The striking rise of B2B eCommerce
The adoption of eCommerce among B2B companies worldwide over the last few years is growing rapidly
Even though B2C eCommerce has been enthusiastically adopted by the masses for years now, it is the recent evolution and growth of B2B eCommerce that is drawing the attention of buyers, sellers and investors all over the world. The B2B market, commercial transactions between businesses, has been overshadowed by its counterpart for years. The reason for this may lie in the slow digitization of B2B companies’ offerings due to complex legacy technology environments, organization structures and concerns surrounding information security. This situation, however, has changed drastically within the last few years: The B2B eCommerce market is projected to be at US$12.2 trillion in 2019, up from US$5.8 trillion in 2013 at a CAGR of 13.1% p.a. B2B companies are increasingly buying and selling their products or services to each other via online sales portals like the well-known Amazon or Alibaba, but other companies play a vital role, too. Especially Asia is way ahead of other regions: the Asian B2B eCommerce market is going to value US$9.8 trillion in 2019, which contributes 80% to the global B2B eCommerce market. After Asia, North America is the second biggest B2B eCommerce market, valuing US$ 1.4 trillion in 2019.
Nowadays, the B2B eCommerce market is much bigger than the B2C eCommerce market. But which countries are the biggest? In B2C eCommerce, China accounts for the biggest market. Not surprisingly, this holds true for the B2B eCommerce market, too:
China makes up to 31% of global B2B eCommerce GMV in 2018, which makes it the largest B2B eCommerce market in the world accounting for more than US$3 trillion in 2018. The great success of B2B eCommerce in China can be explained by a number of factors: namely the enormous size of the country’s total retail market, its larger eCommerce share as compared to other leading countries and favourable government regulations with respect to the eCommerce industry.
The U.S., accounting for 11% of the global B2B eCommerce market, appears considerably small compared to China, making up roughly one third of the Chinese market, but still values US$1.3 trillion in 2018. One of the main drivers of B2B in the U.S. is the sheer size of B2B retail in this country.
The European B2B market plays a rather minor role with 3% of the global B2B market. So far, B2B eCommerce clearly hasn’t had the same impact in Europe compared to Asia or the U.S. One reason for this might be that many of the suppliers in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe still don’t offer the user-friendly digital purchasing options needed to offset the stronger business activity in Europe. Furthermore, even though the B2B eCommerce market has experienced increasing success within the last few years, B2B eCommerce companies are still in the early stages of their maturity curve what makes this industry even more exciting and should be watched closely in the next years.
More specific facts and figures as well as deeper insights into the worldwide development of B2B eCommerce, you will find in our report “In-depth: B2B eCommerce 2019”.
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