Overview of B2B E-Commerce in India

Globally B2B e-commerce is double the size of B2C e-commerce market and India is no exception to this

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India’s GDP is expected to rebound to 8.2% in 2018-19 with GDP size of $2.84 trillion (nominal) Overall retail market contributes to 24% of GDP with $ 672 billion and is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2020. India is largely an unorganized retail market, contributing 92% to the total retail sector in India. The contribution of e-commerce to the overall retail market is less than 4% and is expected to increase by 12% by 2026.


Recent disruption in the telecom sector has given a huge push to Digital India Initiative thereby increasing Internet users to 500 million by Jan 2018 from earlier 375 million Oct 15 with a cumulative growth of more than 10% YoY.

By 2020 the Indian e-commerce market is expected to reach $120 billion growing at an annual rate of 50%.

Globally if we see B2B e-commerce is double the size of B2C e-commerce market and India is no exception to this, backed up by huge investments from Global players, India is expected to be the next battleground.

Some of the factors which will differentiate B2C to B2B e-commerce are

  • Impulsive purchase Vs Rational buying

  • Pre/Advanced payment Vs Credit payments

  • Lesser Transaction values items Vs Higher value transactions

  • Single decision makers Vs Multiple decision makers

  • Single delivery Vs Multiple deliveries over a period

  • Single price Vs auction price/derivative prices

Major drivers propelling B2B e-commerce in India would be increased usage of Mobile platforms which are providing app-based solutions for customers problems, development of Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning algorithms to identify buyer’s behaviour and segmentation of categories and social media marketing and analytics which will drive traffic and increase user penetration.

Categories which will drive B2B segment are Consumer durables, Mobile accessories, Apparels, Home furnishing and Health care. Construction and Industrial supplies which are in a niche category as of now are expected to achieve exponential growth in upcoming years due to the increased contribution of this segment to overall GDP. By 2020-21 India would be the world’s largest construction and Infrastructure market with the market size of $600billion, second largest employment creation after agriculture.

Currently, India has 42.5 million SMEs/MMEs which has 95% industrial units, employs 106 million, 40% of India’s workforce and is potentially ready to disrupt with increased sales & marketing efforts backed up logistics and technology.

According to research from Digital commerce 360, 80% of manufactures will increase spending on their B2B e-commerce operations and 38% will increase spending by 25% or more.

Digitization in the supply chain eco-system, especially traders, wholesalers, dealers, retailers, consumers using Apps and other platform driven methods is the key to stickiness and growth. Adoption will not be imminent, but the whole supply chain is technology driven. Matter of the next 3-5 years when digital app driven platforms are going to manage market inventory in this segment, as they currently are using secondary and tertiary supply chain digitization in the FMCG segment etc.

Technology is helping manufacturers, by introducing products into the market within a short span of time compared to the traditional market. Secondly, high-quality no-name brands are becoming brands over-night challenging the status quo and demanding a premium. Demand generation is now changing, the cycles of consumption are shorter, so inventory is reducing, just in time manufacturing is increasing because the cost of logistics needs taming. Logistics continues to be a driving factor for pricing. Lastly, credit leverage will continue to drive volume, what needs to be ascertained is real consumption vs. consumption for the future.