With the pandemic, ecommerce is seeing an unstoppable boom across all regions and sectors. In India, B2C ecommerce is already a success. For the organized market, it accounts for 20-25% of the business. However, when you look at the total retail market in India, ecommerce only occupies about 8% of market share. The digitization of this massive 92% of offline businesses is what we’re referring to as B2B ecommerce.
Retailers in B2B marketplaces have changed habits over the last three years. Today, many retailers are looking at the deals being provided by brands in these B2B marketplaces. They’re going to these marketplaces for the following reasons:
- Offers: Obviously an attraction for retailers, offers are beneficial to all parties involved.
- Faster servicing: Adopting methods from B2C ecommerce – such as faster and cheaper delivery, being open to accepting smaller minimum order quantities, and easy tracking – are a big benefit to retailers.
- Wider range: Brands are given the opportunity to showcase an entire range of collections.
- More brands: Retailers can sign up with more distributors and brands, even those who might have been beyond their reach because of their location or size.
- Same pricing and credit as offline channels: Retailers and distributors love offline channels because they get better margins from brands for more volumes, showcasing loyalty to the brand. They also get credit based on their long trusted relationship with the brands. With B2B ecommerce, which is integrated to the ERP of the brand, the same feature set is available.
While B2B commerce is still in its nascent stages, it continues to show great promise. And when you consider the above five factors, the proposition of B2B Ecommerce becomes very compelling. In fact, one of the leading B2B marketplaces touched almost ₹6,000 Cr of annual revenue in FY21.
How B2B ecommerce has grown in India
When high-speed internet and smartphones became ubiquitous, demands for online business transactions increased. With that, came a flurry of B2B opportunities that connected businesses from urban and rural regions all over India. To gain some perspective on the potential scale of this ecommerce market, consider IAMAI-Kantar ICUBE’s report, which projected that India will be home to 900 million active internet users by 2025. Thus began India’s slow transition from physical brick-and-mortar stores to virtual storefronts.
To grow in B2B ecommerce, companies need fair pricing, large consignments, dependable supply, and efficient execution. What’s more, B2B ecommerce companies operate on much larger order values and volumes so they approach their decision making, customer engagement, solutions, as well as product and marketing strategies differently.
Thanks to the increased penetration of high-speed internet and smartphones, greater willingness to adopt newer tech, changing business processes due to the pandemic, regulatory steps (GST/CST), etc., the benefits of B2B ecommerce are becoming more and more visible each passing year. Today, the B2B ecommerce market size is seeing a massive explosion in the country, with MarketWatch reporting that 72% of manufacturers are boosting their budget for B2B ecommerce operations.
How should B2B ecommerce companies recalibrate in FY23?
When working on enhancing B2B ecommerce business, perhaps the most important thing to remember is that a majority of B2B buyers today are millennials. This tech-savvy generation expects quick, seamless, and convenient transactions. B2B companies should focus on enhancing the UI/UX of their B2B ecommerce platform for online dealers and distributors and add rich, relevant, and easy-to-use features to boost adoption.
Naturally, the methodology for marketing will also look vastly different than it did previously. B2B customers now expect the same kind of service as B2C. They prefer personalized interactions, live chats, and other technology-forward channels that can help cement a stronger connection. So it is vital to redirect some spends from physical marketing to digital marketing.
The big focus on B2B ecommerce going forward
- India’s largest B2B marketplace: It crossed ₹5,800 Cr of sales in FY21 and looked to double it in FY22. Today, it boasts over 30,000 B2B sellers and over 3 million users across industries. These numbers are large, too large for brands to not have their own B2B ecommerce play in place.
- ONDC: The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is a government-backed non-profit company that hopes to democratize India’s ecommerce market for buyers and sellers of all scales and segments. With this platform, smaller B2B ecommerce businesses in India can now get access to digital platforms and push growth. Although it is still in its pilot stages, active in just five cities, it is expected to accommodate 10 million merchants and 30 million sellers across 100 cities by October 2022.
Let your B2B ecommerce business take flight
If there’s one thing B2B marketplaces have done, it is proving the importance of having a direct connection with retailers. That’s why at Tenovia, we’re helping you bridge the gap by allowing your B2B customers to purchase from you across platforms, be it your website, your app, or your WhatsApp business account.
Our B2B ecommerce solution – 10Commerce – is an integrated solution that covers all stakeholders including retailers, dealers, distributors, and brands. We’re also integrated with fintech companies and multi-tier transport providers to give you a well-rounded solution that mirrors your offline B2B processes. If you’re interested in exploring 10Commerce for your B2B ecommerce business and bettering your reach to trade customers, connect with us today!