Global B2B E-Commerce Market and Trends 2021 Post COVID-19

Global B2B E-Commerce Market and Trends 2021 Post COVID-19

B2B E-Commerce gained momentum during the pandemic: new yStats.com report

The latest publication from Hamburg-based desk market research company yStats.com, “Global B2B E-Commerce Market and Trends 2021 Post COVID-19” provides an insightful overview of the business-to-business E-Commerce industry amid the health crisis, including the recent developments in sales channels, B2B payments, and market players activities. The publication discloses that despite the B2B market being more resistant to changes than the B2C, COVID-19 accelerated the move to digitalization among the market players.

Global B2B market shifts towards digital sales amid COVID-19
Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the B2B industry was exogenously prompted to adopt digital channels, resulting in an increase of B2B E-Commerce sales in 2020, as compared to 2019. Furthermore, despite the still persistent movement restrictions and border closures in 2021, B2B cross-border payments were forecasted to increase by 14% year-on-year in 2021. Moreover, by 2023, moving to E-Commerce appeared to be the top investment priority for the majority of B2B organizations. Nevertheless, the transition to digital sales is a long and complicated process, especially for the B2B industry. As such, inverting in omnichannel was seen as an important move by 2023 for over eight in ten B2B leaders across the globe, according to a recent survey cited in the yStats.com report.

B2B buyers expect more virtual sales, personalized content and alternative payment methods
Despite this upward trend, shifting towards online comes with certain challenges for the B2B industry. With that, “Personalizing the customer experience” was stated as the top obstacle for these enterprises. Nevertheless, this was also something that eight in ten of the companies planned to deliver to their clients in 2021. Furthermore, with the onset of the pandemic, B2B firms reduced human interaction in the whole sales chain, and this seem to be exactly what their customers wanted: around 70% of B2B buyers preferred remote interactions or even digital self-services both in 2020 and 2021. Among other trends, virtual cards and instant payments are on a rise for B2B payments; niche marketplaces are gaining popularity and challenging the established players such as Amazon Business and Alibaba; and virtual sales interactions together with online self-services are being considered by B2B market players to expand their market chares, as detailed in the new yStats.com market report.


1. Management Summary
2. Global Overview
B2B E-Commerce Market Overview, June 2021
Top 8 B2B E-Commerce Market Trends 2021, June 2021
Overview of the Risks and Challenges for B2B E-Commerce Players, June 2021
B2B Digital Sales, in USD trillion, 2019 & 2020
B2B E-Commerce Sales, in USD trillion, 2018 – 2020e
Share of E-Commerce Sales, in % of Total B2B Sales, February 2021
Share of Digital Channels in B2B Sales Interactions Between Suppliers and Buyers, in % of Total, 2025f
Investment Priorities of B2B Organizations by 2023, in % of Commerce Leaders, August 2020
Share B2B Organizations that Earn the Majority of their Revenue from E-Commerce, by Industry, in %, August 2020
Share B2B Organizations that See Investing in B2B E-Commerce as a Priority by 2023, by Industry, in %, August 2020
Share of B2B Leaders who Consider Customer Experience as an Important Factor in the Brand’s Online Visibility and Adoption, in %, November 2020
Share of B2B Leaders who Plan to deliver Personalized Content to Their Customers in 2021, in %, November 2020
Top Challenges That B2B Business Face Regarding Online Sales, in % of B2B Leaders, November 2020
Top New Website Features/Functionality That B2B E-Commerce Companies Plan to Implement in 2021, in % of B2B Leaders, November 2020
Share of B2B Buyers Who Prefer Remote Human Interactions or Digital Self-Services, in %, February 2021
Ways of Interacting with Suppliers’ Sales Representatives, by Stages of Interaction, in % of Companies’ Representatives, August 2020 & February 2021
Market Sales Models Used by B2B Companies, incl. Videoconference, Online Chat, and Traditional/In-Person, by Pre- and Post-COVID-19, in %, November 2020
Share of B2B Businesses Who Will Transit from Experience- and Institution-Based Selling to Data-Driven Selling, in % of Total, 2025f
Share of B2B Buyers Who Prefer Virtual Sales Interactions, in %, 2020 & 2021
Share of B2B Sellers Who See Virtual Interactions as an Effective Mean of Sales, in %, 2020 & 2021
Improvement in Win Rate from Virtual Selling Expected, in % of Executives, and in % of Front-Liners, and Actual Reported Win Rate Improvement from Virtual Selling, in %, 2021
Improvement in Revenue from Virtual Selling Expected, in % of Executives, and in % of Front-Liners, and Actual Reported Revenue Improvement from Virtual Selling, in %, 2021
Share of B2B Leaders who Consider Providing an Omnichannel Experience as the Top Priority by 2023, in %, November 2020
Attitude of B2B Companies Representatives Towards Effectiveness of Omnichannel Sales Model in Reaching Serving Existing Customers, in %, April 9, April 28, August 11, 2020 & February 25, 2021
Attitude of B2B Companies Representatives Towards Effectiveness of Omnichannel Sales Model in Acquiring New Customers, in %, August 11, 2020 & February 25, 2021
Attitude of B2B Companies Representatives Towards Effectiveness of Omnichannel Sales Model in Reaching Serving Existing Customers, by Countries, in %, February 2021
B2B E-Commerce Marketplaces Trends, June 2021
Share of B2B Marketplace Sales, in % of Total B2B E-Commerce Sales, 2020e
Breakdown of B2B Buying Done via Marketplaces, in % of B2B Buyers, August 2020
Breakdown of Purchasing Frequency on B2B Marketplaces Compared to pre-COVID-19, in % of B2B Buyers, July 2020
Change in Spending on B2B Marketplaces Compared to Before COVID-19, in % of B2B Buyers, July 2020
Breakdown of B2B Buying Done with Amazon Business, in % of B2B Buyers, August 2020
B2B Vertical Marketplaces GMV, 2018 & 2019, and Third-Party B2B Marketplaces GMV, in USD billion, 2018 – 2020e
Amazon Business: B2B E-Commerce Marketplace Profile, January 2020
Alibaba: B2B E-Commerce Marketplace Profile, January 2020
B2B Payment Trends for 2021, June 2021
Total Value of B2B Cross-Border Payments, in USD trillion, 2020e & 2022f
Share of Instant Payments in Value of Total B2B Transactions, in %, 2020e
Share of Instant Payments, by Volume and Value, in % of Total B2B Transactions, 2022f
Share of Instant Payments, in % of Total B2B and Consumer Digital Money Transfer and Banking Payments Value, 2025f
Share of B2B Payments, in % of Total Instant Payments Value, 2025f
Top Payment Methods Offered by B2B E-Commerce Businesses, in % of B2B Leaders, November 2020
Top Payment Methods Available, by B2C and B2B, in % of Payment Decision-Makers, 2020
B2B Electronic Payments, in % of Total Payments, 2019 & 2020
Top Payment Investment Priorities in the Next 12 Months, in % of B2B Leaders, July 2020
Companies Fintech and Bank Strategies for B2B Payments, in % of B2B Leaders, 2019 & 2020
Top Factors to Impact B2B Companies’ Decision to Use Fintech Payment Solutions, by Business Size, in % of B2B Leaders, July 2020
Top B2B Payments Obstacles, by Business Size, in % of B2B Leaders, July 2020
Likelihood of Organizations Converting Majority of their B2B Payment Made to Suppliers from Checks to Electronic/Digital Payments, in % of Corporate Practitioners, 2020
Barriers on Increasing Use of Electronic Payments for B2B Companies, in % of Corporate Practitioners, 2020
Payment Fraud Attempts after COVID-19 Compared to 2019, in % of Corporate Practitioners, 2020
Overview of Virtual Cards Usage in B2B Transactions, incl. B2B Virtual Cards, in % of Total Virtual Cards Transaction Value, 2025f
3. North America
3.1. Regional
Share of B2B Purchasing Running Through Digital, Self-Service Channels, in % of Purchasing Professionals, June 2020
Top Challenges with Current B2B Vendors, in % of Purchasing Professionals, June 2020
Top Reasons to Prefer One Vendor to Another, in % of B2 Purchasing Professionals, June 2020
Share of B2B E-Commerce Companies Selling on Marketplaces, in % of B2B E-Commerce Executives and Professionals, 2020
Share of B2B Companies Generating Additional Value by Expanding Available Offerings with Third-Party Sellers, in % of B2B E-Commerce Executives and Professionals, 2020
Share of B2B Companies that are Actively Developing Marketplace Strategies to Compete with Amazon and Alibaba, in % of B2B E-Commerce Executives and Professionals, 2020
Overview of Selected B2B E-Commerce Marketplaces and Classifieds, June 2020
3.2. USA
B2B E-Commerce Sales, and B2B E-Commerce Sales Combined with E-Procurement, in USD billion, 2019 & 2020
Share B2B Organizations that Earn the Majority of their Revenue from E-Commerce, in %, August 2020
Share B2B SMBs that Saw an Increase in Online B2B Transactions Since COVID-19, in %, September 2020
Value of B2B Payment Transactions, by Payment Method, in USD trillion, and Breakdown of B2B Payment Methods, in % of Total Transaction Value, 2021f
Payment Methods Used For Recurring Purchases, by B2B and B2C and B2B-Only Companies, October 2020
Breakdown of B2B Payments, by On-Time, Late, and Written-Offs, in %, Q1 2020
Expected Changes in the Percentage of Overdue B2B Invoices Paid Late Over the Next 12 Months, in % of B2B Companies, Q1 2020
Investment Priorities of B2B Organizations by 2023, in % of Commerce Leaders, August 2020
Breakdown of B2B SMBs Operations, by Cross-Border and Local, in % of Total, December 2019 & September 2020
Key Benefits of E-Commerce for B2B SMBS, in %, September 2020
Share of B2B SMBs that Retained or Hired New Staff to Support their E-Commerce Operations Since COVID-19, and Share of Those Who Plan to Do So Over the Next Year, in %, September 2020
Share B2B SMBs that Saw an Increased Demand for Goods on E-Commerce Marketplaces Since COVID-19, in %, September 2020
Share of B2B SMBs that are Confident about their Businesses’ Perspectives, by Online and Offline Businesses, in %, September 2020
Top 5 Drivers of Supplier Trust in B2B E-Commerce, in % of US B2B Buyers, September 2020
Top 5 Drivers of Supplier Loyalty in B2B E-Commerce, in % of US B2B Buyers, September 2020
3.3. Canada
Investment Priorities of B2B Organizations by 2023, in % of Commerce Leaders, August 2020
Share B2B Organizations that Earn the Majority of their Revenue from E-Commerce, in %, August 2020
Breakdown of B2B Payments, by On-Time, Late, and Written-Offs, in %, Q1 2020
Expected Changes in the Percentage of Overdue B2B Invoices Paid Late Over the Next 12 Months, in % of B2B Companies, Q1 2020
3.4. Mexico
Share of B2B Payments Value Made on Credit, in %, 2019 & 2020e
Breakdown of B2B Payments, by On-Time, Late, and Written-Offs, in %, Q1 2020
Expected Changes in the Percentage of Overdue B2B Invoices Paid Late Over the Next 12 Months, in % of B2B Companies, Q1 2020
4. Europe
4.1 Regional
Expected Online Sales Growth by 2023, in % of Leading Manufacturers, 2020
Top 5 B2B Challenges to Achieve E-Commerce Ambitions, in % of Leading Manufacturers, 2020
Share of B2B E-Commerce Platforms Operating Locally, and Operating Regionally, in % of Leading Manufacturers, 2020
Breakdown of E-Commerce Solution Types Implemented, in % of Total, and Share of Centralized E-Commerce Solution in Homegrown Systems, in %, 2020
Top Reasons for B2B E-Commerce Centralization, in % of Leading Manufacturers, 2020
Top B2B Product Types Sold Online, in % of Leading Manufacturers, 2020
Share of Turnover Generated via B2B/B2G Web Sales, in %, Compared to B2C Web Sales and EDI-Type Sales, by EU and Selected Non-EU Countries, 2019 & 2020
Share of Enterprises Which Sold via a Website or Apps in B2B or B2G Commerce, in %, by EU and Select Non-EU Countries, 2015 – 2020
Change in the Proportion of B2B Sales on Credit Compared to Pre-COVID-19, in % of B2B Companies, Q3 2020
Top 20 European B2B Marketplaces, by Total Funding, July 2020
4.2. United Kingdom
Share B2B Organizations that Earn the Majority of their Revenue from E-Commerce, in %, August 2020
Investment Priorities of B2B Organizations by 2023, in % of Commerce Leaders, August 2020
Breakdown of Ways of Interacting with Suppliers’ Sales Representative, by Various Stages, in % of B2B Buyers, July 2020
Breakdown of Preferred Ways of Interacting with Suppliers’ Sales Representative, by Various Stages, in % of B2B Buyers, July 2020
Maximum Order Value that B2B Buyers Would Purchase Through End-to-End Digital Self-Service and Remote Human Interactions for a New Product or Service Category, in %, July 2020
Go-to-Market Sales Models Before and During COVID-19, in % of B2B Buyers, July 2020
Sources of Revenue for B2B Companies Before and During COVID-19, in % of B2B Buyers, July 2020
Share B2B Organizations that Earn the Majority of their Revenue from E-Commerce, in %, August 2020
Share of Mostly or Fully Automated B2B Payment-Related Processes, by Payment Channel, in % of Senior Decision-Makers, April 2021
Top Reasons Why B2B Buyers Switched to a New Supplier as a Result of COVID-19, in % of B2B Buyers, April 2020
Top Aspects of the B2C Customer Experience Would B2B Buyers Like to See, in % of B2B Buyers, April 2020
4.3. Germany
Investment Priorities of B2B Organizations by 2023, in % of Commerce Leaders, August 2020
Channels Currently Used by Businesses for Purchasing, in % of Businesses, January 2021
Channels Currently Used by Businesses for Purchasing, by Business Sizes, in %, January 2021
Share of B2B Companies Using Social Media to Communicate with Clients, in %, August 2020
Top Social Media Platforms B2B Companies Used to Communicate with Clients, in %, 2019 & 2020
Share B2B Organizations that Earn the Majority of their Revenue from E-Commerce, in %, August 2020
Payment Methods Offered, by All, New and Existing Customers, in % of B2B E-Commerce Companies, January 2021
Payment Methods Offered, by Company’s Size, in % of B2B E-Commerce Companies, January 2021
Methods Used to Process Payments Data from Different Channels and Service Providers, by Company’s Size, in % of B2B Omnichannel Companies, January 2021
4.4. France
Share B2B Organizations that Earn the Majority of their Revenue from E-Commerce, in %, August 2020
Investment Priorities of B2B Organizations by 2023, in % of Commerce Leaders, August 2020
4.5. Italy
B2B E-Commerce Transaction Value, in EUR billion, 2019 & 2020
B2B E-Commerce Digital Invoices, in billions, 2019 & 2020
4.6. Switzerland
Shares of Enterprises Active in Various Business Relationships, incl. B2C, B2B, D2C, B2G, C2C, and G2C, in %, 2019 & 2020
B2B Specific Functions Offered by Online Stores, in % of Online Retailers, August 2020
Systems Used in B2B E-Commerce, in % of Online Retailers, August 2020
Primary Objectives of Digital B2B Sales, in % of Online Retailers, August 2020
Top B2B Areas Where Sustainability is an Issue, in % of Online Retailers, August 2020
Share of B2B Companies Using Social Media to Communicate with Clients, in %, August 2020
Top Social Media Platforms B2B Companies Used to Communicate with Clients, in %, 2019 & 2020
4.7. Austria
Share of B2B Companies Using Social Media to Communicate with Clients, in %, August 2020
Top Social Media Platforms B2B Companies Used to Communicate with Clients, in %, 2019 & 2020
5. Asia-Pacific
5.1. Regional
Market Share of B2B E-Commerce, by Countries, in % of Total E-Commerce Market, 2020e
B2B Payments Market Revenue, in USD billion, 2018 & 2025f
Overview of Select B2B E-Commerce Marketplaces and Classifieds, June 2021
5.2. China
Shares of B2C and B2B Cross-Border E-Commerce, in % of Total, 2016 -2025f
B2B E-Commerce Transaction Value, in CNY trillion, and Year-on-Year Change, in %, 2015 – 2020
Corporate Procurement Purchases E-Commerce Market Size, in CNY trillion, 2019 & 2022f
B2B Cross-Border E-Commerce Export Goods Market Size, in CNY trillion, and Year-on-Year Change, in %, 2016 – 2025f
Value of B2B Cross-Border E-Commerce Export Service Provider, in CNY trillion, and Year-on-Year Change, in %, 2016 – 2025f
Value of B2B Cross-Border E-Commerce Export Online Transaction Service Provider, in CNY trillion, and Year-on-Year Change, in %, 2016 – 2025f
Alibaba’s Revenue, by Source, in CNY million, and Year-on-Year Change, in %, 2019 & 2020
Investment Priorities of B2B Organizations by 2023, in % of Commerce Leaders, August 2020
Share B2B Organizations that Earn the Majority of their Revenue from E-Commerce, in %, August 2020
Breakdown of B2B Payments, by On-Time, Late, and Written-Offs, in %, Q2 2021
5.3. Japan
B2B E-Commerce Sales, in JPY trillion, and Penetration, in %, 2015 – 2019
Share B2B Organizations that Earn the Majority of their Revenue from E-Commerce, in %, August 2020
Investment Priorities of B2B Organizations by 2023, in % of Commerce Leaders, August 2020
B2B E-Commerce Sales, by Sector, in JPY billion, 2017 – 2019
B2B E-Commerce Penetration Rate, by Sector, in % of Sales, 2017 – 2019
Overview of Select B2B Payment Platforms, incl. Fees Charged, June 2021
Overview of JCB Activity on the B2B Payments Landscape Post-COVID-19, June 2021
5.4. India
B2B Retail Market Size, in USD billion, FY 2019 & FY 2025f
Share of Unorganized B2B Retail, in % of Total B2B Retail, July 2020
5.5. Oceania
Share of B2B Purchasing Running Through Digital, Self-Service Channels, in % of Purchasing Professionals, June 2020
Top Challenges with Current B2B Vendors, in % of Purchasing Professionals, June 2020
Top Reasons to Prefer One Vendor to Another, in % of B2 Purchasing Professionals, June 2020
5.6. Australia
Share B2B Organizations that Earn the Majority of their Revenue from E-Commerce, in %, August 2020
Investment Priorities of B2B Organizations by 2023, in % of Commerce Leaders, August 2020
5.7. Singapore
Breakdown of B2B Payments, by On-Time, Late, and Written-Offs, in %, Q2 2021
5.8. Indonesia
• Breakdown of B2B Payments, by On-Time, Late, and Written-Offs, in %, Q2 2021
5.9. Hong Kong
Share of B2B Companies that Perceived a Slow Down in Their Clients’ Invoice Payments over the past 12 Months, in %, Q2 2021
Breakdown of B2B Payments, by On-Time, Late, and Written-Offs, in %, Q2 2021
Share of B2B Companies that Did not Perceive Change in Payment Timing over the Past 12 Months, in %, Q2 2021
6. Latin America
6.1. Regional
Share B2B Organizations that Earn the Majority of their Revenue from E-Commerce, in %, August 2020
Investment Priorities of B2B Organizations by 2023, in % of Commerce Leaders, August 2020
6.2. Brazil
Breakdown of Ways of Interacting with Suppliers’ Sales Representative, by Various Stages, in % of B2B Buyers, October 2020
Maximum Order Value that B2B Buyers Would Purchase Through End-to-End Digital Self-Service and Remote Human Interactions for a New Product or Service Category, in %, July 2020
7. Middle East and Africa
7.1. Regional
Overview of Selected B2B E-Commerce Marketplaces and Classifieds, January 2020
Overview of Mastercard’s Activity Post-COVID-19, June 2021
Overview of Visa’s Activity Post-COVID-19, June 2021
7.2. Saudi Arabia and UAE
Overview of the Current State and Businesses’ Expectations in B2B E-Commerce, January 2021
Product Types that B2B Companies Never Purchase Online, in % of Business Executives, January 2021
Share of B2B Supply Orders Placed on Online Marketplaces, in %, January 2021
Share of B2B Companies that Expect Higher Usage of E-Commerce in the Future, in %, January 2021
Share of B2B Companies that Make their Purchases Primarily Online, in %, January 2021
Share of B2B Companies that Make their Purchases Primarily Online, in %, January 2021

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook