Recently, CEO of W.W. Grainger D.G. Macpherson, one of the largest B2B companies in the U.S., predicted 80 percent of their sales will occur through online channels by 2020, according to Industrial Distribution. E-commerce as a whole has grown for the company, accounting for 41 percent of their total sales in 2015 and 60 percent in 2016.
We’re still focused on the online model. It’s a strong source of profitable revenue growth. We expect that to grow 20 percent this year and grow profit even more off of that. — D.G. Macpherson, CEO of W.W. Grainger
B2B businesses have benefited greatly from the market’s transition into e-commerce. Forrester Research analyst Andy Hoar conducted a report that predicted U.S. B2B e-commerce will generate $1.18 trillion in revenue by 2021. The Internet has eliminated sales barriers as well. Though this means your direct competition no longer has to be close to you, it opens the door for new sales in markets that were previously not accessible. The B2B buying market has evolved to conform to the shopping habits of its dominant buyer, millennials. According to Think With Google,in 2014 nearly half of B2B researchers, those making B2B buying decisions, were millennials. Compared to other generations, millennials grew up in the digital age and are digital natives, taking their online preferences with them when they moved into the workforce.
E-commerce has changed how consumers interact with B2B products. E-commerce websites for B2B businesses allow products to be sorted and easily filed into a searchable format. Consumers react positively to well-designed websites and will often abandon a company if they feel their online presence is subpar compared with a competitor.Mobile e-commerce has seen a boost in recent years, meaning B2B businesses can profit from consumers being able to access their e-commerce site on a smartphone or tablet.
Dirxion online catalogs give B2B businesses another avenue in a multi-channel marketing approach and allows them to capitalize on the rise of the B2B e-commerce market. For B2B businesses with many catalogs spanning multiple departments of their company, Dirxion’s bookshelf feature organizes the individual catalogs on a central landing page and integrates cross-catalog searching. Existing e-commerce platforms can be integrated into the catalog or B2B businesses can employ the Dirxion order form feature to generate a request for a quote.