Why composable commerce is a game changer for the B2B manufacturing industry

The manufacturing industry in the UK, burdened by its lower digital maturity, is generally less efficient compared to B2C industries. Historically, this sector has relied on traditional sales models characterized by face-to-face interactions and manual processes. However, as industries increasingly adopt customer-centric approaches, this traditional model is becoming outdated and misaligned with the evolving businesses and buyer landscape. 

A significant hurdle in the shift towards more digital operations within the B2B sector is product discovery, which remains a critical weakness. According to last year’s Master B2B’s eCommerce report, 61 percent of sellers reported losing sales due to ineffective site searches, and as a result, 79 percent of B2B businesses in 2024 are looking to invest in technologies that improve purchasing experiences for customers. Consequently, manufacturers are increasingly seeking digital solutions to enhance customer engagement, elevate experience touchpoints, and facilitate the transition to more efficient digital processes. 

To maintain competitiveness, manufacturers need to adopt an eCommerce architecture that allows agile adaptations, scalability at lower cost, and the modularity required to get ahead of the market changes. 

A fresh look at eCommerce 

While digital commerce channels were not traditionally major revenue drivers for the loyalty-based industry, an increasing number of B2B manufacturers are recognizing their potential to transform business and open new revenue streams. PwC reported a growing trend among manufacturers to shift from zero to 60 percent of their total sales online within just a few years, a shift becoming increasingly common worldwide. In addition, IDC’s manufacturing survey indicates that 47 percent of manufacturers globally now view B2B digital commerce as a strategic initiative critical for enhancing the buyer experience. 

This shift towards digital has dramatically increased the demand for more robust supply chain solutions. In response, businesses relied on all-in-all monolithic platforms. Unfortunately, those options often stifle innovation and accumulate technical debt, leading to further complications in adjusting to the market and evolving demands. 

So, where should B2B manufacturers look to enhance their buyer journey? The answer lies in composable commerce. 

Unlocking unlimited potential with composable commerce 

Composable commerce is a modular solution design approach to eCommerce that combines best-of-breed, cloud-native, technology agnostic, independent components into an architecture that allows enterprises to respond to evolving specific business needs. By allowing companies to choose and integrate optimal commerce features, they can create fully customized discovery and buyer experiences that can adapt to unique needs and ever-evolving markets. 

The flexibility of this approach allows businesses to scale without limits, whether it’s accommodating traffic growth, expanding product catalogues, or exploring new business models. It also removes the need for expensive and disruptive upgrades as the market evolves. Instead, manufacturers can grow their platforms alongside their business. 

Orbia Building & Infrastructure (Wavin)’s composable commerce success is a solid example of what’s achievable. Once entirely operated by its face-to-face, representative sales process, the company turned to digital platforms, unlocking a completely new sales channel. This smooth transition quickly obtained results with the manufacturer opening numerous webshops and being able to meet the increasing demand of B2B merchants. As a result, Orbia significantly grew its online presence and drove its revenue to new heights. The company now predicts 60 percent of its global sales to be digital, enabled by the adaptability and scalability of composable commerce. 

While building a commerce vision with composable tools may appear more complex and time-consuming than monolithic solutions, pre-built composable architectures such as Foundry are available to lay down the foundations and act as a template to meet the specific needs of B2B manufacturers. This pre-configured starting point can rapidly speed up implementation time by 30 percent, letting manufacturing companies hit the ground running with composable commerce. From there, manufacturers can get support from best practices guides, AI-powered developers, and established experts, ensuring B2B buyers get the exceptionally crafted experience they anticipate. 

Moving toward a new maintenance era 

We’re entering a new era of maintenance as eCommerce undergoes a renaissance within the B2B manufacturing sector. Currently, 52 percent of manufacturers are focused on transforming their eCommerce platforms, customer portals, and digital services to expand their businesses. For manufacturers to thrive in 2024, recognizing the direct impact of digital sales on their bottom line is critical. As the industry moves away from legacy systems, prioritizing digital transformation has become essential. Manufacturers must adopt scalable, future-proof, composable solutions to stay competitive and accelerate their market presence.   

For a list of the sources used in this article, please contact the editor. 

By Bruno Teuber 


Bruno Teuber is Chief Revenue Officer at commercetools, a global commerce company, and the market leader in composable commerce. It enables companies to flexibly customize, tailor and scale shopping experiences across markets. Its composable commerce platform equips some of the world’s most influential businesses with tools to remain agile, future-proof digital offerings, reduce technical risks and costs, and build outstanding experiences that drive revenue growth.