Continuing sharp rise in B2B commerce

November 22, 2018

It's arrived. This year’s edition of the Swedish B2B Commerce survey. Last year, we could see that there was a lack of proper statistics on digital commerce between companies in Sweden, which is why we produced the report, Swedish B2B Commerce, and we now want to repeat last year's success. We wanted to take the temperature of digital B2B commerce again, and produce data to enable comparisons with last year’s findings and see what has changed. We present some of the most important and clearest observations below.

There are no signs that digital commerce is slowing down.

As we expected, digital commerce between companies continues to rise in Sweden. When it comes to the number of B2B companies that benefit from digital commerce, last year's figure of 57% has increased to 67%. In other words, around two-thirds of B2B companies in Sweden have digital sales today. Of those that pursue digital commerce, the vast majority agree that their own digital commerce will increase over the next three years. And of those that have not gone down the digital sales route, 53% are planning to do so within three years. Everything therefore points to digital B2B commerce continuing to rise in Sweden moving forward.

Responsibility is moving from IT to commercial roles

From previously belonging to IT, responsibility for digital channels is increasingly moving to commercial roles. In this year’s survey, IT managers are now in fifth place when it comes to responsibility for digital commerce. This responsibility has now most often fallen to a sales manager instead, closely followed by an e-commerce manager or a specific digital strategist. Over half of all large companies with a turnover above SEK 200 million have a specific e-commerce manager or digital strategist today. This clearly indicates an ever increasing digital maturity among Swedish B2B companies.

Around one in ten of the companies asked said that over half of their sales were made digitally, and just under one third say that digital sales account for over a quarter of their total turnover. However, most companies say that the majority of their sales are still done offline, which suggests there are big opportunities to digitalize a lot more of their sales.

Simplified administration and streamlined sales are the biggest driving forces

What is driving the continued investment in digital commerce by B2B companies? The companies that already sell online and those that have not yet started broadly agree on the driving forces behind investing in digital commerce. Fully 50% see the opportunity to simplify administration and streamline sales as the strongest driving force. The SME segment with a turnover of less than SEK 20 million see things differently. Here, far and away the strongest driving force is increased new sales, with up to 73% of companies in this segment giving this as the most important reason to start digital trading.

Customer expectations dictate the development of digital B2B business

Digital B2B commerce continues to develop at a rapid pace in line with rising B2B customer expectations of a digital and increasingly seamless purchase experience. Many respondents talk about a development that must take place. Namely that customers will expect a buying experience that moves between physical and digital environments problem free, and that they will expect to be able to purchase all products online. In other words, a digital investment with the customer experience in focus is crucial if B2B companies are to avoid losing customers to competitors.


As was the case last year, the Swedish B2B Commerce survey has given us a host of valuable statistics on the digital B2B commerce landscape here in Sweden, and where it is heading. Compared with last year's survey, we have also been able to draw conclusions on the development picture and gained additional insights on the challenges Swedish B2B companies are facing. The report can be downloaded here (In Swedish): www.svenskb2bhandel.se.

Do you and your company want advice on how to get started with digital commerce? Please don’t hesitate to contact us as Litium!

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