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B2B digital commerce insights
In this year’s B2B study, Scandinavian B2B Commerce 2020, we take a closer look at the driving forces that push Scandinavian B2B companies to make the leap into digital sales. There are a variety of reasons for the move towards increased digital sales, but our study shows that some reasons are more common than others. We will unpack the results of the study here and consider what might be behind them. 

Simplified administration ranks as the top motivator

The results of the study clearly show that the end result of a company’s digital sales efforts go hand in hand with expectations, at almost all levels. But what are the market forces that are steering us towards an e-commerce segment based more and more on digital solutions? And why is this the case?

In our study, both B2B companies planning to digitize their sales (64%) and those already engaged in digital sales (61%) report that the primary motivator is a desire to ease their administrative burden and/or increase sales efficiency. The fact that a company may place a greater focus on reducing internal costs rather than, for example, increased sales, may seem a bit counterintuitive. But when we look more closely at the way B2B companies function and operate, this prioritization seems more logical.

In a B2B company, internal administrative processes are often more complex than they are in a B2C company. Therefore, any inefficiencies in internal processes put a strain on resources and drive costs. Improvements to these processes can save a company a lot of time and money, which can have a significant impact on a company's bottom line.

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Fredrik Hrdlicka
Sales Executive
Eleiko, a company originally known for selling small kitchen appliances, underwent a major transformation in the late 1950s. When the company decided to stop making toasters and waffle irons and start producing weightlifting bars made exclusively from high-quality Swedish steel, the move raised eyebrows across the entire weightlifting world. Since then, Eleiko bars have taken the world by storm–not to mention the role the bars have played in setting over 1,000 world records. Today, Eleiko supplies equipment for weightlifting, powerlifting and strength training to international competitions and training facilities across over 180 countries. Eleiko now finds itself ready for the next transformation. After selling equipment exclusively to professional buyers, the company is now launching its first e-commerce outlet.

New lifestyle patterns accelerated launch plans

Erik Blomberg, CEO and owner of Eleiko Group AB, explains how the company had been developing a strategy to launch an online store for about a year. Initially, the company planned on launching a new platform towards the end of 2020, but the outbreak of the coronavirus and the lifestyle changes it brought around the world resulted in a change in plans:

– When avid exercise enthusiasts could no longer hit the gym as usual, the demand for home fitness products increased quickly. The biggest demand was in the UK, where just about every day we received inquiries directly from consumers who wanted to be able to exercise safely in their home. We decided we needed to act fast! 

Although the initiative to invest in e-commerce was accelerated by the outbreak of the pandemic, Eleiko was already well prepared in many ways.

– We had done a thorough study and evaluated a number of alternatives and platforms for how we would implement our solution at the beginning of the year. Now we decided to put the plan into effect immediately rather than waiting for the fall as planned, Erik says.

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Malin  Bodolla
Chief Marketing Officer
For the fourth time, we are presenting our report on digital commerce between companies and this year we are looking at the market from a much broader perspective than before. We are now taking the pace of digital B2B commerce in Sweden, Norway and Denmark and launching Scandinavian B2B Commerce 2020.

Largest B2B study on digital commerce in the Nordic region

The study is based on responses from nearly 1000 respondents and this time it is extended outside of Sweden. It now covers all of Scandinavia. This makes it the largest study in the Nordic region on how companies work with commerce in the digital channels.

Widening the perspectives and looking at the market outside of your own country is also a pattern of the company answers in our study. In the report you can read about how Scandinavian B2B companies broaden their operations internationally - in the other Nordic countries, Europe and globally. And digital platforms are becoming important tools in the internationalization.

Small differences between the Scandinavian countries

More and more B2B companies in all three markets have now crossed the starting point and are selling digitally. Many people are also beginning to see the positive effects of it. However, there is a clear difference in digital maturity between larger and smaller companies as well as between different industries.

Although we see some smaller differences between the Scandinavian countries, the pattern is clear: Scandinavia is a digitally mature market and most B2B companies today recognize that digitalization is a crucial success factor for business development and growth. By 2020, the question is no longer whether digital commerce is an opportunity for B2B companies but how to address this opportunity to succeed.

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Malin  Bodolla
Chief Marketing Officer
Taggar
B2B
Welcome to Scandinavian B2B Commerce 2020, Litium's annual report on digital commerce between companies (B2B). In this fourth edition, the report includes Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

Here is a brief summary of the results:

Scandinavian B2B companies believe in digital commerce

  • Almost half (42%) of the surveyed B2B companies offer online commerce via webshops, EDI, purchasing portals or external marketplaces. However, there are great differences between industries: While as many as 75% of wholesalers and 59% of distributors/resellers sell digitally, only 29% of consulting and service companies do. 46% of manufacturing companies use digital commerce.
  • The study also reveals clear differences in digital maturity based on company size. Larger companies are ahead in their digital efforts as 59% of the companies with sales over 200 million (in local currency) work with digital sales channels, only 26% of the smallest companies do.
  • Most companies offer a combination of different options for their digital sales with an average of 1.8 channels. The most common is a webshop where customers and retailers log in to shop, which is offered by over half (53%) of the companies, while 39% have a webshop open to anyone.
  • Digital B2B commerce is clearly seen as a commercial responsibility. In most companies head of marketing, head of sales or the company CEO is responsible for the company’s digital commerce. A quarter of respondents have a dedicated e-commerce manager, which we see as an indication of the organization's maturity.
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Malin  Bodolla
Chief Marketing Officer
Taggar
B2B
Litium is represented in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. We have now strengthened the team in Norway with a new star seller, Hans Audun Sørensen. It's great to finally have Hans on board and although he got an unusual start depdending on the corona situation, he has already found his place in the team. Warm welcome Hans, we all look forward to meeting you irl when these crazy times are over. But until you get the chance to meet Hans, as you can get to know him a little bit here.
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Linda Ericsson
Marketing Coordinator
For e-commerce companies, products are a vital part of operations. Of the many different systems e-retailers use, the system that manages product information is core. Still, for the separate systems to be useful to each other, the information must be used correctly. In other words, having a well-integrated PIM (Product Information Management) system has become a condition for companies to quickly be able to adapt to new terms and not lose momentum.

On the highly competitive market of e-commerce, speed is one of many key factors. Companies of the future must be able to adapt to customer demand and get their products out onto many different channels quickly – on websites with e-commerce, in print and on social media. Here, the system support tools used are business critical, in particular, a company's PIM, making it possible to manage all types of production information centrally. PIM has become important for the customer experience since the system facilitates for e-retailers to distribute the updated information required for selling and marketing products digitally.

“As an e-retailer, you have to be able to manage your products in a structured manner so that you can reach your customers with information on what makes your products superior and why they should buy them. We have PIM integrated into our e-commerce platform, giving us the benefit of a quicker time-to-market. Separate PIM systems require integrations, which are not only unnecessarily time-consuming, but also increase the risk of technical problems and performance issues. This would mean not getting your products out for sale on time,” says Ludvig Block, CPO of the Litium e-commerce platform.

The Ultimate Guide to PIM for B2C

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Ludvig Block
R&D Manager
To sell real estate online may seem like a great challenge. This, despite the fact that the majority of customers are accustomed to making large and small purchases online. Presumably, the greatest challenge is making customers feel they have enough information and inspiration to go through with a large online purchase. This has been a challenge in basically every industry, even those that now are e-commerce savvy.

To sell real estate online may seem like a great challenge. This, despite the fact that the majority of customers are accustomed to making large and small purchases online. Presumably, the greatest challenge is making customers feel they have enough information and inspiration to go through with a large online purchase. This has been a challenge in basically every industry, even those that now are e-commerce savvy.

The automotive industry is an example of an industry that has been very successful in e-commerce, despite the great expense and complexity of their products. They identified that, given relevant information, customers tend to immediately make a purchase or decide to make a purchase in the future. The automotive industry utilizes smart strategies such as configuration, which allows customers to build their own car digitally. The configuration contains relevant, simple facts on each of the car’s components, making it easier for customers to “build” the car of their dreams.

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Samuel Akay
Sales Executive
Taggar
Handskakning i neon
The report “Swedish B2B Commerce in 2017” has given us many insights into what companies in Sweden consider to be a successful involvement in e-commerce. For an investment in digital commerce to live up to the expectations a B2B company has, it has become increasingly important to successfully integrate the e-commerce solution with other business and support systems in the enterprise.

There are high expectations when it comes to what an e-commerce solution can bring the enterprise and what it can do for sales. Ninety-four percent of Swedish B2B companies think their own digital sales will increase in the next three years, and a third think that sales will increase by over 25 percent.

According to Swedish B2B Commerce in 2017 the strongest driving force behind a digital initiative is a wish to simplify administration and streamline sales, closely followed by a desire to increase the level of service to customers. For an investment in digital commerce to achieve the desired results, you often need more than a new e-commerce solution, however.

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Fredrik Hrdlicka
Sales Executive
Taggar
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.

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Åsa Lundborg Ling
CMO
Taggar