The B2B e-commerce market is growing rapidly. Gartner research predicts that within the next few years, more than half of B2B sales will be done via e-commerce channels, creating both new opportunities and threats for companies focused on the B2B market.
Companies who can quickly run a digital transformation will have a better chance to increase their market share by acquiring slower market players. At the same time, entering the B2B market causes an additional entry to the B2C market for companies who have never worked with end-customers directly before. Altogether, this creates opportunities for companies who embark on e-commerce immediately.
Currently, most B2B companies who start their digital transformation don’t have the experience doing such e-commerce projects, and therefore, do not have the related expertise. Business, technical, organizational challenges all create risks for e-commerce projects.
It is common practice to rely on IT implementation partners when undergoing a digital transformation. The problem is few system integrators and digital agencies have real expertise in B2B e-commerce. B2C e-commerce experience is easier to find, but it does not fit the B2B market.
Quite often companies try to apply their B2C experience to B2B situations, but this does not work. B2B e-commerce is much more complicated than B2C, and most solutions and practices, that work for B2C, do not fit B2B e-commerce. B2B e-commerce requires additional complex rules, processes, entities and even interfaces. Employee-users are not equal to physical bodies, humans are not the only kind of users in B2B, and UI is not the only interface.