Traditionally, wholesale sales has been dominated by in-person field sales. 37% of wholesalers surveyed reported that they still have two thirds or more of their revenue coming in through field sales. However, only 18% reported that 80-100% of their sales come through this channel. Today, orders and reorders are also coming in through other means, including EDI, direct sales via Email, Phone, and Fax, and––most notably––B2B eCommerce.

Spurred by B2B buyers’ desire for the on-demand convenience reflected in their personal shopping habits, wholesale purchases are happening not just in person, but also online, and B2B eCommerce has quickly become a priority for many brands and distributors.

Download the B2B eCommerce Trends Infographic here

b2b eCommerce trends

 

B2B eCommerce Trends: B2B eCommerce Is Becoming Table Stakes

B2B eCommerce is poised to change the procurement of wholesale products on a massive scale, raising the bar for all wholesalers to provide the customer experiences that retailers want.

Of the wholesalers surveyed, 44% already have a B2B eCommerce portal in place, with 45% of those implementations occurring two or more years ago. These results suggest that B2B eCommerce adoption is moving to the mainstream, and wholesalers that have not yet implemented their own B2B eCommerce platforms are now playing catch-up. Indeed, of those who do not currently have a B2B eCommerce portal, 42% are looking to implement a B2B eCommerce platform in the next 12 months.

B2B eCommerce Results

Nearly a quarter (22%) of wholesalers surveyed with a B2B eCommerce platform have 40% or more of their B2B customer base placing orders online. 22% of respondents also reported having more than a third of their revenue coming from their B2B eCommerce channel.

55% have seen significant growth (more than 10%) in their B2B eCommerce channel over the last 12 months. Of course, the impact of this growth takes time. For instance, only 16% of respondents who adopted B2B eCommerce in the last 12 months have a third or more of their revenue coming from that channel. For companies who adopted B2B eCommerce 2 or more years ago, however, that number jumps to 37%.

The expectation of 24/7 online ordering will only become more common among buyers as more wholesalers provide the option. Those who aren’t planning on making these investments in the next 12 months (25% of survey respondents) must consider it now or risk falling behind competitors. For those who currently have a solution in place, prioritizing retailer adoption of this technology is key to reducing order processing costs, driving revenue, and increasing profitability.

This blog post features just a few B2B eCommerce trends from our recently published Wholesale Technology & Sales Survey Report. To get more insights on the current state of the wholesale distribution industry and how you stack up to the competition, you can download the entire report for free here.