New study predicts next wave of eCommerce growth

DHL Express

A new whitepaper from DHL Express predicts strong growth for the B2B eCommerce market, with 80 per cent of all B2B sales interactions taking place digitally by 2025.

The whitepaper study (The Ultimate B2B eCommerce Guide: Tradition is out. Digital is in) looked at the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the pace of digitalisation and the purchasing behaviour of technology-savvy millennials, who are now of an age to be professional B2B decision-makers. According to DHL’s data – they will be main drivers of this global eCommerce growth.

Millennials are said to already account for 73 per cent of all professional B2B purchasing decisions. As digital natives, their experiences in the B2C-sector translate to high expectations when making B2B transactions, pushing companies to invest in digital solutions, such as selling platforms, while offering great growth potential.

Predictions for the future of the B2B sector reflect those already visible in the significant B2C eCommerce rise of the last few years. Where DHL Express experienced high growth rates particularly during the holiday peak seasons of Easter and Christmas and mega shopping days, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

In 2020, total B2C eCommerce volumes within the DHL Express network increased by around 40 per cent, compared to the previous year.

This positive business development is also reflected in the FY2020 financial results of the company, with the Express division of Deutsche Post DHL Group closing 2020 with the best result in its more than 50 years history. Total revenue was €19.1 billion (up 11.9 per cent year-on-year) and EBIT rose 34.9 per cent to €2.7 billion.

John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express: said: “Even in times of worldwide shutdowns, globalisation has shown its resilience, fuelled by digitalisation and the power of global trade.

“These trends have led to an ever-growing number of consumers to shift their shopping activities online. The pandemic has accelerated this development like never before, with a sharp rise in businesses selling their goods in the global marketplace. eCommerce and global logistics thus provided the key to unlock local shutdowns, keep economies running and mitigate the impact of Covid-19 for many of our customers.”

Acceleration of B2B eCommerce growth

In 2019, before the pandemic, global sales on B2B eCommerce sites and marketplaces had already increased by 18.2 per cent to reach $12.2 trillion, outpacing the market size of the B2C sector.

Through Covid-19 and the resulting acceleration of digitalisation, this global B2B eCommerce volume is estimated to reach $20.9 trillion by 2027.

Michiel Greeven, executive vice president global sales at DHL Express, said: “We have been facing the pandemic for over one year now. A year that showed how nearly a decade of digital evolution happened in just a few months’ time, with online shopping and cross-border shipping as the new normal. And this is true not only for B2C retailers, but also in terms of B2B eCommerce as companies started recognising that online selling platforms are crucial for their business success, today and in the future.

“As a result, there will also be an additional need for global Express shipping and DHL Express is well positioned to support all B2B companies on their journey.”

In 2020 DHL Express delivered 484 million shipments in total for its customers (B2C and B2B) around the globe, around 9 per cent more per day than in 2019.

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