Machine and Process Management

What is B2B e-Commerce for Automation Components? Why is it booming?

Booming! But Electrical Distribution is lagging.

As I have recently done, you have also probably bought something online within the last weeks or months. Online access to buy products and services has become a natural way of purchasing. Travels, clothes, food, insurances, bank services, everything can be purchased on Internet.  Our buying behavior radically changed with the so-called Business to Consumer e-commerce (B2C)

These changes have also impacted business between companies. In the overall industry, Business to Business e-commerce (B2B) is booming. In fact, generated business in B2B is largely exceeding the one of B2C. However, research from Apruve (B2B credit management solutions) covering the USA market, revealed last October 2018, that only 42% of electrical distributors have an e-commerce website, there’s still room to do more. Moreover, knowing that the world went mobile, that’s a paradox to discover that only 15% of electrical distributors have a mobile app.

Even though those figures are just about the USA market, we can extend them globally.

Let’s discover together what is B2B e-commerce for our electrical and automation devices and understand why it’s a necessity.

What is B2B e-commerce

B2B e-commerce is the exchange of products or services between companies through an electronic platform. In other words, selling and buying using the web as exchange media.

B2B e-commerce is more than selling and buying. It covers many aspects of the business relationship between two parties. Just to name a few: product’s information research, technical learning, products ordering, delivery and tracking, payments. B2B e-commerce provides also exchange of documents (such as technical datasheet or user guide), after sales support, training and customer’s services.
Then, resulting in almost everything you got through the traditional business relationship. Just the media is different, and it brings a lot of values along the chain.

Already 30 years.

Not so new!

We all heard and read about the internet revolution, the new technology to change everything in our life. Frightening the more techno skeptic of us, building barriers between generations. By the way, the changes did not happen last night. Let’s go quickly through history.

  • Later after Arpanet’s birth in the late ‘60s, the web opens to the public in early 90’s. Already 30 years!
  • First web stores appeared in 1995. Amazon and eBay launched their respective online shop in 1995.
  • Alibaba’s e-commerce sites Taobao and Tmall, were launched in 2003 and 2008 respectively.
  • Web stores, either on the western side or Asian side, are already mature.

Business values to send your brain spinning.

So big!

  • In 2010, the Internet World Stat claimed 2 billion internet users. This was 29% of the world population.
  • April 2019:  4.4 billion internet users. That is 57% of the world population. Social media users are 3.5 billion which is 50% of the world population.

Let’s draw a simple picture, even if it’s only statistic: half of the world population can access to your webshop without moving from their chair!

What is the latest estimated business generated: in 2019, B2C retail e-commerce sales are forecasted to reach $3.5T and should hit the magic figure of $5T by 2021?
While B2B e-commerce reaches the figure of $11T!  Yes, Business to Business e-commerce value is 3 times bigger than Business to Consumer e-commerce.
That’s a huge cake. Moreover, it’s growing steadily.

about searches:

While looking for a product or a service, there are amazing figures that demonstrate the behaviour shift:

  • 60% of new product searches start on Google, Amazon, Baidu and Yandex
  • The average Google search session lasts just under a minute.
  • 50% of “near me” Google searches done via mobile result in a store visit.
  • 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps
  • 70% of customers visit a store based on information found online.
  • Between 20% and 25% of organic traffic converts to a lead.

Mature, incredible sales volume, growing, behavioural changes: those are some unmistakable qualifiers for B2B e-commerce.
Ready to be a part of it?

Stay tunded for Part 2 to better understand a customer’s expectation about e-commerce, and why it has become a necessity!

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