The year ahead will bring several new challenges to B2B ecommerce. And those challenges will accelerate quickly in 2023, says a new survey from McKinsey & Co.
McKinsey recently surveyed 50 senior executives, discussed the future of e-commerce with more than 75 business leaders, and analyzed the more than 1,000 digital-commerce programs they have helped clients implement over the past three years.
Among the biggest changes:
- Six global forces, from rapidly shifting customer behaviors to a proliferation of new technologies, are exerting massive pressures on legacy business models.
- Successful companies are becoming indispensable to their customers by using digital to move past basic transactions and provide experiences that solve a much broader set of their customers’ problems.
- Many companies are avoiding the hard choices they need to make, often because of internal politics, fear of channel conflict, and large gaps in capabilities and technology, thereby missing the full potential value available to them.
Most leaders’ thinking about e-commerce is too small, McKinsey says. “Time and again, we see companies trying to optimize existing products, services, or processes, thinking along the lines of ‘How can we improve our widget?’ instead of “How can we better serve our customers? Executives still see the primary role of ecommerce as driving revenues (67%) versus driving profit (11%).”
But brands need to be very practical and ask: “How do we protect profitability in e-commerce looking ahead?” McKinsey says. Among the biggest changes going into 2023 B2B ecommerce decision makers will keep an eye on is what McKinsey calls “NeXT commerce, which the consulting firm defines as “an approach to ecommerce that needs a big upgrade grounded in a commitment to become indispensable to the customer through an exponentially deeper level of engagement online and offline.” “Becoming a NeXT-commerce business requires a commitment to becoming indispensable to the customer,” McKinsey says.