The B2B e-commerce market has been evolving rapidly owing to the pervasive impact of the global online ecosystem and changing nature of buyers. It comprises buying and selling of goods and services between companies via an online platform. The key offering is primarily a website, where an online market is created bringing together buyers as well as sellers of products or services. The B2B e-commerce market landscape has changed significantly as Google Shopping and AmazonSupply have targeted suppliers across the B2B e-commerce space.
Increasing smartphone and internet usage is expected to serve as a key driver for the B2B e-commerce market. In addition, emergence of cloud computing has also positively impacted market growth. Cloud platform offers the required operational agility and scalability for B2B integration, and there exist many types of public and private cloud computing options, including Network as a Service (NaaS), Data as a Service (Daas), Storage as a Service (STaas) and Back-end as a Service (BaaS). Depending on the budget and scalability of a business, various options may be matched, customized and tailored to best suit industry-specific needs. B2C experiences are largely driving B2B e-commerce market demand. Security concerns and rise in the number of internet frauds pose a challenge to industry participants. Regulatory environment, especially those governing international payments, can act as bottlenecks to the B2B e-commerce market. Key technologies deployed across B2B e-commerce include EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).
The B2B e-commerce market can be segmented by deployment model in to three types, buyer-oriented, supplier-oriented and intermediary-oriented e-commerce. Buyer-oriented B2B e-commerce is wherein a buyer opens a market on its own server and invites potential suppliers, so that they can bid on RFQs (Request for Quotation); for example, GE and Boeing Inc. A supplier-oriented marketplace is also referred to as a supplier directory. It is set up and operated by several suppliers who seek to establish an efficient and effective sales channel via the internet to a large number of buyers. A few successful examples incorporating this model include Dell, Cisco, Intel and IBM. Intermediary-oriented B2B e-commerce involves setting up of an electronic marketplace by a third party for a buyer and seller to strike a deal. An example of an intermediary-oriented marketplace is Covisint, which is an automotive trade consortium formed by Daimler-Chrysler, GM and Ford.
B2B e-commerce is used across small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as large enterprises. B2B portals play a pivotal role, helping SMEs and large-scale enterprises reach remote areas, and are fast becoming a way of doing business worldwide. These portals facilitate in establishing new trading relationships between companies in addition to supporting existing relationships. The industry is being inundated by technological advancements and offers several benefits such as cost reduction and faster time-to-market. The vast reach of the internet provides businesses an opportunity to expand their market reach at a low cost. Additionally, adopting e-commerce platform enables SMEs gain a competitive advantage by reducing time and resources through automation online and offline transactions, which in turn helps improve operational efficiency.
In Asia Pacific, developing infrastructure facilities and surging number of internet users are expected to fuel market growth. Further, the region is expected to witness rise in demand for B2B e-commerce adoption, which can be attributed to smartphone proliferation. The U.S. B2B e-commerce market is expected to witness rise in demand over the forecast period, which can be attributed to the proliferation of cloud services and successful B2C experiences that are driving demand for B2B e-commerce.
B2B e-commerce market players include suppliers, manufacturers and distributors. Key industry participants include Oracle, IBM, Amazon Inc, Alibaba and Hybris, which is a SAP company. Other industry players include Axway, Netalogue Inc., Phoenix Biz Solutions and Techdinamics. Companies focus more on providing an enhanced user experience as part of their growth strategy. The B2B e-commerce market is characterized by intense competition, leading to increased pricing pressures and at the same time creating avenues for increased profitability and inculcating improved customer relationships.
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