The economy is changing, and so is the pace and nature of digital commerce and transformation. As a result, U.S. manufacturers and distributors finished 2022 online in strong shape, according to data and analysis in the newly published 2023 Ecommerce Manufacturing and Distribution Report from Digital Commerce 360.
And that performance came against the backdrop of labor shortages, supply chain disruption and the impact of more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. manufacturers and distributors grew total B2B sales in 2022 to $14.89 billion. That is up 15.4% from $12.98 billion in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
B2B distributor and manufacturer sales grew robustly in 2022 overall, but most of the growth took place early in the year. By the end of the fourth quarter, sales growth had slowed by about half.
B2B distributor sales
Last year, the sales that occurred on B2B electronic channels, including electronic data interchange (EDI) totaled $9.14 trillion, a 19% increase from 2021. More important, B2B ecommerce grew faster than total B2B sales and accounted for 13% of all manufacturing sales.
Manufacturers and distributors both grew online last year, but distributors grew much faster than manufacturers. All in, manufacturers grew B2B digital commerce about 15% to $623.3 billion in 2022 from $543.3 billion in 2021. Distributors, meanwhile, grew year over year much faster. Their B2B ecommerce sales growing 25% in 2022 to $1.4 trillion from $1.1 trillion in 2021.
Digital-first customers are transforming the B2B industry and forcing manufacturers and distributors to rethink the way they conduct business. Companies that were once hesitant to embrace B2B ecommerce are now developing new initiatives, updating strategies and upgrading their technology with new cloud-based applications like headless commerce and AI.
As B2B ecommerce continues to accelerate in 2023, it’s critical for manufacturers and distributors (and the technology vendors that serve them) to find new digital opportunities and solutions to overcome challenges in the market.
Here is more detail on Digital Commerce 360’s 2023 Ecommerce in Manufacturing & Distribution Report.
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