We are excited to bring to you an interesting conversation we had with Brian Beck, one of the most trusted eCommerce advisors and B2B influencers in the US and European markets. Brian Beck is a leading B2B eCommerce expert helping leading businesses make the right decisions and achieve exponential growth in their niche markets.

Brian is the Co-Founder of ‘Master B2B’, a thought leadership series that helps B2B companies ask the right questions to the agencies to ensure successful digital transformation. He also serves as a Managing Partner of Enceiba, a leading consulting agency focused on creating and managing Amazon programs for B2B manufacturers and brands.

In this article, we have handpicked some of the highlights of the chat we had with Brian Beck, which include:

  • Why should B2B companies invest in eCommerce?
  • Why do B2B brands mostly rely on traditional selling?
  • How can B2B companies prepare for eCommerce?
  • How will B2B evolve on its own?

eCommerce is at the heart of a business’ digital transformation. While eCommerce is considered a necessity for B2C, it is still perceived as optional by many industry players in B2B. This thinking around B2B eCommerce must change, and Brian shared many reasons why this is the case. Read on…

Why should B2B companies invest in eCommerce?

Many factors are pointing to the critical nature of eCommerce for B2B companies, particularly in the wake of the Covid pandemic. Here are some of the major factors Brian shared with us during our recent discussion with him:

The B2B Opportunity:

The current B2B eCommerce market is valued at USD 7907.04 billion. This figure is set to hit a staggering USD 33,317.37 billion in 2030. In terms of regions, North America and Europe will spearhead the B2B eCommerce market growth. In terms of countries, the U.S., Canada, and the U.K will be the top drivers of B2B eCommerce.

B2B Growth Rate:

The overall B2B market is already enormous and is poised to get even more significant in the coming years. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 19.7% from 2022 to 2030.

B2B vs B2C – eCommerce-led revenue growth:

B2 B’s high transaction values typically dwarf B2C eCommerce order values. Brian cited examples of a number of B2B companies that have invested in eCommerce that have seen two-fold growth in incremental revenue.

Millennials’ effect and changing consumer expectations:

By 2025, 75% of B2B buyers and decision-makers will be millennials, or those born roughly between 1980 and 2000. These purchasers are digital natives, tech-savvy, and expect 24/7 online availability. They want a large part of their transactions to be online with minimal offline efforts. 95% of Millennials use Amazon in their online shopping. As more of these buyers move into procurement roles in B2B companies, they expect a similar experience in B2B eCommerce. They demand more “DIY” customer experiences from suppliers and are demanding that friction be removed from the buying cycle, or they will move their purchases to alternative suppliers.

Covid effect:

According to McKinsey, B2B eCommerce has grown 20% more since the onset of Covid. Digital interactions are twice as important to B2B customers now than they were before the pandemic.

Covid has accelerated B2B eCommerce growth. B2B companies that have reacted to the change are now reaping the benefits, and more companies are preparing to deliver digital experiences. More buyers have become accustomed to digital buying and they aren’t turning back – digital channels are expected to continue to grow in the coming years. The growth trajectory of B2B eCommerce and evolving consumer expectations ensure that this realignment will last for many years.

Success story of MSC Industrial Supply Co:

MSC Industrial Supply Co, one of the largest industrial equipment distributors in the U.S, transitioned its branch office network into virtual customer care centers. MSC Industrial Supply Co, one of the largest industrial equipment distributors in the U.S, transitioned its branch office network into virtual customer care centers.

The brand had its 73 branch offices closed due to Covid. However, it responded well by providing its services digitally. Now the brand can keep its customer relationships intact and continue providing personalized services in local markets, boosting brand value, customer experience, and customer loyalty. MSC expects the change to drive an annual cost savings of $15 to $18 million from fiscal 2022.

Takeaway– eCommerce for B2B companies is not an option anymore. It’s a mandate.