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BONN/CRANFIELD, UK: February 26, 2018. DHL Express and the Cranfield School of Management have published a practical guide on the BtB potential for international e-commerce.

DHL Infographic CranfieldUniversity FINALAccording to Forrester Research. B2B transactions are expected to reach US$1.2 trillion within the next five years.

Based on a combination of desk research and in-depth interviews, the guide identifies five features essential to B2B e-commerce platforms: digital infrastructure, customer experience, customer personalization, seamless integration and synchronization of logistics.

Professor Michael Bourlakis, chair in Logistics & Supply Chain Management at Cranfield University, said the research had revealed three types of e-commerce companies – novices, intermediates and innovators.

"Novices, for example, have just begun to dip their toes in the water when it comes to e-commerce and have basic functionality on their websites. Innovators, on the other hand, have sophisticated offerings and employ advanced technologies – such as machine learning and virtual reality – to better anticipate customer requirements and offer personalized experiences."

The DHL/Cranfield white paper also offers practical recommendations such as using business intelligence tools to capture better data and enhance customer insights, and looking at the supply chains of major retailers for inspiration when developing omni-channel sales networks - combining brick and mortar and web or mobile shops.

"We have seen B2C e-commerce grow at a faster pace than most other industry sectors in recent years, with premium cross-border shipments growing from 10 percent to more than 20 percent of the volumes of DHL Express," added Ken Allen, CEO, DHL Express. "As this study shows, there is the same potential for cross-border B2B e-commerce to grow at a dynamic pace."

dhl_whitepaper_dhl_b2be_commerce_en.pdf

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