In June 2021, BigCommerce launched its B2B edition, a global e-commerce platform as a service designed specifically for business transactions. As 2022 draws to a close, the company continues to focus on growing its B2B e-commerce offerings.
“We continue to be big on B2B,” Mark Ostryniec, the company’s chief sales officer, told Modern Shipper at the National Retail Federation’s recent Big Show in New York. “There is more B2B e-commerce than all B2C.”
A DHL Express white paper published in 2021 indicates that by 2025, 80% of all B2B interactions between suppliers and buyers will take place on digital channels. The company cited the introduction of tech-savvy millennials into the workforce and the rapid acceleration of digital trends due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced large segments of the workforce global work to switch to remote work.
“What is foreseen for the future of the B2B sector has already been visible in the significant increase in B2C e-commerce over the past few years, where DHL Express has experienced high growth rates, especially during peak trading periods. holidays (e.g. Easter, Christmas) and mega shopping days (e.g. Black Friday, Cyber Monday),” the report said.
According to a PwC survey released in May 2021, 66% of companies said implementing digital marketing and sales over the next two years is a business priority; 40% said it was a major business challenge. However, few manufacturers have robust e-commerce platforms. Robert Bono, head of industrial manufacturing practices for PwC, said the challenges are nearly identical whether it’s a B2B or B2C manufacturer.
Read: Millennials are driving the B2B e-commerce landscape
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“It’s not new, we’ve been talking about it for several years, but the pace of adoption is different for different companies,” Bono told Modern Shipper in an interview. He said the investigation confirmed conversations he had had with manufacturers in recent months. The survey found that some industrial companies plan to accelerate e-commerce sales growth from near zero today to 60% over the “next few years”.
BigCommerce predicts that B2B e-commerce will reach $1.8 trillion by 2023, representing 17% of all B2B sales in the United States
Ostryniec said the growing prevalence of channels for e-commerce shoppers is driving more merchants to adopt solutions like BigCommerce (NASDAQ: BIGC) to manage their platforms.
“Traders look at all these [channels] like avenues,” he said. “Social was a big push for us last year. There will always be big investments for us.
The B2B edition of BigCommerce connects previous e-commerce functionality into a platform designed specifically for businesses that can integrate with point-of-sale and enterprise resource planning systems. This includes quote management tools, multiple purchase order management, customer address books, multiple payment methods, and sales agent management of customer accounts.
“We are advancing B2B digital experiences through enterprise functionality, platform openness and flexibility to enable a modernized e-commerce experience for B2B merchants and their customers,” said the company. era MaryAnn Bekkedahl, senior vice president of business development at BigCommerce. “B2B Edition gives sellers a distinct advantage of a B2C-like buying experience that helps businesses sell faster, convert at a higher rate, and create repeat purchases and loyalty.”
In the more traditional B2C e-commerce space, similar trends are occurring.
“Retailers expect purchases to be made on social media,” Ostryniec said. “Big companies want transactions to take place on these [sites].”
To do this, however, brands need a better understanding of inventory data and product substitution options, especially given the supply chain issues that currently exist.
“It’s often less about look and feel [of the site] and more on bringing modern capabilities [to the customer]“said Ostryniec.
These capabilities can cover a range of options and often differ depending on the retailer.
“The key is flexibility,” Ostryniec said. “A trader may worry about shipping…or their goal is to offer a full platform of options. The same [desired variety] exists with payments.
It’s about creating a platform that provides that flexibility, and most importantly, that can be quickly and easily integrated with third-party systems “so traders have a choice” of options, Ostryniec said.
The typical BigCommerce customer is one who needs this flexibility.
“Shopify is great if you stay in their tracks, stay in their ecosystem,” Ostryniec noted. But for the BigCommerce customer, who is often a small or medium-sized brand and who does not necessarily have a physical storefront, his activity is often more complex. The customer may have multiple needs, including real-time inventory tracking, multiple fulfillment possibilities such as ship from store or store pickup, or even marketing requirements that BigCommerce’s software stack can meet.
“As we started to grow this business, one of the hallmarks of our platform has been openness and transparency,” Ostryniec said, so BigCommerce can serve SMBs with “key e-commerce sites in hand”.
Additionally, since both the B2B and B2C e-commerce worlds have unique characteristics, and approximately half of all businesses using BigCommerce’s platform conduct business in both worlds, the platform needs to accommodate. to both sets of customers. Ostryniec said common differences can be in packaging size – a retail customer might only need two boxes of an item, while a professional customer might need two pallets.
“The B2B part often comes with some interesting complexities,” he said. “We allow companies to do B2C and B2B with our catalog [of options].”
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