Global B2B e-commerce is expected to eclipse over $6.5 trillion by 2020. Yes that’s trillion. In the shorter term, we’ve seen major retailers like Wal-Mart take a new approach and make a renewed commitment to their online platform. The e-commerce momentum that closed out 2015 (Internet Retailer projected North American e-commerce sales of $375.89 billion in 2015) is only expected to increase more rapidly in 2016. As this new market drives toward that $6 trillion forecast, there are three major factors that are garnering more influence when it comes to B2B e-commerce success.
Cloud: Flexible software that provides full supply chain visibility is at the core of what creates success for these new fulfillment channels and demands. The agility that comes with newer implementations like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) are allowing businesses of all sizes to meet the unique challenges they face.
Mobile: A Think With Google study showed that 42% of business-to-business buyers use a mobile device at some point in the purchasing process. In response to this growing habit, Forrester also forecasts that mobile e-commerce sales will reach $142 billion this year. Having a user-friendly, optimized mobile presence that seamlessly transitions to your other online platforms as well as with your fulfillment operations is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity.
Omni-Channel: Creating a buying experience that is unique to the variety of channels through which orders are now being placed is critical. The strategy and technology needed to manage these new needs will be imperative to leverage the growth of B2B e-commerce. Ordering platforms, delivery preferences and demands along with other factors require a focus on omni-channel operations.
While the continued growth of e-commerce, from both the B2B and B2C perspectives, is exciting and challenging, there are new tools and strategies available to take advantage of these opportunities. For over 75 years Barrett Distribution Centers have developed customized supply chain strategies and provided resources to meet the challenges across a variety of industries and sectors. With a focus on visibility and technology, e-commerce fulfillment, transportation and supply chain management is a specialty of Barrett Distribution.