Digital Charge: Both B2C And B2B Brands Accelerate Online Selling

Consumers changed several behaviors during the pandemic. For one, 30% spent more time reading and writing emails. For another, 39% increased their online shopping, according to State of Commerce, a study released Wednesday by Salesforce. 

In addition, 54% spent more time browsing the internet and 45% spent more time using social media. And 45% did more watching and streaming of videos. 

B2C ecommerce -- estimated at 14.1% of total global retail sales in 2019 -- is forecast to reach 22% by 2023.  

Of those polled, 60% of B2C commerce professionals adopted new channels within the past two years. Still, only 41% of brands feel completely prepared to handle emerging channels. 

The study divides firms by three levels of online competence: 

  • High performers — 35%
  • Moderate performers — 55%
  • Underperformers — 10%



At the highest level, 66% of brands are replacing in-store experiences with digital ones. And 56% overall expect the majority of their revenue to come from digital channels within the next three years. 

And, B2C leaders say these investment priorities are important or very much so: 

Social media presence — 55%

Brick-and-mortar stores/physical presence — 42%

Website presence — 56%

Marketplaces — 46%

Of the high performers, 95% report they are successful with social commerce, and 71% report they are very successful. In contrast, 81% of moderate performers report success, only 16% at the top level.  

Moreover, brands saw 90% growth in global contactless payment use YoY. And there was 76% revenue growth in U.S. retailers offering BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up Instore).

Overall, 60% of commerce professionals  have adopted new channels within the past two years, and 81% of the remainder are in the process of doing so now. 

On the B2B side, 65% plan to increase their ecommerce investment over the next two years.  

Of those polled, 30% say digital channels provided more than 50% of their revenue in 2020. But 55% now expect the same level within three years. 

Among high B2B performers, 83% boosted their investment in digital commerce in the past year, versus 61% of the moderate performers and 27% of the underperformers.  

Going forward, 73% of the leaders will invest in B2B ercommerce over the next two years, 66% in customer self-service online, 52% in in-person sales teams, 48% in inside sales teams and 44% will invest in distributors. 

But 74% of the moderate performers will spend on B2B ecommerce and 70% on customer self-service online. 

Salesforce conducted a double-blind survey of 4,102 senior B2C and B2B commerce professionals through a third-party panel in February 2022

In addition, Salesforce analyzed buying activity of over 1 billion shoppers across 54 countries occurring between first-quarter 2019 through first-quarter 2022 on websites operating on Salesforce Commerce Cloud. 

Also, Salesforce had surveyed 1,373 leaders in August 2020. 

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