Digital Transformation & B2B e‑commerce report 2018-19

The e-commerce (r)evolution.

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Sana University

of businesses are using e-commerce to support their digital transformation (up from 73% last year).


are currently implementing or have operated a web store.


state that improving the customer experience is a key objective of their web store.


indicated that their key priority for their B2B e-commerce solution is to drive change in their broader technology infrastructure.

In the report

Are you struggling to navigate the changing B2B digital landscape? We commissioned Sapio Research to survey over 550 B2B companies worldwide to gather insights on the evolution of businesses’ e-commerce strategies.

We track this evolution across phases, based on the sophistication of the strategies in place: the foundation of e-commerce (E-Commerce 1.0), followed by e-commerce basics (E-Commerce 2.0) and the customer-centric, hyper-personalized approach (E-Commerce 3.0).

Key questions:

  • What’s the current state of e-commerce adoption?
  • Which key factors are driving businesses to pursue e-commerce as a sales channel?
  • Where is e-commerce headed?
  • What’s the impact of changing business models (think: selling directly to consumers) on traditional supply chains?
  • What role does e-commerce play in reaching new national and international markets?

Digital Transformation and B2B E-Commerce in 2018–19

We learned, from last year’s survey, that 95% of businesses were planning to undergo a digital transformation. Key goals examined in the Digital Transformation and B2B E-Commerce Report 2017–18 include reducing the cost of sales, improving the customer experience, supporting sales staff and more.

Consistent with last year’s findings, there is evidence that companies this year are prioritizing the broader benefits of e-commerce 2.0, with 38% listing improving the customer experience as a key objective of their web store.

However, there is also a growing awareness of how e-commerce can help develop businesses internally (whether that’s improving sales efficiency (38%) or business efficiency (37%) and helping change and adapt business models – a priority for a quarter of respondents).

Are you ready to find out more about the revolutionary impact e-commerce is having on digital transformation efforts? We reveal it all in the Digital Transformation and E-Commerce (R)evolution report 2018-19.

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Interfaced e-commerce software
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E-Commerce 1.0

84% indicated that they’re currently implementing or have operated a web store.

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E-Commerce 2.0

38% state that improving the customer experience is a key objective of their web store.

Error elimination
E-Commerce 3.0

Only 20% indicated that their key priority for their B2B e-commerce solution is to drive change in their broader technology infrastructure.

B2B e-commerce implementation objectives: Are companies meeting their goals?

Over 90% of organizations are successfully meeting the objectives they set out when implementing their e-commerce solution. Whether the goal was to free up the sales team, increase the volume of sales, improve the customer experience or improve organizational efficiencies, companies are confident that they’re achieving their technology goals.

Over a quarter of respondents who said they hadn’t achieved their objectives indicated that their greatest obstacles are:

  • increased competition (29%), and
  • a challenging marketplace (26%).

Download the full report for an extensive overview of the challenges your organization may face on your journey toward transformation.

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Disruptive transformation of business models with e-commerce

E-commerce is putting businesses in a position to do things they’ve never done before, such as selling directly to end customers and creating additional revenue streams. Almost half of the businesses we surveyed are already benefiting from e-commerce, and in some regions and industries, that number is even more than half.

Find out which industries are seeing evidence of businesses changing their business models and starting to sell directly to consumers.

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Selling internationally with e-commerce

Over 63% of respondents are currently or are intending to use e-commerce platforms to sell internationally. The majority of these respondents currently sell to Europe (74%) or North America (60%).

In the following map we show to which continents respondents are selling or plan to sell. For American/Canadian respondents (160 in total), we see that 30% are selling to or anticipate that they will sell to Mexico.

But selling abroad means adjusting the functionalities in your web store to serve multiple markets. That’s why we asked respondents if their e-commerce platform supported multiple languages, multiple currencies and other important features for selling internationally. Curious about the outcome?

Download our latest 2018-19 report
multi-region support

Revolutionizing impact of companies selling online

As a result of e-commerce, companies are currently seeing a transformation of business models across industries. E-Commerce, in this case, is both the catalyst and the response. Here’s what that looks like:

  • Just under half of respondents indicated that they’re using digital transformation to combat rising competitive pressure.
  • 44% of respondents are currently using or intend to use an e-commerce platform to sell internationally.
  • 36% of respondents report that they’re seeing an increased presence of online market places in their domestic territories.

Get insights on these stats and more in the full report, available to download now.