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Most manufacturers in Europe sell online. After 143 e-commerce and digital directors were surveyed by Swedish research firm Copperberg AB, those without B2B capabilities are accelerating their plans to launch a B2B platform. Copperberg surveyed these executives from the automotive, aerospace/defense, marine, machinery/industrial equipment, oil-and-gas, process automation, healthcare and food-and-beverage industries. 77% of them have some kind of online selling platform.

B2B tech guy
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Survey Says

In the first quarter of 2019, Copperberg's survey found out a lot more about B2B than the aforementioned numbers. Almost 1/4 of the respondents don't sell through a public e-commerce site, log-in portal or another online sales channel. 44% of that number said they were expecting to have something ready to go online within the next 12 months. 

Digitalcommerce360 reported that, “Manufacturers acknowledge that customer behaviors are changing as more purchasing goes online or at least the purchasing process of gathering information starts online. They are acting on this trend.” 

Types Of Online Channels

Copperberg went on to report that the types of online sales channels offered to B2B consumers by European manufacturers varies widely. 52% of manufacturers, for example, have an e-commerce site, but only 37% have a log-in portal. Only 25% are active selling on B2B marketplaces like Amazon Business. “The strategy within manufacturing is moving towards digital and opening up online sales channels.”

Other Findings

Some more information:

  • For 65% of European manufacturers, the top priority for B2B e-commerce is generating more sales.

  • 65% view selling on marketplaces such as Amazon Business or Alibaba as an opportunity.

  • 40% have an e-commerce staff of 10 or more workers.

  • 70% have been selling online for 1-2 years.

  • 51% say e-commerce is an operation run by the business side of the organization, compared with 44% that run e-commerce with a mix of business and information technology managers.

Copperberg again stated, “When looking at how much companies are investing into e-commerce, there is clearly a split: there is an equal amount of manufacturers that currently have very small teams dedicated to e-commerce compared to those that have large teams of 10+ resources dedicated to it. It seems that e-commerce right now really is an all-in-or-nothing approach.”