B2B manufacturers and distributors want to accelerate digital transformation. That includes ecommerce and B2B marketplace development. In 2022, that activity showed in the growth of digital commerce overall and by specific channels. The 2022 sales that occurred on B2B ecommerce sites and apps grew 19% from 2021, according to data and analysis in the newly published 2023 B2B Ecommerce Market Report from Digital Commerce 360.
More important, B2B ecommerce grew faster than total B2B sales and accounted for 13% of all manufacturing and distribution sales. In comparison, Digital Commerce 360 estimates e-procurement sales grew 18% year over year and, for the first time, topped $1 trillion, while B2B marketplaces grew 100% and recorded sales of $112 billion.
2022 was a watershed year for B2B digital commerce and transformation — and 2023 will be as well.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit with full force three years ago and shuttered all or at least major portions of many industries, closing offices, branches and factories, work-from-home business purchasing managers did nearly all their corporate buying online. As a result, B2B ecommerce morphed from a minor into a mainstream sales channel and forced many manufacturers and distributors to rethink how to conduct business with growing numbers of digital-first customers.
Many organizations that were once hesitant to embrace B2B ecommerce are now starting new initiatives or updating older strategies and ecommerce technology. They’re deploying new cloud-based applications such as headless commerce and new data tools like artificial intelligence.