Marketing experts estimated at the beginning of 2015 that about 50% of all B2B marketers would increase their budgets for lead generation purposes over the course of the year, and recent data released from Forrester Research makes it even more likely that lead generation budgets will continue increasing long after 2015.
In the study US B2B eCommerce Forecast: 2015 to 2020, the Forrester Research group estimates that B2B eCommerce in the U.S. will generate about $1.1 trillion by 2020. The research group predicts that B2B online sales revenue will increase by an average of 7.7% annually for at least the next five years.
The data also predicts that B2B online sales will total about $780 billion in revenue during 2015, making the online marketplace an increasingly important sector of the B2B industry. If these predictions are correct, B2B online sales will comprise 12.1% of all U.S. B2B sales at the end of 2015.
By the time that B2B online sales reach the $1.1 trillion mark — which will likely be in 2020 — this revenue will make up about 12.1% of the estimated $9.39 trillion of revenue generated by all B2B sales in the U.S.
As Viraj Shah noted in a recent Invest Correctly article, Forrester “has not only brought out these details [of B2B online sales growth] but also indicated the driving force behind them” — specifically, that B2B buyers have begun turning to the internet for both research and transactions, and that B2B sellers are also encouraging customers to use online resources in order to save money.
Currently, Forrester reports that about 30% of B2B buyers complete at least half of their business transactions online, and this percentage is expected to increase to 56% by 2017. Considering that 74% of B2B buyers do research at least half the time before making a purchase online, it’s easy to see how online research can easily convert into more online sales.