2013 is here! Everyone is making predictions as to what the new year holds and so I thought I would try my hand at predicting the future of B2B ecommerce in 2013!
AmazonSupply.com will continue to grow its product assortment and will take market share away from traditional wholesale distributors. I admit that this isn’t much of a prediction–in my mind, it’s really more about common sense! But plenty of wholesale distributors are completely dismissing AmazonSupply.com as just another online retailer, failing to recognize them for that they are–a powerful online retailer that has completely upended entire industries in the not-so-distant past. If you don’t have an ecommerce strategy in place, or your ecommerce strategy is weak in some way, prepare for AmazonSupply.com to take a serious bite out of your business. Want to avoid the fate of CircuitCity, CompUSA, Borders and Best Buy? Check out the article Distributors in E-Commerce Can Compete with AmazonSupply.com. Watch for AmazonSupply to drastically increase its SKU count in the 14 verticals it serves (600,000 SKUs as this article is published) as well as an expansion into additional MRO verticals in 2013.
B2B ecommerce will become the new B2C ecommerce. B2B ecommerce has stood in the wings for a long time–and now the analysts and ecommerce providers as well as B2B organizations are recognizing the size of the B2B ecommerce opportunity. Forrester Research predicted that the B2B ecommerce marketplace is more than twice the size of the retail ecommerce. This has everyone focusing on B2B ecommerce in a new way. What’s more, today’s B2B ecommerce user experience looks strikingly similar to that of retail ecommerce. In 2013, I predict that B2B ecommerce sites will become the predominant focus within ecommerce as organizations races to secure their position in the market. Look for big B2C ecommerce platforms attempting to reverse engineer their B2C software to work for B2B ecommerce or for large organizations to get B2B ecommerce capability through acquisition. To learn more about the size of the B2B ecommerce market, read the blog post, How Big is the B2B Ecommerce Market?
Greater numbers of B2B organizations will implement mobile commerce as a sales channel. Mobile commerce is rapidly gaining acceptance as a way to make retail purchases while on the go and now B2B organizations are getting in on the act. In 2012, leading distributor Grainger launched both a mobile site and a mobile application for its customers to use. In 2013, I predict that first-mover distribution and manufacturing companies will enhance their ecommerce experience by providing B2B mobile commerce for their customers. Watch for your competitors to add mobile commerce for their B2B customers.
Will my 2013 predictions come true? Only time will tell–but savvy B2B organizations know that 2013 is the year to launch new B2B ecommerce offerings or rework existing sites as well as add mobile commerce offerings.
To learn how your B2B organization can leverage the power of ecommerce in 2013, download the white paper, B2B Ecommerce Success – Seven Questions to Consider When Beginning an Ecommerce Initiative.