Investments in digital growth is rising, but few follow up with data

Recently, the sixth edition of “Nordic Digital Commerce in B2B 2022” came out. The annual report is filled with exciting insights from the market's ongoing digitisation. Among other things, we see that digitisation has taken great strides forward during the pandemic and that the prospects for digital commerce within the B2B segment are expected to increase. More and more people also see how digital business contributes to achieving companies’ sustainability goals.

More surprising, however, is that not even half of all those who have adopted a digital e-commerce strategy are measuring their ROI. Here we see great opportunities for B2B companies to truly become data-driven and thereby make more profitable investments in their digital structural capital.

Digitalisation is expected to increase significantly within B2B

The report shows that a whopping 73% of companies that currently have an e-commerce solution believe that their digital sales will increase in the next three years. A quarter of these also believe that the increase will be as much as 25%, or more. In other words, there is a strong belief in the future of digital sales, something that will also place demands on the organisation. As the digital presence increases, more demands are being made of integrating these parts within companies’ business systems, as well as customer and product management systems.

Experiences from the companies that have made these integrations testify to higher customer satisfaction, better efficiency, and increased sales. In other words, there are many arguments supporting why it is worthwhile to seriously digitise your business and create a holistic approach to your digital sales.

Digitisation strengthens companies’ sustainability work

Another positive aspect of digitisation is the effects it has on B2B companies' work with sustainability. According to 32% of the participants in the study, investments in e-commerce have become an important part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) work.

For example, transport has been made more efficient, partly by coordinating transport and partly by delivering directly to customers without intermediaries. Self-service systems also reduce the risk of errors when placing orders, which reduces the need for return transport and unnecessary extra work. Several companies also see a reduction in the amount of travel for their salespeople as a great deal can be done via digital contacts. In this way, both transport costs and the need for hotels and allowances are reduced, while sales increase.

Few measure the ROI of their digital investments

Despite that more and more B2B companies create digital sales solutions, fewer than half measure and follow up on the results of their investments. In fact, 50% of those surveyed use data to improve their offers to customers. However, this data is rarely used to actually evaluate which investments have paid off the best. This risks negatively affecting continued development, as investments are based on gut feeling and subjective perceptions rather than facts.

Of those who measure, most focus on the upper part of the sales funnel. Over 40% measure traffic to their digital channels, but only 15% measure the conversion rate from their sales-driving activities. Additionally, only 24% measure revenue from their digital sales, something that can make it difficult to determine how different sales channels are performing against each other.

B2B can learn a lot from B2C

Increasingly, it is also becoming clear what digital B2B sales can learn from the developments that have already taken place within B2C. Although B2B sales are more complex and involve larger order sums, there are great similarities. Customers expect it to be easy to place an order and receive delivery of their products.

At the same time, there are requests to be able to integrate certain systems with the suppliers to automatically receive deliveries when they are needed. In other words, there is great potential for those companies that seriously create a digital meeting place where they can interact, integrate, and build long-term relationships with their customers.

Are you interested in more insights? Then you should download the report “Nordic Digital Commerce in B2B 2022”.

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