Thanksgiving and Black Friday have come and gone. As we move into December, the digital commerce community sets its sights on the weeks leading up to Christmas. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend up to $1 trillion during the holiday season, with the average check amounting to $883 per customer.
But with all the attention on B2C eCommerce, especially during the holidays, it’s about time we reflect on the size of the B2B eCommerce market and its growing impact on the global economy. And that’s the goal of our monthly B2B eCommerce news roundup.
So let’s get to it.
Layoffs or Talent Shortage?
Many in the B2B eCommerce industry are concerned about the state of the economy and the massive layoffs in the technology industry. The world was met with unpredictability brought on by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the subsequent economic uncertainty, and ambiguous consumer spending signals. The economy remains volatile. Businesses and customers are reevaluating their purchasing habits. Headwinds brought on by the pandemic three years ago have turned into tailwinds, and tech companies are responding.
According to Statista, in the last eight months, we’ve seen over 416 tech-oriented US companies lay off employees, including digital commerce giants Amazon and Carvana. But what does all this mean for B2B eCommerce?
B2B brands are well-positioned to learn the lessons of B2C commerce brands to fine-tune their strategies. It also means that fast-rising tech companies and startups no longer have the competitive edge in attracting tech talent. The so-called “boring” B2B eCommerce industries now have the edge. They can provide the same opportunities for growth and development with the added bonus of job security. It’s prime time for leaders in the B2B sector and HR industries to capitalize on this trend!
Amazon’s Global Workforce Stabilizes
Adding to the tech layoffs, Amazon has followed suit by cutting over 10,000 people from the workforce. The layoffs will focus on the company’s struggling business units, such as devices, retail operations, and human resources. These corporate layoffs will be compensated by an influx of over 150,000 delivery and warehouse workers for the holiday season, signaling strong demand for digital commerce for the next quarter.
In the November 2022 B2B eCommerce news roundup, we talk about the changes and developments in the economy, supply chains, business purchasing, and the overall impact on business-to-business commerce this holiday season.
B2B eCommerce Trends
The forces driving B2B eCommerce in 2023
To say that B2B eCommerce is changing would be an understatement. Recently, McKinsey published a report outlining the opportunities (but also challenges) expected due to these changes. One of the most powerful takeaways is that most leaders simply don’t take B2B eCommerce as seriously as they should.
As part of the findings, McKinsey identified the following significant forces that will put pressure on existing business models:
- Accelerating eCommerce
- Fast-changing consumer behaviors
- Sky-high customer expectations
- Less forgiving capital market expectations
- Massive advances in technology
- Competitive pressures
Economic growth: slow but steady
Overall, experts across the US are optimistic about the state of the economy. Most expect healthy spending within the industry to buoy growth going forward. GDP numbers in October remained stable, falling only three decimal points below what was from July to September.
B2B eCommerce, Manufacturers, and Distributors
Strong road ahead for manufacturers and distributors
The last nine months have been quite strong for manufacturers and distributors. In fact, both industries have overperformed – gaining a 17.1% increase in combined sales. That is according to Digital Commerce 360 research on US manufacturers and distributors based on existing and projected data from the US Department of Commerce.
Holiday deals for B2B buyers: Is it possible?
Black Friday may be over, but certainly not the pull of getting a deal during the holiday season. So should B2B merchants take part in Black Friday and similar sales events? Since B2B buyers respond positively to B2C-like shopping experiences, it may be logical to experiment with holiday-themed discounts. At the same time, it might not be the right call for every B2B merchant.
The nightmare before Christmas commerce
With eCommerce sales growing exponentially and Christmas around the corner, what are small businesses doing to ensure they can meet customer expectations over the holiday period? Thomas explores six points to consider to maximize digital commerce success during the holidays.
Procurement challenges: It depends on the vertical
A recent Amazon Business report claims that more than half of B2B buyers (52%) cannot find sufficient online information about suppliers’ characteristics. This is complicating their efforts to locate suppliers that fit their needs. The survey, published last month, revealed some striking findings:
- 91% of B2B buyers state a preference for online purchasing.
- 58% of B2B purchases have to be delivered directly to an employee’s personal residence due to the prevalence of remote work.
- 84% of B2B buyers say their organizations plan to increase how much money they spend with Black or other diverse-owned businesses.
- 63% of B2B buyers say that improving sustainability in their purchasing practices is a top goal.
What’s more, the prevalence of digital procurement varies from vertical to vertical. Government procurement, for example, leads the pack with the highest rate of in-person sales.
3 trends: the consumerization of B2B eCommerce
Trends and technology are constantly advancing. Yet, business leaders struggle with determining the way forwards. The answer might just be in front of you. By focusing on the prevailing trends in B2C and seeing what commerce practitioners do, businesses can differentiate themselves in their own verticals. This Forbes article focuses on the three drivers impacting the development of B2B eCommerce.
Thanks for Reading Our November 2022 Roundup!
We’ve concluded our November 2022 B2B roundup! We hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving day and wish you a happy, fruitful, and merry time during the holiday season. We’ll see you in the next year when we prepare a look back on the following month and the year in general.