Percentage Of B2B Commerce Happening Online On The Rise

Chris CrumeCommerce & Retail

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B2B e-commerce in the United States is projected to reach $1.13 trillion by 2020, according to Forrester, which just released its new report US B2B eCommerce Forecast: 2015 to 2020. That's up from $780 billion this year, according to the firm.

In 2020 B2B e-commerce will constitute 12.1% of the total $9.39 trillion US B2B commerce market, it says. Forrester analyst Andy Hoar sums up some of the report's key points in a blog post.

Changes to B2B buyer preferences. Today, 74% of B2B buyers research at least one-half of their work purchases online. In addition, 30% of today's B2B buyers complete at least half of their work purchases online. With that percentage nearly doubling to 56% by 2017, B2B sellers will see a significant volume of offline business move online in the next few years.

The opportunity for B2B firms to reduce the cost to serve customers. B2B companies report cutting their cost to serve dramatically by migrating customers online. In addition, in a 2013 Forrester survey, 56% of B2B eCommerce executives said that they have certain customers that they can only profitably support online.

The value of building loyal multichannel B2B customers. Omnichannel customers spend more than single-channel, offline-only customers. For example, 60% of B2B companies report that their B2B buyers spend more overall when those customers interact with multiple channels. Omnichannel B2B customers are also more likely to become repeat and long-term customers.

B2B e-commerce is growing rapidly in other parts of the world as well.

B2B e-commerce from Chinese SMEs jumped by 30% in 2014, according to recent data from iResearch data.

Citing data from B2B-Center, reports that online corporate and government purchases "ballooned by 40 percent" in the first nine months of last year compared with the same period of the prior year. recently looked at a Walmart report projecting that India's B2B e-commerce industry will grow to $700 billion by 2020 from $300 billion.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.