Three Ways B2B Commerce Will Fundamentally Change by 2025:

And the Top Leadership Strategies to Win in the Future of Commerce

Author: Mickey North Rizza
An IDC InfoBrief sponsored by Spryker



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Executive Summary

IDC defines microservices as a software architecture that structures an application as a suite of loosely coupled services that implement business capabilities. In this InfoBrief, IDC uses the terms “microservices” and “packaged business capabilities” interchangeably.

B2B commerce is evolving rapidly, and business customers increasingly expect engaging, consumer-like buying experiences. However, many of the digital commerce platforms on the market were built for yesterday’s customer journeys. To outpace the competition and win in the next era of digital commerce, B2B companies must partner with commerce technology providers that help them adapt to changing market conditions.

This IDC InfoBrief lays out three leadership strategies to overcome these challenges:

Offer differentiated B2B functionality

Deliver engaging commerce experiences

Harness the power of digital marketplaces

Challenge 1

Business customers expect commerce experiences that support complex business models

Commerce platforms drive digital transformation, and they must be adapted to the modern B2B customer. Delivering a highly customized commerce experience that meets the complex needs of B2B is a competitive differentiator today.

Customer expectations have drastically shifted and customers have come to expect high-value commerce business capabilities:

  • Vast product catalogs with graphic content and product comparisons
  • Frictionless ordering
  • Ability to handle B2B complexity, such as integration with corporate procurement and ERP
  • Support for business model changes, such as marketplaces with thirdparty products and direct to consumer engagement

IDC estimates that COVID-19 accelerated adoption of commerce technologies by three years. In 2021, we saw further acceleration, as B2B commerce shifted from a “nice to have” to a “must have” for B2B buyers.

Challenge 2

Most B2B commerce platforms were built for yesterday’s customer journey

Existing B2B commerce solutions have often been built around a customer journey that predates the iPhone.

Many existing platforms suffer from the following:

  • Slow to implement and complex to maintain
  • Not built for mobile
  • Hard to comply with local requirements (VAT, taxation, privacy, e.g.,) and with external commerce hubs
  • Limited support for today’s complex, disjointed, and non-linear purchasing path of business buyers
  • Inability to augment core commerce capabilities with third-party leading-edge technologies, such as self-service bots, advanced personalization, and new payment methods
  • Unfulfilled promises from technical microservices approaches, as opposed to pragmatic approaches with more attention to time-to-value of business capabilities

Q. What are the top priorities for you from a digital commerce platform?
Challenge 3

Marketplaces are taking over digital commerce but B2B merchants lag behind

Over half of online B2C transactions occur over digital marketplaces. This number has been trending upward over the past five years.

Meanwhile, less than a quarter of B2B transactions occur over digital marketplaces.

B2Bs want to be a part of the marketplace movement but struggle to build the technology, people, and processes to power them.

Q. What are the top priorities for you from a digital commerce platform?

Supports both B2C and B2B commerce on a single platform


Supports ability to build a proprietary, multi-sided digital marketplace


Order management capabilities


Customer experience management capabilities


A strong personalization engine


Selling across third-party marketplaces (eg. Amazon, Alibaba, eBay)


Q. What percentage of your B2B buying is currently done via marketplaces?

B2B companies struggle with marketplace business models due to the following challenges:

  1. Scaling technology to support escalated supply and demand
  2. Supplier onboarding
  3. Payouts
  4. Marketplace-specific regulations (e.g., know your customer)
  5. Becoming a “center of gravity” within their specific vertical
  6. Supporting a wide range of product taxonomies and content

Source: Statista, 2021; IDC, 2021

Leadership strategy 1

Abandon “commerce in a box” platforms and assemble packaged business capabilities

IDC research shows that packaged business capabilities combined into meaningful business capabilities have strong advantages, such as:

  • Facilitating rapid changes to individual modules within an application, enabling the delivery of quick application changes and updates
  • Enabling finely grained scaling of application components as opposed to the monolith application’s requirement to scale the entire application
  • Saving costs resulting from optimized resource consumption

“We have made many innovations to our business over the past year. We consider ourselves the market leader in innovations for full spectrum medical equipment.”

– SVP of IT, Siemens Healthineers

Case study

What did it build?

  • Created a system that augments the B2B services carried out by its service engineers for medical equipment (over 10,000 employees)
  • Injected digital commerce along the customer journey, including cross-sell and up-sell directly within doctors’ and nurses’ workflows on the machines used on a daily basis
  • Plans to add commerce to B2C workflows in the future

What did it achieve?

  • Replaced a legacy all-in-one commerce platform with a microservices-based system to more easily augment existing technology
  • Constructed and implemented the system in under seven months

What did it use?

  • Spryker Cloud Commerce OS
  • Integrations with CPQ and configuration tools



Medical Equipment

Leadership strategy 2

Create differentiated, consumer-like, and cross-channel commerce experiences

“We developed a whole business model around the digital channel, including a business unit focused on digital commerce supported by employees focused on marketing, customer experience, operations, data science, strategy, and software development.”

– Head of Digital Commerce, Mercado Mayco

Case study

What did it build?

  • A mobile-friendly purchasing interface for mom-and-pop grocery micro-businesses in Mexico; these B2B companies often act like consumers
  • Can support cash-based payment methods favored by their micro-business customers
  • Constructed and launched a B2B commerce experience from scratch (no pre-existing digital commerce infrastructure) in seven months

What did it achieve?

  • Achieved 2,000 transactions within a single month among 700 users, with plans to expand that to over 10,000 orders in a few months
  • Plan not to cannibalize its traditional channels and instead leverage digital in places it does not already have a physical presence

What did it use?

  • Spryker Cloud Commerce OS
  • Glue API



CPG Wholesale

Leadership strategy 3

Incorporate marketplaces into your commerce strategy with purpose-built solutions

Benefits of marketplaces for B2B buyers and sellers:

  • Compelling, alternative digital revenue stream
  • Enables direct customer relationships
  • Wider product assortment
  • Easier to browse
  • Streamlined payments, fulfillment, customer service (fewer accounts)
  • Greater geographic reach
  • More competitive prices
  • More information / transparency
  • Lower capital expenditure for suppliers

“Last year we had revenue of a few million dollars on SourceEngine. Now we sell tens of millions of dollars annually. Our aspiration is to take all orders online on the website.”

– SVP of eCommerce, Sourceability

Case study

What did it build?

  • A B2B marketplace that has over 550 million searchable products
  • State Machine allows for scheduled delivery in batches and excess handling
  • Self-built feature: 2-click upload of a BOM (offline processing takes a week)
  • Built its own product information management (PIM) system on top of Spryker’s PaaS

What did it achieve?

  • Built a marketplace that handle big data
  • Achieved high implementation speed
  • Over 3,000 merchants selling on the SourceEngine marketplace
  • Over 50 companies signing up for its website every week

What did it use?

  • Spryker Cloud Commerce OS




Meet Spryker

Technology at a glance

  • Next-generation architecture, written in PHP
  • Offered in Single-tenant PaaS
  • Offered in AWS, Azure, GDP
  • Composable architecture, PBC based
  • API based, headless, modular technology

About the Company

  • Founded in 2014
  • Over 400+ employees
  • Over 150 customers worldwide
  • B2B, enterprise marketplace, unified commerce, B2C, and many more
  • Modern, headless, clean-code architecture for maximum extensibility
  • Built to achieve fast time to market in complex commerce

About Spryker

Spryker is the leading composable commerce platform for enterprises with sophisticated business models to enable growth, innovation, and differentiation. Designed specifically for sophisticated transactional business, Spryker’s easy-to-use, headless, API-first model offers a best-of-breed approach that provides businesses the flexibility to adapt, scale, and quickly go to market while facilitating faster time-to-value throughout their digital transformation journey. As a global platform leader for B2B and B2C Enterprise Marketplaces, Thing Commerce, and Unified Commerce, Spryker has empowered 150+ global enterprise customers worldwide and is trusted by brands such as ALDI, Siemens, Hilti, and Ricoh. Spryker was recognized by Gartner® as a Visionary in the 2023 Magic Quadrant™ for Digital Commerce and was also ranked as a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Solutions, Q2 2022. Spryker is a privately held technology company headquartered in Berlin and New York. Find out more at

Spryker Website