B2B Ecommerce Trends

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coAn Oracle White Paper February 2012

2012 B2B E-Commerce Survey: Results and Trends

2012 B2B E-Commerce Survey: Results and Trends

Introduction
Although business to consumer (B2C) gets a lot of attention for being on the “sexy” side of ecommerce, 2010 U.S. Census data shows estimates for business to business (B2B) revenue transacted online—not through electronic data interchange (EDI)—at approximately US$300 billion. Compare that with almost $200 billion in retail transactions, and the B2B commerce story suddenly becomes more interesting. Additionally, with 50 percent more revenue than retail—according to a 2011 B2B online survey—the adoption among B2B entities of e-commerce has just begun, with only 25 percent of the B2B companies represented having an e-commerce site and significantly less than that having a site that is current. B2B e-commerce transactions are also more complex. Most involve more than two decisionmakers, but 28 percent have five or more decision-makers involved in the process. All this data points to the fact that the next decade will be an innovative and demanding one for B2B e-commerce. With this landscape in mind, this white paper publishes the results from a 2011 survey of B2B e-commerce professionals and provides insight into key trends and areas of investment for building an online presence.

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2012 B2B E-Commerce Survey: Results and Trends

About the Survey
In November 2011, Endeca (acquired by Oracle in February 2012) conducted a survey to help B2B e-commerce professionals benchmark their upcoming plans and strategies against those of their peers at similar organizations. This annual survey reviews what has changed strategically within B2B e-commerce initiatives in the previous 12 months and what has remained a constant area of focus. The results represent input from business as well as IT professionals and provide visibility into planned areas of investment in 2012 and beyond. Responses were gathered from more than 120 professionals, of whom 50 percent represented business teams and 50 percent represented technical teams. In terms of authority, 53 percent of the respondents were at a managerial level; 25 percent director level; 10 percent executive level; and 12 percent senior executive level, such as CIO or SVP. Industry segments surveyed included industrial, electronics, maintenance and repair, office supplies, high tech, and chemical.

Mobile Jumps in Strategic Importance for B2B E-Commerce
Three key observations stood out from the 2012 survey data: The B2B online catalog and direct sales force continue to be key channels used by customers for decision-making—but mobile jumped more than 10 percent in 2012 to the #3 spot. When asked which top three available channels customers use most to make decisions, respondents highlighted the online catalog as the #1 tool used (93 percent), followed closely by the direct sales channel (70 percent), with mobile Web jumping more than 10 percent, to 24.5 percent, from 2011 as the third-most-influential channel in B2B e-commerce. Key retail tools and best practices for influencing revenue in the last 12 months continued to be personalization, the online catalog, and search engine optimization (SEO)—with mobile jumping again, more than 20 percent, to the #4 spot, just below paid search advertising. As in 2011, the top three retail tools or practices influencing B2B revenue most were identified as personalization capabilities (69 percent in 2012, versus 68 percent in 2011), the online catalog (64 percent in both 2012 and 2011), and SEO (58 percent in 2012, versus 60 percent in 2011). The biggest change—again—was mobile, which lagged in second-to-last place in 2011, with barely 5 percent, but jumped to more than 26 percent in 2012. B2B e-commerce organizations still have a laser focus on boosting SEO, developing robust product content, and maintaining consistency across channels but take a more strategic view of mobile. The majority of...
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