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The global market for B2B e-commerce will grow by more than 70% by 2027 to $20.9 trillion, according to a new study by logistics company DHL Express.

The company saw its own revenue jump by almost 12% last year to €19.1 billion as more companies and consumers switched to e-commerce because of the pandemic, Yahoo Finance reports.

Digital natives on the rise

The rise of digitally native millennials in roles with purchasing responsibilities is a factor in this growth, as well as the short- and long-term effects of the pandemic. 

Millennials now account for 73% of B2B purchasing decisions, the study found. 

The report confirms findings in the newly published 2021 B2B Ecommerce Market Report from Digital Commerce 360, which notes that the last 12 months have accelerated a shift in the way business buyers procure products and services for their organisations.

Ditch the phone

In future more business buyers will do less purchasing by phone and more via online channels.

In 2020 B2B sellers saw a significant increase in demand for digital commerce sales channels from B2B buyers as the global pandemic began to shut down traditional sales routes.

“There was literally a feeding frenzy for companies, especially small-to-mid sized companies, to catch up with the demand from digital customers or start from scratch,” said Brian Beck, managing partner of Enceiba, an agency that helps manufacturers and brands sell through and Amazon Business.

Last year, total B2B electronic sales (including e-commerce and EDI) grew by 9.6%. Sales on B2B e-commerce sites grew by 10% to $1.39 trillion from $1.26 trillion in 2019, reports IT News Online.

Daniel Banta, analyst at the Mercator Advisory Group and co-author of the report, said: “Though B2B marketplaces currently make up a modest share of all electronic sales, it appears the B2B industry is heading to an eventual marketplace-dominated distribution model.”