E-Commerce Predicted to Account for One-Eighth of US B2B Sales in 2020

Total B2B sales in the US last year were estimated to be $829 billion, and that figure is expected to grow to almost $1.2 trillion by 2021, according to a recent forecast [download page] from Forrester Research. Along with rising total sales, e-commerce’s share of total B2B sales is also expected to climb.

This year, e-commerce is predicted to account for 11% of total B2B sales, a figure that will rise to 12.6% (or roughly one-eighth) in 2020. Standout categories in terms of e-commerce share will be durable goods categories, per the report.

For context, recent data from The CMO Survey [pdf] indicates that CMOs from B2B product companies estimate 8.7% of their sales are through the internet, while those from B2B service companies estimate 13.7% of their sales are through the internet.

Overall, Forrester Research forecasts the compound annual growth rate for B2B e-commerce sales to be 7.4% from 2016 through 2021. While that is a solid rate that will outperform the average overall gain in B2B sales, it lags the consumer side, where e-commerce growth rates have been roughly twice as high if not more.

About the Data: Forrester defines B2B e-commerce as “the sale of B2B products by manufacturers directly to businesses and by wholesalers and distributors indirectly to businesses.”