B2B companies are increasingly adopting e-Commerce as a means of marketing and selling their products and services, according to a BtoB Magazine report titled: “The Emerging Role of B-to-B E-commerce.” The online survey was sponsored by SAP’s Ariba, Inc. and conducted in March and April with more than 220 marketers. According to Forrester Research, B2B e-Commerce transactions within the U.S. exceed $550 billion annually.
More than 30% of B2B marketers are “strong” or “complete” adopters of e-Commerce, in comparison to the 25% from last year. With only 15% of marketers currently avoiding e-Commerce entirely, BtoB predicts that by 2014 40% of B2B marketers expect to be as committed to e-Commerce as a means of marketing and selling.
“E-Commerce definitely is taking hold,” said Andy Hoar, Senior Analyst, B2B E-Commerce and Business Strategy at Forrester Research. “E-commerce platforms that offer low-price products, such as office supply outlets, are most entrenched, but e-Commerce inroads are even being made with high-price products.”
Factors noted in the BtoB study that are contributing to the B2B e-Commerce adoption include:
- Constraints on marketing department resources;
- Reaching new buyers;
- Generating new leads and awareness;
- Finding buyers ready to make a purchase; and
- Differentiating products and services from those of the competition.
Hoar added: “While people aren't buying very expensive products online yet, they are buying replenishment and replacement parts via e-Commerce. Nobody is buying a backhoe online right now, but it's increasingly likely it will happen.”
Survey respondents said they believe e-Commerce technology is giving marketers an increasing edge on the competition. Other benefits include the signal it offers that a company is a forward-thinking digital enterprise; provides differentiation in a marketing landscape where only a minority to date are using it fully; and that it lowers costs.