example of b2b e commerce, Top 10 Examples

example of b2b e commerce

The Top 10 Examples of B2B E-Commerce in Action

Business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce refers to online sales transactions between businesses, such as between a manufacturer and a wholesaler. B2B sales are conducted electronically to reduce costs and increase efficiency compared to traditional methods. This article profiles 10 major examples of successful B2B ecommerce.

Amazon Business

Amazon Business is the ecommerce giant’s B2B marketplace launched in 2015. It offers bulk pricing discounts and business-tailored features like purchasing approvals and payment options. Millions of businesses are registered Amazon Business users purchasing office supplies, industrial materials, lab equipment and more. The online convenience helps companies eliminate paperwork and optimize spending.


Granger is a leading B2B ecommerce site for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) supplies and industrial equipment. Over 1.5 million businesses rely on Granger for safety gear, janitorial supplies, lighting and HVAC parts from 700 trusted brands. Inventory management and procurement tools help streamline orders and reduce costs for businesses.


CDW is a Fortune 500 B2B provider of tech products and services including hardware, software, cloud solutions and IT services. CDW caters to business, government, education and healthcare organizations. Companies can customize laptops, access cloud hosting options, implement CRM systems and leverage other digital solutions to enhance productivity.

Over 250,000 corporate, federal, state and local government agencies purchase technology from CDW. Custom configuration, integrated solutions and account management provide a personalized B2B experience.


Like Granger, Grainger is a leading industrial supplier that enables procurement efficiencies through ecommerce. Grainger carries over 1.5 million products from thousands of trusted manufacturers. Inventory management tools, purchasing analytics and services like kitting and barcoding help businesses optimize MRO supply chain operations.

Office Depot Business

Office Depot Business offers B2B options for office essentials, print services, tech support and more. Corporate customers can create customized digital catalogs of frequently ordered items to simplify reordering. Business-specific features like budget tracking and spend analytics provide visibility and control over purchasing. Custom printing, tech services and delivery help serve business needs.

MSC Industrial Supply

MSC Industrial Supply Co. distributes over 1.5 million industrial products including cutting tools, fasteners, packing supplies and janitorial items. MSC specializes in serving metalworking, maintenance and repair operations. Customers include large manufacturers along with smaller machine shops. MSC aims to be a one-stop shop for operational needs through its B2B ecommerce site.

Ferguson Enterprises

Ferguson plumbing and HVAC products touch every phase of nonresidential construction. The B2B distribution company serves over 1.5 million customers in the commercial, residential and municipal repair and improvement industry. Digital platforms like Quote Express, product configurators and ecommerce helps builders efficiently manage projects.


Fastenal provides industrial and construction supplies including safety equipment, fasteners, tools and janitorial products. The company serves a wide range of B2B customers including manufacturers, schools, government agencies and hospitals. Onsite industrial vending machines combined with online ordering and procurement tools help manage inventory use and replenishment.


McMaster-Carr offers one of the most extensive B2B product catalogs with over 630,000 maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) items. The industrial distributor stocks everything from raw materials to tools, containers, hardware and plant equipment. Digital solutions like inventory management, analytics and EDI integration enable B2B efficiencies.


ULINE provides packaging materials, industrial supplies, shipping containers and storage solutions to businesses of all sizes. Their massive B2B product catalog allows customizing packaging for any application. Free storage design services, supply chain solutions and online ordering optimize business operations. ULINE aims to be a one-stop shop for business, industrial and shipping supplies.

B2B ecommerce streamlines procurement, enables customization and provides data insights that optimize supply chain operations. Leveraging online B2B platforms reduces costs while meeting business-specific needs. As these examples show, ecommerce delivers convenience along with back-end inventory tools tailored to enterprises.

The Steady Growth of B2B Ecommerce

Business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce refers to online sales between businesses, rather than between businesses and consumers. According to Digital Commerce 360, global B2B ecommerce sales reached $12.2 trillion in 2020, up from $5.83 trillion in 2013. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 12.2% over that period. North America remains the largest B2B ecommerce market, driven by the U.S. and Canada. However, the Asia Pacific region is seeing rapid growth as well, with markets like China and India investing heavily in digital infrastructure. As supply chains and procurement digitize, B2B ecommerce platforms like Alibaba, Amazon Business, and IndiaMART continue gaining market share.

Pandemic Acceleration of B2B Digital Purchasing

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically accelerated the adoption of B2B ecommerce globally. With traditional sales channels disrupted, businesses moved their procurement and sourcing online. A survey by Statista found that around 55% of B2B sellers saw increased demand via digital channels in 2020. Additionally, 46% of buyers expect to purchase more goods and services digitally moving forward. This shift was especially pronounced in the Asia Pacific region, where B2B ecommerce grew by around 17% year-over-year compared to around 7% in North America. As businesses realize the efficiency and resilience benefits of digital channels, B2B ecommerce growth is likely to remain strong post-pandemic.

The Ongoing Promise of B2B Marketplaces

Within B2B ecommerce, third-party marketplaces are growing rapidly by aggregating buyers and sellers. In its 2021 analysis, Forrester Research expects the B2B marketplace sector to reach nearly $3.7 trillion by 2023. Driving this growth are markets like India, where marketplaces offer critical digital infrastructure to traditionally offline SMBs and manufacturers. Incumbents like Alibaba and Amazon face growing competition, especially in verticals like industrial supplies and healthcare. Still, all signs point to an accelerating shift to online B2B commerce globally, with marketplaces capturing the lion’s share of growth.

To summarize, global B2B ecommerce has seen steady growth over the past decade, further propelled by the pandemic. Marketplaces are poised to drive more of this expansion going forward. As businesses digitize operations, the durability of B2B ecommerce trends remains promising.






Scroll to Top