In the answers of the 400 B2B organisations surveyed across Benelux, France, Germany, the Nordics, UK and US, the impressive impact of the digital transformation becomes apparent:
• Four in 10 claim that digitalisation has completely changed their business models
• Three quarters (76%) currently have their own B2B commerce site
• Just 42% currently have bricks and mortar outlets
• 46% say their sector is more global now than ever before
• 43% are selling to customers that would not buy from them before
• 44% are generating more total sales – and more sales per sales representative
• 40% leverage their digital sales channels to persuade customers to purchase more items across more product categories.
The digitalisation of B2B organisations is not only affecting their day-to-day operations. It is changing the whole business landscape. In fact, a third (37%) of survey respondents report an increase in “stealth” practices, where new and competing products and services come to market with little warning and not always from traditionally competitive suppliers.
These new offerings can often disrupt a sector and/or render incumbent offerings redundant. Indeed, only three in 10 (30%) B2B organisations feel confident enough in their product or services that they would be able to innovate in the face of stealth competition and keep up.
“Organisations need to set up the right technological infrastructure today in order to fully leverage the potential of digitalisation and to prepare for a successful future,” explains Dr. Jochen Wiechen, CEO, Intershop Communications AG. “Order management systems have proved to have a particularly high relevancy in that respect. However, they are just one part of a truly synaptic commerce landscape, which ensures the necessary flexibility required by the market’s dynamics.”
The report also examines the digital mega trends, Big Data alongside the Internet of Things (IoT). An impressive 95% expect to benefit from IoT and smart automation. Already, organisations are noticing the impact in areas such as better marketing and targeting, cost savings, supply chain management efficiency and greater efficiencies across their business. Yet despite this, relatively few (37%) say they plan to invest in the IoT over the next 12 months. When it comes to Big Data, despite less than half (42%) claiming their organisation uses Big Data effectively, 54% say it will be their organisation’s next big investment.