Business-to-business (B2B) companies are notoriously behind business-to-consumer (B2C) companies in incorporating technology into the digital commerce experience. But as traditional B2Bs begin to catch up, they could alienate their customers by relying too heavily on digital touchpoints. eMarketer’s Sean Creamer spoke with Thomas Prommer, managing director of technology at digital agency Huge, about how B2Bs can adopt technology while retaining important human elements. Prommer was interviewed as part of eMarketer’s March report, "B2B Ecommerce 2018: Transforming Buying and Selling."
As B2Bs explore ecommerce technology, what trends are emerging?
Automated selling is a growing trend, and it's being driven by the optimization of cost, product, quality, availability and demand. Price elasticity has a higher impact in the B2B space because you’re operating in large volumes and have more price volatility based on supply and demand. Staying on top of the data and analytics of that is much easier to do in a digital manner, and allows organizations to make disciplined and confident purchasing decisions.
In an area like scientific research, for example, that is highly commodified, there aren’t any clear leaders, and the 20 to 30 providers in that market use quite a bit of dynamic pricing. The programmatic buying process becomes interesting to an organization, because it takes a lot of manual effort out of it, while making sure it finds the best price, quality and shipping duration to suit its needs.