5 Reasons why you need to go digital right now

The future of B2B is eCommerce, and it’s growing fast. A 10-country survey revealed that 61% of all B2B transactions start online.[i] If you’re relying only on word of mouth for new customers or assuming that your customers don’t want to buy online, you’re missing out.

The following covers 5 reasons why your B2B business should start selling online right now:

1 The B2B market is getting bigger.

The Global B2B eCommerce market is on track to reach $6.6 trillion and surpass B2C sales.[ii] Meanwhile, 64 percent of buyers research half or more of their work purchases online.[iii] And millions of businesses are buying through Amazon Business with more than $10 billion in annualized sales, including buyers and sellers across Europe.[iv] All of this suggests B2B buyers want to purchase online.

2 B2B buyers are getting younger.

“Digital natives” who grew up with the internet will soon be responsible for most B2B purchases. According to a study by Merit, 73 percent of 20- to 35-year-olds help decide which products and services to buy at their companies.[v] One-third of respondents report they are the sole decision-maker for their department. This demographic prefers to research and buy online. You’ll need an eCommerce solution to reach them.

3 B2B buyers who shop online buy more.

B2B buyers who shop online are likely to buy more, especially if you make it easy. By suggesting related products and offering easy reordering based on past orders, B2B companies are increasing sales. In a Forrester survey of B2B companies, 42 percent of respondents said the average order value of digital purchases was increasing.[vi] And that’s not all. According to a McKinsey study, B2B digital leaders generate five times more revenue than the average company.[vii] And industrial manufacturing customers who engaged digitally post-purchase were two times more likely to buy supplementary products.[viii] Finally, B2B shoppers who research online are more likely to buy on their first visit to your physical branch or store.

The bottom line? If you don’t have eCommerce, you’ll miss out on sales.

4 B2B buyers love their mobile phones.

We all love our mobile phones, and B2B buyers are no different. Mobile drives or influences an average of over 40 percent of revenue in leading B2B organizations. Buyers may research on their smartphones during meetings or at home. They may look up part numbers or order materials from an outdoor worksite. Or they may approve purchase requests from the road—or on a plane. Of course, your mobile experience must be good to be effective. 90 percent of B2B buyers who report a superior mobile experience are likely to buy again from the same vendor compared with about 50 percent of those reporting a poor mobile experience.[ix] If you don’t have mobile-friendly eCommerce, you will miss out on the opportunity to influence offline sales and close more online sales.

5 Online content has a huge influence on sales.

B2B buyers of all ages are shying away from the traditional sales process. 68 percent of B2B customers prefer to research independently online and 60 percent would rather not talk with a salesperson.[x] This means your online content (including search engine results) and experience will make or break your sales.

And most B2B companies are planning accordingly. 58 percent of manufacturing marketers named changes to SEO algorithms as their top marketing issue.[xi] And 89 percent of B2B companies surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute say they have a content marketing strategy in place.[xii] However, nearly one-third of B2B buyers still say they can’t find the product information they need online.[xiii]

What does this mean for you? If you don’t have eCommerce and rich online product content, you won’t be on the shortlist—or the long list.




[i] “Global B2B E-Commerce Market 2018,” yStats, September 2018.

[ii] “U.S. B2B eCommerce Platform Market, Forecast to 2023” Frost & Sullivan, September, 26 2018.

[iii] Forrester/B2BecNews Q1 2017 B2B Buy-Side Online Survey. Based on 190 responses and multiple responses permitted.

[iv] Amazon Business connects millions of business customers and sellers worldwide,” Amazon Business blog, September 11, 2018.

[v] “B2B report: Millennials,“ Merit, 2017.

[vi] John Bruno, “Measuring Up: Benchmarking Your B2Bmerce Performance,” Forrester research, December 7, 2018.

[vii] “How B2B digital leaders drive five times more revenue growth than their peers,” McKinsey, October 2016.

[viii] Sarah Travis, “3 insights that will help you serve today’s B2B buyer,” Think with Google, May 2018.

[ix] “Mobile Marketing and the New B2B Buyer,” Google & BCG, 2017.

[x] Lori Wizdo, The Ways And Means Of B2B Buyer Journey Maps, Forrester research, August 2017.

[xi] Content Marketing Institute survey of 1,947 manufacturers, July 2018.

[xii] Content Marketing Institute, “2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America,” 2017.

[xiii] Showpad survey of 656 B2B buyers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, June 2018.

Mariam Lipartia
Mariam Lipartia
Senior Digital Marketing Manager