B2B E-Commerce – UK – July 2016

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The prospects for the B2B e-commerce market are very strong. There is a significant disparity between the number of companies undertaking either web or EDI sales and those using these systems for purchasing – indicating significant further potential. However, not all B2B sales can be undertaken through website sales, and while many can be covered through EDI structures, there remain limitations on the appropriateness of the media.

Table of Contents


The market

Figure 1: Comparison of the B2B and B2C e-commerce market, 2011-15 and forecast 2016-20

Figure 2: Segmentation of the B2B e-commerce market, by avenue 2015

Figure 3: Segmentation of the e-commerce market, by industry 2015

Figure 4: Segmentation of the EDI e-commerce market, by industry 2015

Figure 5: Segmentation of the website e-commerce market, by industry 2015

Market factors

Figure 6: Proportion of businesses with Internet access, by size of company, 2014

Figure 7: Proportion of businesses with websites and e-commerce facilitated websites, by size of company, 2014


Figure 8: Development of companies making e-commerce sales, 2010-14

What we think


Does B2B trade lend itself to e-commerce?

Are major differences in industry penetration continuing?

Figure 9: Proportion of companies making sales and purchases through e-commerce, by sector, 2014

What are the likely impacts of the UK’s decision to leave the EU?





Market positioning

Customer data


Market targeting

Economic advantage


Payment simplicity

Product return

Perceived environmental compatibility

Checkout abandonment

Price competition

Lack of interactivity

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Figure 10: UK GDP quarterly development, 2003-16

Figure 11: UK GDP in economic downturns and recoveries since 1979


Interest rates

House prices

Figure 12: UK House price changes, 2004-2016

Consumer spending


Figure 13: UK manufacturing, 2013-16

Business investment

Figure 14: UK GFCF 2003-15




Internet access and usage

Figure 15: Worldwide Internet usage, by region, 2010-16

Figure 16: Proportion of businesses with Internet access, by size of company, 2010-14

Figure 17: Proportion of businesses with broadband, by size of company, 2010-14

Figure 18: Proportion of businesses by maximum contracted Internet connection speed, by size of company, 2010-14

Strong consumer e-commerce market encourages the B2B sector

Figure 19: Consumer use of the Internet, by activity, 2015

Figure 20: Number of different internet-enabled devices per household, 2015

Business web sites are almost universal, except among micro companies

Figure 21: Proportion of businesses with a website, by size of business, 2010-14

Figure 22: Proportion of businesses with a website using on-line ordering or reservation/booking, by size of business, 2012-14

Figure 23: Proportion of businesses making e-commerce sales, 2010-14

E-commerce purchasing highest among large companies

Figure 24: Proportion of businesses making e-commerce purchases, by size of business, 2010-14

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