of B2B customers like self-serve (without speaking with someone) when making any purchase.Statista
However, the trend is changing gradually flowing the buyers’ demand. Most of the top B2B eCommerce portals, including Alibaba and Global Sources, offer self-service nowadays.
So, you should ensure self-service options in your portal if you want to stay ahead of the game.
2. Mobile-First Websites
Mobile devices are currently dominating the entire eCommerce industry, including B2B. The reason is simple – more than 92% of internet users access the internet via mobile devices.
As we mentioned earlier that approximately 70% of B2B queries are made on smartphones nowadays. So, you should give priority to mobile phones first while making an eCommerce website in 2022.
You will also have to make the mobile customer experience top-notch and build an attractive and responsive mobile site and downloadable app.
3. AI-Driven Personalization
There is a high chance that your customers will spend more if you can provide them a personalized experience, showing the products they need based on their business and location.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes into play in terms of personalization. Many B2B businesses have already been integrating AI into their eCommerce platforms to gather user data and behavior in order to provide them with a personalized experience.
AI is the next-generation technology that, according to some experts, would lead the tech industry. Whether your B2B eCommerce initiative is large or small, you should start adopting AI technology from now on.
4. Social Commerce
Social media is everywhere. It has a significant influence over the eCommerce industry. If you are in doubt about its impact on the B2B industry, you shall check the statistics below –
The global social commerce market size will grow two-and-a-half times from $492 billion in 2021 to $1.2 trillion by 2025Accenture
Social platforms help companies promote and sell their products to customers who can make a purchase without even leaving the platform. And it is a growing trend at present.
As a result, B2B companies nowadays can set up an eCommerce store directly on social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, and promote their business.
5. Omnichannel Selling
Omnichannel commerce is a multichannel approach that focuses on seamless customer experience and allows customers to buy products and services whether they are shopping online from a mobile device, on a social channel, or in a brick-and-mortar store.
The adaptation of omnichannel selling is rising across the eCommerce industry because of its excellent outcomes. B2B marketplaces are no different.
More than 82% of B2B companies are currently planning to integrate omnichannel strategies into their business modelsNet Solutions
We are now living in the era of the digital revolution when you can get almost anything you need within just a few fingertips. You should be versatile to sustain your business in this era, and the adaptation of omnichannel commerce is the way to do so.
6. Sustainability Integration
The planet earth has been going through a crisis situation for the last few decades due to climate change. As a result, consumers and businesses alike are now more aware of the environment and sustainability – also in terms of shopping.
One recent survey found that 50% of respondents wanted more sustainability in the fashion industry, and 75% wanted to see less packaging.
That’s why, many businesses (including B2B) are now finding ways to be more eco-friendly by going paperless when possible, using biodegradable packaging, and using recyclable supplies. This is one of the B2B eCommerce trends that you should follow from moral responsibility.
7. Increase of DTC Selling Model
Because of the pandemic, in-person B2B sales dropped abruptly in the last few years (till 2022). Following such a situation, B2B eCommerce operators became desperate for an alternative to increasing sales.
Many thought that an online sales channel could be a lucrative avenue and embraced it by adopting a direct-to-consumer (DTC), also known as business to consumer (B2C), model.
DTC eCommerce sales in the United States grew by 45.5% in 2021 generating $111.54 billion and making up 14.0% of total retail eCommerce sales.eMarketer
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) or business-to-consumer (B2C) refers to selling products directly to customers, bypassing any third-party retailers, wholesalers, or any other middlemen.
8. Revenue Optimization
Revenue optimization is a tactic that focuses on acquiring, retaining, and upselling customers. It’s like customer retention on steroids – you want to put strategies in place that help increase customer longevity and increase revenue from existing customers.
Typical B2B customer retention rates stand between 76% and 81%Forrester Research
“With the widespread adoption of recurring revenue models, marketing must maintain a focus on existing customers. Leaders should optimize the B2B revenue and work together with sales operations and customer success operations to maximize customer lifetime value,” says Forrester.
9. Rise of New Payment Methods
Customers want freedom, especially in terms of payment, whether it is a B2B or B2C eCommerce. Very few people nowadays make eCommerce payments with cash. Most of them use cards or electronic payment systems.
Therefore, you will have to incorporate new and modern payment methods with your eCommerce if you want your initiative to thrive. And, always make sure that you have multiple payment options.
Even, some popular eCommerce sites, including eBay and Expedia, are now accepting cryptocurrency payments. So, you will have to be prepared for this trend in the B2B eCommerce industry as well.
Relevant Article: Future E-commerce Trends: 10 Possible Forecasts for 2022
The Future of B2B eCommerce
The B2B industry is growing rapidly and it will dominate the entire eCommerce sphere very soon. Several hi-tech have already been integrated here and many others are in the pipeline.
B2B marketplace size set to reach $25.65 trillion by 2028, with an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.7%Grand View Research, Inc
Many top companies – like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba – are already contributing to the B2B eCommerce industry. Some new initiatives like ABB and Conrad have joined the revolution lately.
Even, different local companies like IndiaMart and Made-in-China are starting to dominate the global B2B sphere. So, you should feel lucky if you are with a B2B eCommerce.
FAQ on B2B eCommerce
What is B2B Ecommerce?
Business-to-Business (B2B) is the type of eCommerce, where companies/businesses trade their goods or services with other companies/businesses.
When did eCommerce invent?
British entrepreneur Michael Aldrich invented online shopping in 1979.
What is the current size of B2B eCommerce?
The B2B marketplace size reached $7.72 trillion in 2021, which is expected to hit $25.65 trillion by 2028.
Which are the top B2B eCommerce websites now?
The top 5 B2B eCommerce websites at present are: 1) Alibaba; 2) Amazon; 3) Global Sources; 4) eBay; and 5) eWorldTrade.
Is B2B eCommerce larger than B2C?
Yes, B2B eCommerce size is almost double that of B2C.
We hope our article helped you to learn all the current B2B eCommerce trends. Now, it is time you apply them to your business.
Please feel free to let us know in the comment section if have any queries or face any problems while implementing them.
If you are an entrepreneur and want to launch a B2B marketplace, or want to switch your marketplace platform, you may try our solution…
Nayeem is a Content Writer at weDevs. He has 4+ years of experience in the internet and media industry, specializes in writing, editing, communications, WordPress, SEO, eCommerce, digital marketing, and graphic design.