Merkle, dentsu’s leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, has released its new report, B2B Futures: The View From 2030. Merkle’s analysis highlights four seismic shifts it predicts will transform the B2B sector by 2030: the emergence of machine-to-machine commerce, the evolution of global supply chain traceability, the dominance of digital marketplace business models, and radically accelerated speed to market.
For machine-to-machine commerce, Merkle expects that over one-third of all B2B commerce will be totally automated – representing $8 trillion in total value. With rapid advances in AI and the proliferation of “Internet of things” (IoT) devices across the economy, low-complexity replenishment transactions can increasingly be handled on a machine-to-machine basis. This means buyer and supplier systems can interact and transact directly, with no need for active human involvement. This represents a step-change advance in the sophistication and efficiency of B2B commerce.
“We’ve experienced so much change in the past few years – it can be hard to predict what the world will look like by the end of the decade,” said Holden Bale, global head of Experience & Commerce at Merkle. “But our analysis points to a pace and scale of change that surprised even us.”
In supply chain traceability, Merkle analysis charts how the world continues to respond to demand shocks and disruptions to the global supply chain in the wake of the pandemic. The report explores how growing consumer demand for improved visibility into the social, environmental, and geopolitical impact of their purchases is putting pressure on B2B companies. It also investigates how B2B executives and boards are requiring greater transparency into global supply chains to drive improved business decisioning. These forces contribute to Merkle’s prediction that for many buying decisions, supply chain traceability will displace price or quality as a top two buying driver by 2030.
Bale adds, “For B2B leaders looking to future-proof their businesses, our report outlines the significant shifts already underway in the marketplace and what it will mean to win in B2B – now and in the future. Today’s society is on the verge of a new era in how we develop products and services leveraging AI, synthetic biology, and novel forms of manufacturing. Merkle’s data-backed forecasts show hockey-stick growth in digital B2B marketplaces. In a nutshell, the world is going to look very different – very soon.”
This report combines six months of analysis across diverse global sources and proprietary data from thousands of B2B business leaders. It includes data from Merkle’s B2B Superpowers Index, an annual global survey of B2B buyers in different industries – including technology, financial services, manufacturing, and professional services – and across key markets around the world.
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