The 1980s might have spun us into a new digital revolution, but for the B2B industry the uprising is only just beginning. Through persistent technological innovation and digital transformation across activities, B2B stands at the forefront of the lucrative e-commerce industry. B2B is on track to be the fastest growing marketplace, with worldwide sales estimated to reach $3.6 trillion in the next four years, a significant increase from 2018’s $680 billion. Expanding at 17.5% CAGR, by 2027 we should expect the market size to hit $20.9 trillion. It’s evident that an online B2B marketplace should be your trade channel of choice today—and this is your chance to get in on the action early! Let’s unpack that.
B2B customers are no different from B2C customers, they just have different demands, so you still need to indulge your clientele in the same way you would any other patron with buying power—by giving them exactly what they want. The global B2B market is projected to grow to twice the size of the B2C industry, and at lightning speed. So make sure you get ahead while you can, and stay ahead.
What led to the boom?
Over 70 per cent of buyers prefer shopping digitally and on marketplaces due to superior sales processes and fewer negotiations. Hundreds of thousands of traditional brick-and-mortar businesses across the world closed down due to this year’s unforeseen circumstances, forcing customers and businesses alike towards online shopping and selling. A B2B marketplace brings multiple sellers and buyers together on a single platform, and that’s what today’s buyers are looking for. A one-stop shop for all their needs, without wasting time and energy on multiple sources.
The pandemic has changed the way we live, work and shop. This means you’ve got to change the way you sell. Whoever you’re targeting, they’re going to be online. When lockdowns first got announced across the Middle East, the businesses that were able to sell online and deliver on time are the ones who are now still going strong. Plenty of physical stores across the globe who were retail giants last year are no longer in operation as they were unable to scale up and digitise in time. Make sure you’re not going to be one of the forgotten ones.
Get a piece of that pie
The B2B marketplace is an industry that is changing and growing rapidly, and you need to keep up and maintain your place. Bonus points if you are able to stay ahead of the game by keeping up-to-date with industry trends, following local leaders and continuously looking for gaps in the market to fill. More than two out of three B2B buyers choose to shop digitally, but they have higher expectations from e-commerce platforms. Customers today expect information at the tip of their fingers. More verticals have been added to the B2B digital sphere this year. With even healthcare and education moving online, you get more marketplaces to tap into.
The world is busy, you need to cater to a time-pressed user before someone else does. Buyers are demanding more options, transparency in price and greater flexibility. 2020 has accelerated our digital buying power even more than previously predicted, and it is only set to grow over the next few years. Most B2B brands today expect more than half their revenue to come from e-commerce by 2025. Why is this important? According to consulting firm McKinsey, there is no point in optimising your growth engine unless you are armed with a realistic picture of your industry’s growth.
Grow with the times
According to a Kearney Middle East report, due to COVID-19, the e-commerce market in the GCC is expected to grow by a staggering 20 per cent over the next two years, and is increasing at a much faster rate than the previously predicted 14 per cent. It also anticipates the region’s e-commerce market to reach a value of $50 billion within the next five years, so this is definitely something you do not want to miss out on.
With B2B e-commerce valued in the trillions and growing it is important for buyers and sellers to tap into the multi-trillion-dollar sector sooner than later. Things have propelled much further than expected due to this year’s COVID-19 situation, which has resulted in a significant positive boost for the industry. Consumer behaviour is likely to shift further and further towards online shopping so sellers who are not on a e-commerce platform yet should consider the benefits and grasp the opportunities to test new products, tap into fresh verticals and secure their business for the future. It’s an exciting time to be in the B2B marketplace arena. Don’t miss out!