Global B2B eCommerce From A to Z: Definition, Models & Statistics

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If you often read business newspapers or commerce publications on a forum online/ example of e-commerce websites, you are likely to come across the word “B2B commerce”, but what is B2B eCommerce exactly? 

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1. What is B2B eCommerce?

b2b-ecommerce-examples-of b2b-ecommerce-websites

Getting to a B2B eCommerce Definition

Although the terminology “B2B eCommerce” has only been in use for about a decade, B2B eCommerce business processes have actually been around a lot longer, going back to as early as the 1960s and 1970s.

In 1975, the first EDI (electronic data interchange) standards were published and within a few years, manufacturers like GM and Ford, and retailers like Sears and K-Mart, had mandated that their suppliers use EDI.

EDI is now a standard B2B mobile commerce or B2B commerce business practice, used by more than 90% of Fortune 500 B2B eCommerce statistics companies. B2B eCommerce, of course, is no longer limited to EDI.

Over the last 40 years, following B2B eCommerce statistics then eCommerce options have expanded to include many different types of global B2B eCommerce market size transactions.

So, what does it mean by B2B eCommerce? In a simple way, B2B eCommerce is an online transaction between business and business. On other hand, it is the buying-and-selling process on the online websites involving companies. 

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B2B eCommerce definition has a lot more in common with B2C. You may be wondering what the differences are in selling B2B or B2C. For some guidance, read on:

B2B eCommerce:

  • A longer decision-making process: If you plan to sell B2B, you have to prepare to invest time in a relationship with your potential buyers.
  •  A greater number of involved stakeholders
  • A lengthier relationship
  • A smaller lead pool: B2B generally involves a smaller pool of prospects when compared to B2C. For instance, Amazon’s consumer-oriented website has a potential customer pool of millions – in essence, anyone with an Internet connection.
  • A different type of product knowledge

B2C eCommerce: 

  • A shorter decision-making process
  • A smaller number of involved stakeholders

How does B2B eCommerce fit into your business?

B2B eCommerce definition is a very broad concept that can be understood in a number of ways. The possibilities for companies to benefit from B2B eCommerce are equal, allowing companies to choose from a wide range of options to support their B2B commerce business objectives.

If you are a retailer, distributor or manufacturer, B2B commerce is the right solution that combines an understanding of the business rules, processes, and issues to truly leverage B2B mobile commerce industry online.


2. B2B Mobile Commerce

Following B2B eCommerce statistics, B2B mobile commerce sales growing faster than eCommerce overall. 

B2B mobile e-commerce has become part of everyday life and most of the people engaged in the B2B mobile eCommerce industry are already using it for B2C. 

So let’s explore the B2B mobile commerce opportunity:

  • B2B eCommerce customers are emulating trends and transitioning their buying into online and mobile environments. 
  • B2B eCommerce buyers are often using mobile at work, and currently, B2B commerce statistics state that more than 60% say mobiles play a significant role in a recent purchase.

Here come some benefits of B2B mobile commerce:

One of the biggest benefits of B2B mobile e-commerce is a personalized experience when the buyer lands on the homepage of the app, they see products which they frequently order along with reordering options. 

Technology & trends are also making life easier for B2B eCommerce businesses, that is why the B2B mobile commerce user experience feels very similar to a B2C app.

When B2B mobile commerce buyers use native mobile apps features like fingerprint scans and face recognition, they can take a complex process (e.g., finding products, customizing features, and receiving quotes – all from multiple suppliers) and make it painless with just a few taps. By offering the native mobile app, a B2B mobile commerce app offers the convenience to order-on-go and similarly collect their order as the drive-through concept works in B2C.


Next, another B2B mobile commerce advantage is the GPS feature to track nearby pickup locations and locate specific products at the branches closest to your immediate physical location.

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3. B2B eCommerce Statistics

A lot of famous wholesalers of B2B eCommerce websites like Amazon, Alibaba, Rakuten, Mercateo, Global Sources, Walmart and IndiaMART are the major players in the global B2B eCommerce market. 

Even though B2C eCommerce statistics has witnessed widespread adoption, now it is the recent revolution and growth of B2B eCommerce.

  • By 2020, the B2B eCommerce market will outgrow B2C eCommerce sales with a projected $6.7 trillion global income. (eCommerce Platforms, 2018)

  • By 2020, B2B eCommerce is predicted to exceed more than 12% of the overall B2B revenue. (BCG, 2017)

B2B eCommerce is changing at a rapid pace. Forrester suggests that the US global B2B e-commerce market size industry will hit $1.8 trillion by 2023. Besides, with 10% for B2B eCommerce statistics over the next five years for a compound annual growth rate. 

Forrester experts also predict that the global B2B eCommerce market sales will hit $12 trillion by 2020. (Forrester Research, 2019).



4. Global B2B eCommerce Market Size

Global B2B E-Commerce market size has evolved into a multi-trillion dollar market and is expected to see further growth over the next several years. By 2020, B2B E-Commerce sales are projected to be more than two times higher than global online retail sales.

Given this potential, B2B sellers worldwide count on E-Commerce to drive revenue growth and improve customer satisfaction. 

Global B2B eCommerce market size depends on online retail; to examples of B2B eCommerce websites such as, ThomasNet, and Amazon Business expand their reach and additional business to business sellers offer their products and services through marketplaces.


In 2012 B2B eCommerce statistics surpassed B2C in overall revenues. The need to revolutionize traditional B2B sales channels to maintain competitiveness is critical.

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5. Example of B2B eCommerce Websites

  • Alibaba:  Alibaba is one of the biggest examples of B2B eCommerce websites and B2C eCommerce companies in the world. The key to its success was an innovation from the very start. It started building an ecosystem with Chinese manufacturers and the global B2B eCommerce market size place. 


  • Just like Alibaba, Amazon is one of the most prominent examples of B2B eCommerce website players in the world. Amazon started even earlier in the Western hemisphere and is a new global B2B market size place as a potential sales channel. It’s easy to sell on Amazon for business owners because of a strong customer base, high website traffic, and refined customer experiences.


  • 3DXTech: The 3D printing company 3DXTech is an excellent example of a B2B eCommerce website that’s both invasive and successful. 3DXTech offers many manufactures high-performance 3D printing filaments and accessories.



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