New Futurum Report Reveals Digital Marketplaces Are the Future of Commerce

AUSTIN, Texas, January 19, 2023–Futurum Research, an industry research, advisory, consulting, and media company focused on analyzing emerging and market-disrupting technologies and part of The Futurum Group family of companies, has published a new report affirming that digital marketplaces are the new way of global business.

The research report, conducted by Futurum Research on behalf of SAP SE, surveyed nearly 1,000 B2B senior corporate decision-makers from small and medium-size businesses to large corporate enterprises across nine major industries. Business leaders said their business models have changed as a result of several key factors, including ongoing disruption of supply chains, wider acceptance and expansion of a distributed, remote workforce, rapid digitalization of consumer marketplaces, and unprecedented changes in the global economy.

The impact of the survey findings affects nearly every aspect of global ecommerce, from supply chain management to enterprise software procurement. Futurum advises that businesses need to react quickly to rapid changes in the ecommerce landscape and be prepared to adapt to extremely dynamic fluctuations in digital marketplaces.

The full report is titled “2022 B2B Digital Buyers’ Journey: Forces Shaping the Future of Enterprise Procurement” .

The new paradigm for all business is the distributed decision-making process. Most businesses reported it takes four or more team members per functional group to make a final procurement decision.

“The Futurum survey revealed that enterprises with 50,000 or more employees need at least 11 corporate executives to sign off on a typical procurement,” said Shelly Kramer, principal analyst and founding partner at Futurum Research. “This raises an alarm as nearly one-third of respondents acknowledged that a lack of group consensus is a major impediment or risk to successful procurement of enterprise software solutions.”

Among some of the other key findings of the Futurum Research survey, a majority of respondents said they have changed their business models during the past two years, with 39 percent reporting the changes as “significant.” Nearly half said software or solution needs also have significantly changed during that same period. As a result, most decision-makers are targeting ways to streamline the procurement process. The current process has failed to work sufficiently for more than a quarter of the survey participants.

Interestingly, a majority of respondents reported that corporate executives have stepped up to the plate and are more involved in the purchasing process than they were two years ago. By contrast, a 2019 study panel revealed that less than 30 percent of C-level executives were active in the purchasing process.

“We find it tremendously significant that with the spotlight on the digital procurement process, by 2024 more than half of procurement professionals reported they plan to purchase primarily online, either through a vendor’s own site or a digital marketplace,” said Kramer. “For greater efficiency and convenience, a one-stop shop for multiple vendors is viewed as the most important feature in a digital marketplace.”