Nearly half of B2B companies expect 50% or more of their customers to buy from them online within three years, a new survey from Forrester Research and B2BecNews finds.

As business-to-business e-commerce begins to mature for many companies, they’re seeing many of the positive metrics that come with experience, a new study from Forrester Research Inc. says.

One indication of that is the percentage of their customers buying from them online. In a study of B2B e-commerce companies released this week that Forrester conducted in association with B2BecNews, nearly three-quarters, or 70%, of respondents said they expected 25% or more of their customers to be buying online from them within two years.

Among the 70% of respondents, nearly half said they expected at least 50% of their customers to buy online from them within two years; one third said they expected at least 75%.

Increasing profitability per online order

The study, “Measuring Up: Benchmarking Your B2B eCommerce Performance,” by B2B commerce analyst John Bruno along with other Forrester analysts, is based on a survey of more than 100 B2B e-commerce professionals conducted in June 2018.

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It also addresses other trends. It notes, for example, that 52% of respondents said their percentage of online sales from repeat customers was on track to increase in 2018 over 2017. Over the same periods, 52% noted increasing online conversion rates; 42%, increasing average online order value; 41%, increasing profitability per online order.

The report also warns online B2B companies that with maturity in B2B e-commerce comes an increased need to take such steps as producing more compelling online content. Although more than 40% of survey respondents cited website content and marketing programs as among their top priorities for continuing growth, others are less focused on such areas.

“As their B2C brethren learned years ago, B2B companies must tackle the daunting challenges of creating compelling content that keeps their customers coming back and improving the overall experience of their sites,” Forrester says.

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