As the study found, B2B customers now research and complete purchases online more than ever before. To take full advantage of the market opportunity for e-commerce, B2B companies must invest in technologies to support e-commerce as it evolves and grows, focus on online and mobile as critical channels of the future, and prepare for competition from already established B2C e-commerce sites and B2B rivals.
In this study, Forrester surveyed 717 B2B companies across three major geographies—North America, Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) and the Asia Pacific region—or an average of about 240 respondents per geography. Nearly 50 percent of all respondents, or 353 companies across all three major geographies, indicated they are “currently selling direct to business partners online (B2B).” Each of the three major geographies (North America, EMEA and the Asia Pacific region) produced a minimum of 100 respondents that are “currently selling direct to business partners online (B2B).”
All respondents represented companies that produce a minimum of $250 million in total sales annually, and who were personally responsible for or deeply involved with selling the company’s products or services online. In addition, Forrester conducted seven in-depth interviews with a variety of B2B e-commerce professionals responsible for maintaining their respective online selling organizations.
Questions to the B2B survey participants focused on e-commerce and multichannel buying behavior, incorporating tools and technologies into the buying experience, and identifying details about the international organizational structure required to deliver world-class B2B e-commerce. The study began in May 2013 and was completed in July 2013.