The eCommerce game is changing B2B forever. Germany. The biggest economy in Europe. Offline and online as well. Let’s have a look at 7 interesting facts:

  1. In 2011 – 2012 E-Commerce turnover in Germany grew by more than 27 % to EUR 27.6 billion
  2. B2B e-commerce environment:  in 2012 it was equal 870 billion EUR  (1 % of all B2B transactions were e-commerce)
  3. In 2012 18.7 million Germans had access to a mobile device (including smartphones and tablets). It was 300 % more than in 2010
  4. Few startups like Zalando or Westwing Home & Living jumped to 100 Top e-commerce businesess in Germany
  5. The B2B market is larger than B2C by volume (95 % of all e-commerce transactions by volume were B2B related)
  6. B2B online shops with goods had 35 billion EUR revenue in 2012
  7. In 2017 more than 53 % of German GDP will be e-commerce related (compared to 37 % in 2012).

Sounds interesting isn’t it?

This is just beginning. It won’t stop so please have a look at numbers above and think about your business for a while. How does it influence you? Is there anything you should start worrying? Have you already joined the e-commerce revolution or do you think, that it won’t be a part of your industry?

Be aware, how fast is the buyer’s environment changing. They want to buy quicker, they have higher expectation and they need additional services. Nowadays the customer is in charge and business has to follow new behaviours and shopping paths. It is much easier to loose a customer than 10 year ago, so don’t ignore it.

Is B2B e-commerce a twin brother of B2C?

Not really. It happens only on the surface level. In both cases we have people, who buy online, but B2B requires more security and have different shopping rules. Let’s have a look on few important needs of B2B in e-commerce:

  1. Marketing
    1. customer based promotion  (different account and discounts for different users)
    2. multichannel integration (phone, catalog, mobile)
    3. merchandising capabilities (landing pages, cross sell)
  2. Catalog
    1. customer based catalog
    2. customer based pricing (special discounts)
    3. configurable products, group products
    4. Large number of SKU (no worries here – Magento can handle this:
  3. Ordering
    1. bulk & repeat product ordering
    2. B2B payment options (purchase order, Invoice me)
    3. scheduled deliveries and multiple fullfilment options
    4. quote creation, quote to order
  4. Integration
    1. business system integration
    2. 3rd Party integration
    3. invoicing and reporting
    4. authentication & corporate accounts

First conclusion: It is much more challenging, customers are rather segmented individually and more demanding. Secondly: it requires many custom integration with 3rd party providers. Last, but not least – technical requirements are higher than in B2C and maintenace of the systems is more demanding.

Why you should care?

Because your customer already joined the revolution. If you won’t go into the e-commerce world, you competitor will and you will be left behind. It is an OPPORTUNITY for you. Do your B2B e-commerce homework properly and conquer your industry!

Stil not convinced? Have a look at one of our implementations – TIM S.A. They are the biggest cable company in Poland. We implemented a store for them on Magento in November 2013 and today huge part of their revenue is generated online. Are you curious how we did it? See below:

Magento implementation – case study from Divante

See? Don’t be late for a train to the e-commerce success. Conduct some research, compare yourself to competitors and find some good e-commerce agency for consultation. Go online, but do it right with right people, who have know how, how to do it.

Numbers are not lying. It is a matter of time, when you go online with your business. Now ask yourself the question: Is it worth waiting and watching someone’s shoulders?

What is the role of Magento here?

Quite huge actually. It’s scalable and can handle many different integration. It gives you possibility to build dedicated features for your system. Moreover since eBay bought Magento, there is an interesting ecosystem growing around and many people join the game, creating custom extensions for different kind of shops.

Why Magento from Divante

What you should do next?

Don’t wait. Be pioneer, not the imitator. Take the challenge, join B2B e-commerce revolution and increase your sales.  If you don’t know where to start follow the checklist here:

eCommerce Checklist – eCommerce Development from Divante

Good luck and fingers crossed!

Damian Winkowski

Work less, but smart. Achieve results and ROI. eCommerce Geek (Magento Experts), right now at Divante eCommerce Software House

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