Intershop Insights

The key takeaways for the B2B eCommerce landscape in 2016.

The B2B e-commerce landscape is evolving – fast.

An independent research consultancy Vanson Bourne surveyed over 400 B2B decision makers and compiled a series of insights and findings that have been summarised below.

There was a theme coming through the survey findings that the rules of competition are changing and success in the B2B marketplace today depends on more than just innovative products and a strong brand identity. The focus on the customer continues to be a central thread of investment.

The survey respondents overwhelmingly reported a continuing shift in power to the customer meaning there is growing recognition that in order to remain competitive companies have to adapt a much more customer-centric approach. Enhancing customer value through collaborative working across the supply chain will matter too.

The message is clear there is a pressing need for better and more integration because more collaboration means seamless fluid communications and faster response to changing customer demands – which in turn means organisation should navigate towards:

  • Transforming the business to deliver more customised information
  • Enabling the rapid introduction of new products
  • A greater focus on the customer end to end journey.
  • Supporting multiple processes and technologies in order to service the preferences and policies of different customers

What is also clear from the C-Level feedback is that the time to move is now. The digital B2B e-commerce growth curve is rapid and organisations which fail to evolve risk losing market traction to the new players on the block – traditional B2C websites like Amazon, for example are entering the market with an eye to winning over the $7.2 trillion B2B sector.

While the challenges can be significant perseverance wins the day – and as many leaders across the survey reported – the “conquered shores” rewards are many and significant. When it comes to countering complexity and customisation the recurring thoughts were:

  1. Evaluate the flexibility of your e-commerce platform it can help overcome the cost and complexity barriers that many B2B organisations encounter.
  2. Successful B2B commerce ecosystems are built on a strong e-commerce platform that delivers real-time information flows to transactional systems and the wider supply and demand chain – professional advice and support from potential vendor partners can support decision makers in developing return on investment (ROI) business cases that can help win over executive leaders.
  3. Measure and evaluate success – keeping your e-commerce offering adaptable depends on putting in place the right platform that can change with market dynamics. This means working with a platform that offers extensive e-commerce integration capabilities

Digitalization in B2B is a continuing response to buyers increasingly preferring digital channels as the preferred means of transacting between key stakeholders. It is accepted as the future enabler for new business and operating models and becoming the cornerstone to delivering more clarity and consistency to pricing and availability of parts and components across the globe. As the opportunities and challenges grow organisations will feel ever increasing pressure to find the means to manage this fast changing world efficiently and effectively.

You can download the latest Intershop B2B eCommerce Report here: