How do wholesalers, manufacturers and other B2B players increase their bottom lines with digital commerce? Here, we reveal the success stories of Cargo Crew, Dawn Foods, TROX and Geberit — and how they capitalize on composable commerce and MACH.
Big-name analysts banged upon the rise of B2B digital commerce for a long time; however, the real wake-up call arrived during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, McKinsey 2022 research shows that 65% of B2B companies now offer eCommerce capabilities, up from 53% in early 2021. And statistics show that this was a smart move, as B2B buyers embrace digital interactions with gusto: 87% of buyers would pay more for a supplier with an excellent eCommerce portal.
As a massive demand for digital-first B2B sales came into play, many companies took on the herculean task of offering eCommerce portals at a breakneck speed. The ones that transformed their customer journeys thrived and are now looking at the next phase of this evolution: expanding their portals into more robust omnichannel and B2C-like experiences to enable B2B sellers to reach new markets, increase customer acquisition and retention and, yes, boost revenue long-term.
So, what’s holding B2B companies back? B2B digital commerce first-movers implemented monolithic platforms lacking the flexibility and scalability for optimized customer experiences. Still today, 62% of B2B sellers’ digital commerce efforts are opportunistic with simple self-service buying introduced, and 77% of buyers agree their last purchase was overcomplicated.
With the colossal revenue opportunities associated with B2B digital commerce, it’s time for players to carve out future-fit digital experiences. Let’s explore how B2B leaders achieved this goal with commercetools Composable Commerce.
B2C-like experiences for faster conversions
The times of perceiving B2B buyers as faceless corporations are gone. They are consumers, just like you and me, constantly exposed to the most exciting ways to purchase goods and services. This new paradigm translates into a massive demand: 73% of B2B buyers want personalized and B2C-like experiences.
With the increased simplicity of digital commerce, B2B buyers are ditching lengthy and complex sales processes, with only 17% spending their time meeting potential suppliers and 67% reaching for digital or remote in-person engagement instead of face-to-face meetings. It’s predicted that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions will occur in digital channels.
These nuggets of insight point to the urgency for B2B experiences to become B2C in disguise. This shift is recognized by market leaders such as Australia’s largest fashion uniform retailer, Cargo Crew. With composable commerce, the family-owned business launched a unique multi-site platform with 27 websites, enabling an easy 24/7 ordering of curated uniform ranges that offers a B2C-like shopping experience.
With a digital-first approach to B2B eCommerce, each business has its own co-branded website that encompasses fully curated ranges, categories, images, pricing and catalog, as well as the ability to seamlessly purchase uniforms in bulk. Personalizing products with embroidery, monograms, emojis and logos is also an integral part of the customer experience.
Through shared content, development of free multi-site, flexible accounts that support B2C, B2B and B2B2C, our technology allows us to ‘play small, market-wide.’ We have created scale within our business by being able to quickly launch and customize a web of eCommerce sites across our complex business.
Director of Business Operations, Cargo Crew
Since launching the new eCommerce platform, Cargo Crew has seen a significant uplift in online revenue by 34%, in addition to growing 10% in transactions and 19% in ordered items. At the same time, the company saved an estimated 2,000 hours of client service and customer administration time when compared to a manual ordering process. Now, online shopping represents 73% of total transactions and 38% of business revenue.
Personalized products paired with eCommerce
In B2B, it’s common to tailor products to fit unique customer needs. Reflecting customizations into eCommerce journeys is a recurring challenge, as digital product configurations must be flexible and modular enough to power limitless made-to-order product variations.
A B2B components supplier for room ventilation and air conditioning, TROX is the epitome of product customization to fulfill bespoke customer requirements. Employing microservices-based and API-first architecture by commercetools, TROX created a sophisticated product finder and configurator that supports up to 30 million possible configurations. Thanks to an algorithm permanently running in the background, their solution can determine if the customer’s desired components are compatible — and if the combination can be produced at all.
The commercetools solution gave us the flexibility we needed to ensure the constant growth of our systems. It is in line with our strategy to be able to grow in a modular and flexible manner in order to be able to ideally reflect the demands of our customers.
Head of Marketing & Digital Sales, TROX
The configurator is easy to use and provides crucial CX information such as expected delivery time, pricing information and lifecycle costs on the myTROX web store, establishing it as the foundation for the company’s future growth.
Interactive online catalogs to boost product discovery
Statista revealed that implementing B2B digital commerce in the US is hindered by two significant challenges: Limited product data and inaccurate inventory information. B2B players with vast catalogs featuring thousands of product variations face an enormous challenge in product discovery, compounded with the need to display accurate and relevant information on Product Detail Pages (PDP). At its core, B2B catalogs must be flexible and scalable to offer an intuitive shopping experience and increase sales conversions.
Geberit, an international manufacturer and supplier of sanitary technology products, faced that complexity head-on in its mission to boost product discovery. With the flexibility and agility of MACH architecture, the company can power product data across various retail channels with technical details and the option to compile shopping lists and download data; an impossible task for rigid platforms such as monoliths.
Now that the first channel — the online product catalog — is able to pull up product data from the multi-channel business solution, the next natural step is to ensure that all remaining websites, apps, tools, etc., are connected to the new interface.
Head of Product Data Management Applications, Geberit
With such an intuitive shopping experience for wholesalers, tradespeople, architects and even consumers across 40+ countries, Geberit is primed for a revenue boom.
Customer-centric and omnichannel: The evolution of B2B digital commerce
Thankfully, B2B digital commerce is evolving from a transactional and traditional sales model to a customer-centric and omnichannel sales model. That means B2B sellers are compelled to expand their limited eCommerce use cases to address the entire customer journey and recalibrate sales from the traditional sales rep interactions to digitized touchpoints that may include the supplier website, mobile app, web chat, video conferencing and social media. According to McKinsey, B2B decision makers are using more channels than ever to interact with suppliers, jumping from five channels in 2016 to 10 in December 2021.
This digital transformation journey is encapsulated in Dawn Foods, a US-based wholesaler and distributor of bakery goods. New to the eCommerce game in 2020, the company decided to future-proof its digital footprint with composable commerce. The first milestone, digitizing its product portfolio, led to a 25% hike in buyers ordering online. Next, they incorporated Cart and Checkout capabilities from commercetools, allowing customers to view their order history, pick the order and then reorder — three clicks and the buyer’s order is complete!
Customers are telling us that for the first time in their interaction with Dawn Foods they can see the entire portfolio of products. We keep hearing, ‘We didn’t know Dawn carried vegan certified pastry mixes. We were getting that item from another vendor!'
VP Digital, Dawn Foods
Looking ahead, Dawn Foods is exploring social commerce to maximize the company’s sales revenue with a “buy button” embedded in relevant social platforms and connected to Dawn Foods’ eCommerce via an API. As to the role of sales reps within the company, that’s evolved for the better as well — they’re now business consultants advising businesses on trends, techniques and new products. With digital-first sales, half of Dawn Foods’ business is now generated on eCommerce.
Think big. Start small. Implement fast. Change anytime.
Composable commerce, powered by the underlying MACH-based architecture, enables B2B companies with the freedom to implement big ideas in smaller and manageable batches, with the flexibility and scalability needed to future-proof their business long-term — without vendor lock-in.
With global B2B eCommerce outpacing B2C with a projected value of $18.57 trillion in 2026 and a CAGR of 18.7%, the pressure is on for the B2B sector to revamp online shopping offerings toward a customer-centric, omnichannel and holistic approach. With a massive revenue opportunity on the horizon, B2B players leveraging composable commerce from the get-go have a clear advantage in driving future success.
Check out our B2B blog series with the 7 benefits of composable B2B eCommerce solutions and How B2B businesses leverage B2C and D2C models on commercetools.