July 1, 2015
Magento recently sponsored the “Driving B2B Growth With Consumer-like Experiences” webinar that focused on the evolving world of B2B eCommerce and how businesses use B2C best practices to fuel their growth. The conversation included:
Don Davis, Editor-in-Chief, Internet Retailer
Andy Hoar, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
Brad Kuhns, Senior Manager of eCommerce, Zoetis
Pedram Yasharel, Product Marketing Manager, Magento / eBay Enterprise
The Growth of B2B eCommerce
Moderated by Don Davis, Internet Retailer’s editor-in-chief, the webinar explored everything from the current state of eCommerce to the ways in which businesses can get ahead of their competitors in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
Guest speaker Andy Hoar, principal analyst at Forrester Research, shared that B2B eCommerce is more than twice the size of B2C in the United States ($780 billion vs. $325 billion). Forrester also reports that B2B eCommerce will top $1.1 trillion in the US by 2020¹, and that mobile will represent 26 percent of B2B traffic by 2016. When you compare that growth to just 4 percent in 2011, it’s no wonder that B2B businesses are investing more in their mobile strategy.
B2B eCommerce Accelerators and Decelerators
Hoar discussed the factors that are driving growth in the industry:
Competition (direct selling and online)
The need to show ROI (justification leads to funding)
Compelling new use cases (mobile examples make funding a no-brainer)
Cost savings (easy arguments to make to C-level executives)
Globalization (now we can all compete worldwide)
Challenges that are slowing down B2B eCommerce:
No explicit leadership (not having an “owner” of the digital strategy)
No C-level support (not being empowered by company leaders)
Overemphasis on technology at the expense of strategy (a shortsighted view of the solution in spite of customer demand)
Focus on heavy back-end integration (not seeing the whole technology picture)
Channel conflict (both internal and external)
Hoar also noted that becoming a world-class B2B eCommerce company requires focusing on culture, organization, technology, and metrics, and mentioned some surprising statistics:
74 percent of B2B buyers say buying from a website is more convenient than buying from a sales representative
93 percent of B2B buyers prefer to buy online when they’ve already decided what to buy
Self-serve B2B buying experiences are only going to increase, so businesses had better get onboard sooner rather than later.
Winning In the Field
Brad Kuhns, senior manager of eCommerce at Zoetis discussed how the leading animal health company has been able to achieve success, including using Magento Enterprise Edition and an app for the sales force to power its eCommerce initiatives. From custom promotions to pricing, Zoetis relies on Magento for demand generation and sales operations to help grow its business.
¹”US B2B eCommerce Forecast: 2015 To 2020”, Forrester Research, Inc., April 2, 2015