Written by
Head of Product Marketing and Content
Share this article
Top B2B trends for 2023

2023 is upon us and B2B e-commerce shows no signs of slowing down. Worldwide, B2B e-commerce revenues are expected to hit $4 trillion by the end of 2023. The value of the European B2B e-commerce market alone is forecast to reach $1.5 trillion in 2023 and grow to $1.8 trillion by 2025. 

Annual e-commerce trends

Alongside this rapid growth, rising competition, changing buyer expectations and uncertain economic conditions will continue to drive a number of emerging trends that have already made their way into the B2B e-commerce sector in 2022. 

To help your business prepare for what’s coming next, here’s a list of 6 key trends set to shape B2B e-commerce in 2023 and beyond.

Enhanced personalization

It used to be that B2B salespeople would visit their customers, know their exact wishes and fill out order forms together. Nowadays, business customers do online research and want to shop online but they still want the personal touch and many B2B merchants are yet to deliver this. 

A McKinsey & Company survey of close to 3,500 B2B decision-makers found that along with more channels and more convenience, customers also want a more personalized experience.

In 2023, we’ll see more merchants looking to transfer their personalized offline sales experience into the digital world and catch up to the levels of personalization offered by their B2C counterparts.

To achieve enhanced levels of personalization, merchants will leverage their customer data to provide experiences that speak directly to their customers’ past, present and anticipated needs. They will look to personalize touch points along the entire customer journey to simplify and accelerate the buying process from search, product catalogs and recommendations to ordering, payment and shipping.

The consumerization of the B2B payment experience 

The consumerization of the B2B payments experience has been a hot topic for some time but has received a significant push from accelerated e-commerce adoption during the pandemic.

Today’s B2B buyers are primarily millennials. They are accustomed to the fast, convenient, and flexible checkout experiences offered in B2C and increasingly expect the same when shopping online in a professional capacity. In fact, some studies show that as many as 80% of B2B buyers now expect the same buying experience as B2C customers.

In 2023, we’ll see more merchants looking to transfer their personalized offline sales experience into the digital world and catch up to the levels of personalization offered by their B2C counterparts.

Get more out of your payments with Mondu.

Buy Now Pay Later will only get bigger

There’s been a lot of excitement around B2B Buy Now Pay Later over the last few years and rightly so given the benefits it brings to both B2B merchants and buyers. In 2023, we expect merchant adoption of Buy Now Pay Later to accelerate further as high inflation and economic uncertainty persist and potentially worsen. Growing demand from buyers, which is already sky-high, will also play a role in driving adoption.

E-commerce trends

In 2022, we saw rising prices starting to directly impact the payment behavior and morale of B2B buyers and companies’ liquidity. For the first half of 2022, lenders and suppliers reported an average payment delay of 10.5 days. In comparison, the average payment delay of B2B buyers in the previous year was 9.97 days. SMEs are particularly impacted. For them, the average payment delay is significantly above average, at 12.1 days. 

This declining payment behavior will continue into 2023 and likely lead to a cash flow crunch for many B2B businesses, especially small and medium-sized companies dependent on punctual payments due to tight operating budgets. The risk of payment defaults is likely to rise too, threatening the very existence of some of these businesses. 

Ultimately, these challenges will drive more B2B e-commerce businesses to partner with third-party BNPL providers. Such providers allow merchants to offer the payment flexibility their buyers need and want without worrying about cash flow issues or bearing the risk of non-payment. 

Adopting an omnichannel sales approach

Buying habits are changing as technology becomes increasingly integrated into our daily lives. B2B buyers want more flexibility when moving through the sales process, preferring a combination of traditional sales methods, remote sales (such as video calls), and self-service (such as digital portals and e-commerce).

Some B2B sellers are yet to meet these preferences, resulting in a gap between expectations and merchant offerings. According to research by Oracle, 56% of B2B buyers feel there is a gap between the existing experiences offered by B2B sellers and their evolving needs for purchasing.

But there are also a growing number of merchants already embracing omnichannel and according to McKinsey, they’re finding it more effective than traditional sales models alone. Sales satisfaction with this model is growing exponentially as more companies enable face-to-face interaction and adopt hybrid sales approaches that facilitate remote and e-commerce interactions.

In 2023, omnichannel will become “the new normal” in B2B. We can expect a major shift regarding onsite sales versus online webshops and toward a hybrid sales model that seamlessly serves customers across channels. In line with this trend, hybrid sales representatives will become far more common. In fact, according to McKinsey, by next year, 64% of B2B companies plan to increase hybrid sales representatives.

E-commere trends 2023

Ultimately, merchants offering an omnichannel purchasing journey and hybrid sales model across traditional, remote and self-service channels will gain a competitive edge over sellers relying heavily on one channel. 

Optimizing the mobile buying experience

B2C webshops have been leveraging mobile for many years due to its popularity among consumers when making a purchase. But more business buyers are now using mobile devices to make purchases too. Mobile already accounts for 33% of all B2B e-commerce sales and growth in mobile usage has been remarkable. 

A survey from McKinsey & Company found that B2B mobile ordering has increased 250% in the past two years. According to BCG research, 60% of B2B buyers reported that mobile played a significant role in a recent purchase.

These findings shouldn’t be surprising considering that the average person spends over three hours on their phone daily. However, it is surprising that most B2B merchants have yet to capitalize on developing a great mobile experience. 

In 2023, this will change as mobile usage among business buyers continues to grow. More B2B businesses will invest considerable resources to optimize their web stores for mobile and ensure buyers can seamlessly switch between devices during the buying process.

Embracing sustainability

With the battle to meet net zero emissions targets and fight climate change heating up, business buyers are placing more emphasis on environmental responsibility. They are increasingly only buying from environmentally friendly businesses. In fact, according to a recent survey, B2B buyers are much more concerned about a company’s environmental and social values than consumers. 72% are more likely to buy from socially responsible businesses compared to 55% of consumers.

For B2B e-commerce businesses, building a sustainable brand that embraces environmentally sustainable practices will become increasingly important in driving growth. In 2023 and beyond, we expect more B2B businesses will re-evaluate and transform their existing business practices like shipping and fulfillment to become more sustainable. They will also focus on using recycled materials and making packaging more biodegradable.

Want to learn how you can adapt your business for 2023? Reach out to us.

Head of Product Marketing and Content

You might enjoy...

Discover how B2B payment terms can improve cash flow and strengthen business relationships.
Picture of Yvonne Acker

Yvonne Acker

Having conquered its home market of Germany, and championing Austria and the Netherlands, Mondu now takes on the UK.
Picture of Michal Lasman

Michal Lasman

Subscribe to the blog

Subscribe to our email list to receive advice from other business owners, support articles, tips from industry experts, and more.

Mondu Newsletter

Join our email list for in-depth insights into the B2B payments landscape.