While B2C e-commerce has been growing at a steady pace the past 15 years, B2B e-commerce in the recent years is now experiencing big growth. At over $500 billion in estimated total sales, the market is an increasing target for innovators, developers and retailers.
However, the changes required to go online, present drastic changes to enterprise operations which may quickly become obstacles if not integrated and adjusted correctly.
Some global retailers, like Costco, have benefited from integrating new platforms in select markets and then expanding and tweaking the platform for new countries. The world’s third largest retailer used Reply, a company specializing in the design and development of enterprise solutions based on new digital media, and hybris software, a SAP company, in 2012 to launch the UK ecommerce site. Then at the end of 2013, the same platform was used in Mexico, with tweaks made to tailor the blueprint for the Mexican market.
Some of the of the largest issues that B2B ecommerce faces is scalability and the integration of supply chain, sales concerns, and omnichannel e-commerce strategies and the speed that it is demanded. As Don Burdick, SVP at Costco commented: “The solution developed by Reply, hybris and Google has also allowed Costco to open a feature rich, dependable and scalable website in a fully outsourced model. The Mexico and UK sites have exceeded our expectations for performance, extensibility and Costco will continue partnering with Reply, Google and hybris in other geographies in the years to come.”
Also in line with the changes that took place in B2C ecommerce space are the changes in how companies must sell to other businesses. Models are becoming increasingly more customer friendly, designed as a replication of B2C mobile and ecommerce sites. There is still room to grow as B2B niche sites develop developed from purchasing agents demands for buying drill bits to be as easy as buying dresses.