In contrast with Business-to-Consumer (B2C) commerce, the evolution of Business-to-Business (B2B) was slower in the past. The B2C could gain credence due to mass appeal triggered by heavy spending on advertisements. As the relationship between B2B is based on trust factor and longevity, there is a perceptible shift happening in both the business models.There is an evolution taking place in both B2B and B2C segments. If earlier, business people used to contact their counterparts and pace the order, now things are changing in the B2B segment, especially the B2B e-commerce, whereas B2C customers have moved away from placing an order and instead started buying products they want, says a white paper published by pfsweb.com.
B2B CommerceThat said, the B2B e-commerce is picking up like never before and with the pace of which it is growing, there are an increased spending and order volumes that are transforming a change in the online retail business. This necessitates a logical question as to why do retailers need to understand B2B e-commerce in the first place, more so if it is not a concern of any consequence.B2B e-commerce salesIt is a known fact that there is a lot of money in B2B e-commerce and the online retailers should be realizing the fact. For instance, in the US, B2B e-commerce sales clocked $780 billion in 2015, representing 9.3% of all B2B sales. Already with the sales of B2C e-commerce registering $305 billion in 2015, the growth potential in this segment is humongous.When you take the year on year, the B2B e-commerce with 19% growth is likely to witness rapid growth in contrast with the B2C e-commerce growth of 17%, with the B2B e-commerce in the US is expected to scale $1.3 trillion by 2020.Even though various research reports indicate that the growth rates for both B2B and B2C e-commerce are likely to decline in the next few years, however, the annual projected growth rate for B2B e-commerce is expected to remain higher with 7.7% growth, thanks to the foray of more B2B entities into e-commerce segment.Global B2B e-commerce sales projectionGlobally, the B2B e-commerce sales are projected to cross $6.7 trillion by 2020, which will be double the total B2C e-commerce sales projection of $3.2 trillion. As the e-commerce growth is projected to 27% of all B2B global sales, which are estimated to have an online component in the next few years. China will lead this growth as this Asian Dragon is forecasted to be the largest global online B2B market by 2020, with the projected sales of $2.1 trillion. It is the unique process of placing B2B product orders that make its sales burgeoning currently and likely to be growing higher than B2C e-commerce sales.The white paper says that the B2C order, which generally will have an only small basket of varied items, in contrast with B2B orders that are likely to be in large quantities and often times even entire pallets of the same items, all ordered at once by a single business. If within the same firm that has both B2B as well as B2C e-commerce orders, few B2C operations might have more total orders in a fiscal year, nevertheless, the B2B revenue might as well be higher.Roadblocks Identified as one of the main roadblocks, understanding channel conflict is a common and critical step retailers must take as they look to expand their B2B e-commerce operation, says the white paper. Studies have proved that channel shift is still taking place and the knowledge of sales force is still a crucial asset for customer relations. Research has shown there is a so-called “channel shift” still happening, and the knowledge of sales staff members is still a crucial asset for customer relations, especially in industries where products and orders are complex, according to the white paper.