Gone are the days of e-commerce being something for B2C companies alone. B2B e-commerce is skyrocketing, with a 19% CGR that is only expected to grow more in the coming years.

Author Nick Saraev

Photo: Freepik

However, simply setting up an e-commerce system is not enough to differentiate your company from the competition. If you want to stand out from the crowd and deliver an exceptional customer experience every time, you’ll have to be more intentional about your strategy. 

Xavier Rio, the Global e-commerce Manager at 3M shared his process with us, explaining that B2B e-commerce is profitable and necessary for any company hoping to stay innovative going forward. By following his formula, any business can start integrating e-commerce with excellence. 

Benefits of Implementing B2B E-Commerce

No change is easy, and bringing in an entirely new sales channel is a particularly complex one. However, if you take the time to do it right, you can expect a huge boost to your company’s 

  • Growth – A successful e-commerce strategy will bring in incremental revenue and help you gain market share
  • Sales 32% of B2B companies believe that e-commerce is the most effective sales channel, with only 23% sticking to in-person
  • Productivity – Running sales through an online portal allows you to optimize your operations and brings down costs
  • Customer Experience – Modern customers demand the intimacy of e-commerce, and it isn’t out of reach. 65% of B2B companies are offering e-commerce, so if you don’t meet this expectation, someone else will 

If you want to stay competitive, the time to start crafting your e-commerce strategy is yesterday. 

Current Trends in B2B E-Commerce 

True excellence in e-commerce requires you to stay up to date on how the landscape is changing. The B2B companies seeing the most success with their online sales are shifting toward specific trends. 

Each of these trends is fully interdependent, meaning you can’t focus all your attention on just one of them and expect results. 

Artificial Intelligence

We are in the middle of a revolution with AI. It’s radicalizing the way we produce content and search for answers. With AI getting integrated into search functions and business software, the chances of your customers asking ChatGPT what companies to work with are going up by the day. 

The biggest difference between an answer from AI and a traditional search is that AI will give a single answer. If your company is not the first to pop up, customers may not even hear about you. 


It’s become impossible to imagine an important product page not having at least one video. Usually, there will be even more, covering 

  • Product introduction and packaging 
  • How the product is used 
  • Benefits of the product

If you want results from your e-commerce platform, you’ll need to ensure these videos are present and high quality. 


As technology has become more and more ubiquitous, we’ve been able to collect and analyze thousands and thousands of data points. The challenge becomes deciding what KPIs are most important for your operation, lest you sink beneath the endless waves of information. 


No e-commerce platform is going to have just one target persona. How can you deliver a truly personal experience on your B2B e-commerce platform that will be suitable for every single user? Even individuals within the same demographic will have different needs, so it’s vital that you set up your platform to appropriately meet their varied expectations. 

Finding the Perfect Go-To-Market Model

There’s a truly endless amount of potential go-to-market models that you could integrate into your e-commerce system, and each has its pros and cons. The challenge comes with deciding which model is most relevant to your market. 

  • Direct Model – Manufacturers selling directly to the end users
  • Channel Partners – Partners that resell through their platform, bringing together offers from multiple manufacturers. Distributors
  • Marketplaces – Platforms like Amazon that bring together disparate offers and require their sellers to deal with inventory

The most important factor in finding success with any go-to-market model is consistency. What can people find from you on each platform? Are the prices all equal, or are you attracting customers to one place or another? 

The Formula for E-Commerce Success

With so many different factors affecting the success of your e-commerce initiative, it can be difficult to know where to start. Rio shared the key formula to finding e-commerce excellence. If you keep these three elements top of mind, you’ll win every time. 


It may seem obvious that a quality product is key to success, but the product itself is only half the battle when it comes to e-commerce. You also need to consider your offerings as a whole. 

Do you have a good assortment of products? Is your packaging appealing and professional? Each piece of your portfolio works together to ensure your customers’ expectations are met and exceeded. 


No matter how wonderful your products are, if no one is finding your website, you aren’t going to make any sales. There are lots of ways to bring traffic in, including

  • SEO 
  • Social media
  • Paid advertising
  • Email marketing

Make sure you have a solid marketing plan to drive traffic to your e-commerce site, and continuously monitor and adjust your efforts to ensure you are reaching your target audience. 


Getting a user onto your website is a huge success, but only if you’re able to convert those visits into sales. This process requires a combination of tactics and components, including 

  • Product Enrichment – Have plenty of pictures and effective videos to show off the unique value your product offers
  • Inventory Levels – A customer won’t be eager to purchase a product online if it’s going to take weeks or even months to arrive. Make sure you have the inventory to send out orders as they come in
  • Reviews and Ratings – Having a high rating, good reviews, and glowing testimonials will make users far more likely to make a purchase. Including at least 5 reviews can increase conversion rates by 270%

These elements working together create the formula that leads to a boost in sales across the board. 


Even in the B2B world, e-commerce is hardly new. Any business looking to stay relevant needs to implement an e-commerce strategy, and if they want to truly differentiate themselves, they’ll do it with excellence. 

Every step forward into the digital world should be tied back to your business objectives. Focus on productivity, sales, and customer experience. With these at your core, you’re sure to craft an e-commerce strategy worth celebrating. 

If you want to learn more about e-commerce, change management, transformation, or any other concepts that are essential in the B2B manufacturing sphere, be sure to check out our articles and resources on Copperberg. We’re passionate about excellence in business, and can’t wait to share that passion with you and your company.

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