Buyers Demand Visibility and Transparency: New Merkle Report Predicts Seismic Shifts for B2B by 2030

Published on:

Evolving B2B landscape to grow over $25 trillion in digital sales by 2030

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.

“Business has become a game of inches in the fiercely competitive B2B landscape. In this report, we’ve identified decision drivers beyond the basics of pricing and availability. ,” said Jake Hird, VP of Strategy, Merkle B2B, APAC. “These factors underscore the enduring value of robust brands and human connections, even in an age dominated by automation.

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.

Hird adds, “As B2B leaders navigate through complex legal and reputational terrain, the imperative to address environmental sustainability and uphold human rights throughout the supply chain is paramount. From the sourcing of raw materials to ensuring fair labour practices in manufacturing nations, the journey towards accountability and transparency has been arduous. However, with the maturation of blockchain and IoT technologies, the goal of traceability is now within our grasp.”

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.

Click here to see the full B2B Futures report from Merkle, including predictions for the B2B marketplaces and the future of product development.