Economists foresee a potentially challenging year ahead for businesses, with an estimated 65% chance the U.S. will enter a recession in 2023. Amid economic uncertainty, B2B companies will prioritize purchasing efficiency, reevaluate procurement resources, and seek new ways to eliminate time-consuming and error-prone manual processes, says a new blog post from e-procurement provider TradeCentric
As buyers scale back spending in response to economic and market pressures, it is more important than ever for suppliers to align with buyers’ requirements and preferences. B2B connected commerce automates transactions between buyers and suppliers by integrating their eProcurement and eCommerce systems. Suppliers that meet buyers’ purchasing needs with B2B connected commerce are better positioned as a preferred trading partner and reduce the risk of lost revenue.
With a 200% increase in transactions processed on the TradeCentric Platform since 2020, we are ideally positioned to observe the adoption and growth of B2B connected commerce solutions. Our technology removes friction from the procure-to-pay process, automating the exchange of data between thousands of buyers and suppliers worldwide. Our unique vantage point allows us to share key statistics and insights on what we are seeing in the ever-evolving B2B commerce market.
Connected Commerce Growth Across the B2B Transaction Process
PunchOut remains a key connected commerce solution to streamline the purchasing process. In 2022, just over half of the transactions processed by the TradeCentric Platform were PunchOut sessions. We handled 15+ million PunchOut transactions, an increase of 57% from the previous year.
In addition to PunchOut, we see companies increasingly adding additional integration solutions, including Purchase Order (PO) Automation and PO Acknowledgment. These solutions automate the transfer of purchase orders to a supplier’s eCommerce system as well as the return transfer of a Purchase Order Acknowledgement directly to the buyer’s eProcurement solution. In 2022, we supported 5 million PO Automation and Acknowledgement sessions, an increase of 47% year-over-year.
Invoice Automation, a solution that eliminates substantial manual work such as tedious invoice reconciliation, is our fastest-growing connected commerce solution. Companies see great value in being able to reallocate limited resources to revenue generating initiatives rather than spending time on invoice reconciliation. Last year, we processed more than 6 million Invoice Automation transactions, up 60% from 2022. Invoice traffic spiked in November when we processed an all-time monthly high of 725,000 invoices.
We also saw substantial increases in related connected commerce solutions, including Advanced Shipping Notices (ASN) which saw a year-over-year growth of 17%.
Throughout the year, we also grew our network of trading partners, which now includes nearly 4,500 businesses across the world. Furthermore, The Channel development team has been created to support buyers and suppliers on their journey towards B2B connected commerce by providing trading partner analysis and expansion opportunities.
TradeCentric Growth Reflects Wider Market Trends
In 2023, U.S. B2B eCommerce sales are expected to approach $2 trillion and account for 17% of all B2B eProcurement spend, putting it nearly on-par with the U.S. B2C market. With this in mind, B2B suppliers view eCommerce as a strategic, full-service sales channel and plan to invest further for a high-quality digital sales experience.
As eProcurement and eCommerce have grown to become standard sales channels for companies, the ROI of connected commerce is undeniable. In 2022, Hobson & Company, a leading ROI research firm, conducted in-depth interviews with TradeCentric supplier customers varying in size and industries. They discovered an average connected commerce ROI of 5-7x over a three-year period. Suppliers reported that their primary ROI sources from connected commerce are:
- Growth in digital revenue from existing buyers as a preferred supplier
- Increased attractiveness to new customers, especially larger customers
- Reduced time spent on manual purchase order management
- Reduced workloads for Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable teams
Read the full report to learn how connected commerce solves universal B2B commerce challenges.
Driving B2B Commerce with TradeCentric
TradeCentric’s unique perspective into the B2B commerce market allows us to empower buyers and suppliers with solutions that streamline complex processes and boost efficiency and growth.
As eCommerce, eProcurement, and B2B connected commerce continue to grow across a wide range of industries, we are committed to providing integration and automation solutions clients rely on to build efficient and seamless transaction experiences.