b2b e-commerce

B2C e-commerce companies have seen significant growth in online sales, which is estimated to reach $3.6 trillion by 2019. B2B e-commerce, however, is becoming even more prevalent and expected to reach $6.7 trillion by 2020. In fact, 46% of manufacturers say e-commerce will be their primary sales channel by 2020. Here are some stats I’ve compiled to dive into the current state of B2B e-commerce.

The Challenges

B2B marketers believe e-commerce presents tremendous opportunities but they’re unsure about the path forward.

  • 85% of B2B companies recognize that digital commerce is an important revenue opportunity that they are not yet fully utilizing [Market Live]
  • 37% of B2B e-commerce organizations claim their top challenge is differentiating themselves from their competitors through delivery of dynamic and transformative experiences [Aberdeen Group]
  • Only 13% of manufacturing and distribution companies said their multi-channel experience was consistent [Market Live]

B2B buyers are demanding better online experiences, and B2B marketers are getting the message.

  • 54% of B2B buyers say they want vendors to offer personalized recommendations across interactions [Technology Advice]
  • Leads who are nurtured with targeted content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities [DemandGen]
  • 59% of buyers say personalized recommendations have influenced their purchasing decision [Infosys]
  • By 2018, 70% of B2B e-commerce sites will offer personalized features for customers [Gartner]
  • 64% of marketers believe that their organizations should make personalization a higher priority [Evergage]


Cross-channel consistency (online, email, mobile device, social media, etc.) is also important because buyers are still using all channels to research and purchase B2B services.

  • 38% of emails are opened on iPhones alone compared to 34% on all desktops and laptops combined [Movable Ink]
  • In 2015, 20% of marketers said that their primary revenue source is directly linked to their email operations [Pardot]
  • 38% of e-commerce traffic came from mobile devices in 2015 [YotPo]


Millennials are increasingly involved in B2B purchase decisions, so it’s important to take their behavior and attitudes toward cross-channel and personalization into consideration.

  • 73% of Millennials are involved in product/service purchase decision-making at businesses [Sacunas]
  • 34% of those Millennials are the sole decision maker [Sacunas]
  • 95% of Millennials preferred personalization throughout email campaigns [Accenture]
  • 82% of Millennials use their mobile device to conduct product/service research [Sacunas]
  • 85% of Millennials use social media for research [Sacunas]


B2B companies recognize that they need to continue to optimize their digital tactics, leveraging learnings from the B2C world. Personalization has changed B2C e-commerce by creating relevant experiences that surprise and delight consumers, and can have a dramatic, positive impact on the B2B companies that make it a priority.