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B2B E-commerce is changing B2B Sales Worldwide

The business world is witnessing a monumental shift. B2B e-commerce is transforming B2B sales for manufacturers and producers. According to Digital Commerce 360, B2B e-comerce websites and apps grew to $1.95 trillion in 2022. This is a 19% increase from $1.64 trillion in 2021. It now represents 13.1% of the $14.86 trillion B2B sales market.

With its growing relevance, manufacturers across industries are prioritizing digital B2B sales. This blog post explores the landscape of B2B e-commerce. It highlights its evolution and role in global business. We will look into trends, challenges, and opportunities. The focus is on its impact on B2B sales in the food industry.

The Critical Role of Digital Strategy in B2B Sales

The business environment is rapidly changing. A well-crafted digital strategy is essential for B2B sales success. Before the pandemic, a McKinsey survey showed about 60% of US B2B manufacturers had limited e-commerce. By 2021, 53% of these firms had launched a B2B e-commerce portal. This percentage is estimated to have grown to 65% in 2022.

Adding a new channel proved challenging. Many B2B e-commerce portals were rushed and underwhelmed customers. Companies realized their technology couldn’t handle the change pace or order volume. This hindered their growth. Wunderman Thompson found that 90% of B2B buyers would switch if a digital channel lagged.

Unveiling the Trends: The Change in Buyers’ Preference 

This groundbreaking change impacted manufacturers and food producers. It explained B2B e-commerce’s transformative effect on businesses. It’s now essential, not just nice-to-have. It’s key for retaining or gaining market share in a competitive market.

Evolution of B2B Customer Expectations

B2B customer expectations have evolved. Digital commerce is now a top priority. McKinsey found 86% of decision-makers prefer self-service for reordering. Also, 35% of buyers spend $500,000 or more online per transaction. A Gartner study supports this, showing 83% prefer digital buying. The arrival of Generation Z and millennials in key roles boosts B2B digitalization.

Discrepancy Between Expectations and Reality

However, buyers’ intentions for digital transactions don’t always align with supplier offerings. Remarkably, 66% of B2B buyers report disappointment with their online purchasing experiences. Furthermore, a staggering 89% of UK and US companies find online purchasing more complex than offline.

The Shift in Supplier Preference

Unsurprisingly, 74% of millennial B2B buyers recently switched to suppliers offering consumer-like online experiences.

Features of Effective B2B E-commerce Websites

In practice, this means B2B e-commerce sites should mirror B2C features. These include appealing UI, easy navigation, and clear pricing with discounts. Also, they should have appealing visuals and descriptions, streamlined checkout, worry-free shipping, favorites lists, and various payment options.

The Importance of B2B-specific Features

However, a pure B2C-like approach doesn’t work if B2B-specific features aren’t part of the deal. B2Bs operate differently than business-to-consumer companies, and certain functions like reordering and order scheduling are crucial for managing inventory. At the same time, not all advanced features are necessary. Thus, engaging with customers to understand their challenges is key to shaping digital journeys.

Personalization and the Role of AI

B2B sales are more complex than typical consumer purchases. Consumer sales target a broad group, while B2B focuses on vital, recurring relationships. Traditional B2B relies on deep personalization and one-to-one communication. Yet, 73% of B2B buyers seek a personalized B2C-like experience.

artificial intelligence food

AI and ML enable B2B firms to offer omnichannel, personalized experiences. These technologies track user behavior, past orders, and provide custom content. Thus, they enable personalized interactions across various touchpoints, resembling one-to-one buyer relationships.

Mobile

This was “the” trend in e-commerce back in the first half of the 2010s and it’s now coming to B2B e-commerce, too. Smartphones are ubiquitous and their usage is now equally shared between private and work usage. B2B buyers have increasingly adopted informal communication channels like WhatsApp as a way to place orders, replacing phone calls or, in some industries, fax. Together with emails, these two channels remain the absolute most used way of communication and placing orders in the B2B world. 

With the pandemic accelerating B2B mobile ordering by 250% since 2020, building a responsive mobile website and/or downloadable mobile app is a must-have of any B2B e-commerce strategy. This is why large manufacturers have been rushing to add one-click checkout, reordering, and a mobile-friendly product catalog overview to their B2B portals. 

Atrium works on mobile and desktop, without the need to download any app. Discover how it works on mobile or contact us for a free consultation.

B2B e-commerce is Coming to the Food Industry

The trends we describe directly impact the food and beverage industry, as shown by the recent strategic moves that some of the biggest Consumer Packaged Goods (CPGs) manufacturers in the world. This is particularly important for an industry that still presents a high level of fragmentation on the distribution and retail end of the chain. What’s interesting is that this transformation is happening all across the world, in developed as much as developing countries, as seen below. 

  • BEES by Anheuser-Busch InBev: initially launched in Latin America, BEES accessed about three million stores and is now expanding to the U.S. and Europe, exemplifying successful market penetration and expansion through B2B e-commerce
  • MAKRO Markets in Europe: recently launched their own B2B e-commerce for all of their non-food categories
  • MARS: Faced with customer complaints, they revamped their digital sales journey. In 90 days, they developed a prototype that offered easy access to product information, pricing, and order status. This created a B2C-like experience, plus B2B-specific features like requisition lists.
  • DAWN FOODS: An American wholesale manufacturer of baked goods, leveraged their B2C experience to launch a B2B portal. They brought their entire product catalog online, making it accessible from multiple touchpoints. This ease of access led to fantastic results, with 25% of all orders now online and a higher AOV. Notably, online orders often include products new to the customer.

Revolutionizing B2B with Atrium: A Game-Changer for Food Suppliers

In the current landscape, it’s clear that a B2B e-commerce strategy has quickly risen up the priority list for the largest food and beverage brands and wholesalers in the industry. With buyers ditching historical suppliers in favor of those with the best B2B e-commerce experience, Food and Beverage players must choose the right partner to launch their B2B portal and avoid solutions that don’t account for a consumer-like interface and a personalized experience.

Atrium stands out as a powerful B2B commerce application for the food and beverage industry, being specifically designed to streamline the ordering and payment processes for food manufacturers.

Its customer-centric approach ensures that even while automating and digitizing operations, the personal touch in customer relationships is not lost. This balance between efficiency and personalization is crucial in the sector, where relationships and rapid response times are key.

Enhancing B2B E-commerce with Atrium’s Key Features

atrium products page

Simple B2B Webshop Setup

Atrium empowers FMCG manufacturers to easily create a B2B webshop. No technical skills are needed, making it ideal for rapid digital market entry.

WhatsApp Integration for Seamless Communication

Atrium’s WhatsApp integration ensures smooth communication with customers during the ordering process. This helps maintain vital personal connections.

Automated Invoicing for Efficiency

Automated invoicing stands out by streamlining billing. Manufacturers can effortlessly generate and dispatch accurate invoices.

Cross-Platform Accessibility

Atrium delivers a consistent experience across desktop and mobile. No app installation is required, catering to B2B buyers’ convenience.

One-Click Fast Checkout

The platform’s user-friendly interface and reorder feature minimize typing and clicking. Buyers complete purchases with just one click.

Flexible Payment Options

Atrium supports various payment methods, mirroring B2C e-commerce. This ensures every order can be easily paid for.

Impact on Business Metrics

Adopting B2B commerce platforms like Atrium has tangible benefits. Brands leveraging such platforms have seen an improvement not just in order conversion but, more importantly, in the Average Order Value (AOV). Shopify indicates that B2B sellers adopting their B2B e-commerce suite increase their AOV by an average of 15% while reducing the number of payment receivables by up to 60%. On the other hand, CommerceTools reports that JustEat increased the AOV on its B2B marketplace by 20% since implementing its solutions.

Conclusion: Seizing the Digital Future in B2B e-commerce with Atrium

These figures highlight the transformative impact of B2B e-commerce on producers’ sales, bringing operational efficiency and financial health improvements that can be achieved through digital transformation.

As we’ve navigated through the transformative landscape of B2B e-commerce, it’s evident that mastering digital strategies is pivotal for producers looking to elevate their sales. The shift towards online platforms is not just a trend; it’s a fundamental change driving the future of business interactions. In this evolving market, Atrium emerges as a game-changer for food manufacturers, offering a suite of tools that balances efficiency with personalized customer relationships.

Now is the time to embrace this digital shift. Start revolutionizing your B2B sales with Atrium. Explore the ease of creating a B2B webshop, engage seamlessly with customers via integrated communication tools, and experience the convenience of automated invoicing. Atrium’s platform, optimized for both desktop and mobile use, ensures you’re always connected to your clients, providing fast checkout and multiple payment options.

Don’t let the digital transformation in the B2B realm pass you by. Enhance your business metrics, improve your average order value, and streamline your sales process with Atrium. Discover how Atrium can transform your B2B e-commerce experience and elevate your sales strategy today.

Start now with Atrium: it’s free!

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