EnvisionB2B 2022 Show Highlights & Recap
The recurring theme of the EnvisionB2B show was the consumerization of the B2B buying experience. Grainger CEO DG Macphearson discussed the importance of reducing the amount of time a customer spends seeking the right products, Rob Birse of Kellogg’s spoke about building a better buyer experience, and MSC Industrial Supply’s Mark Pickett said that today’s B2B buyer expects a personalized consumer-like experience, even when shopping for business purposes.
The opening keynote from Mr. Macphearson established this key theme with it’s very title, “Starting with the Customer in Digital B2B”, then by demonstrating how Grainger, a 95 year-old company, has kept up with customer demands by putting their needs at the center of every digital experience. It’s the kind of customer-first thinking and attention-to-detail that has seen Grainger take a strong leadership position in digital B2B. The need for such approaches to digital commerce for B2B is reinforced by Amazon Business’ rapid growth to $25 Billion in sales in under 6 years on the strength of their multi-vendor marketplace model. The consumer-like experience in terms of searchability, discovery, list-building, multiple payments options, and rapid checkout are now expected in the business purchasing world.
This notion of providing the level of personalization, customization, and effortless product discoverability we’ve come to expect in high-end consumer digital experiences, to the B2B buyer was front-and-center in many sessions and discussions at this event, including in the McFadyen team’s own content and experiences.
McFadyen Digital was a proud Signature Sponsor along with many of our partners and friends. We had an exhibition presence, participated in multiple sessions, sponsored lunch (you’re welcome), and hosted an amazing social event at VU Rooftop along with a lot of incredible co-sponsors. Here’s a bit of what we were up to and some of the sessions we particularly enjoyed:
Winning the Ecommerce Race Right from the Gate
Tom McFadyen was joined by Mike Powers, Director of Ecommerce & Digital Marketing at Alaska Rubber Group in this Mark Brohan moderated session.
Session details: https://www.dc360events.com/agenda/session/713824
Technology for the Next Market Disruption
Adam Thibodeaux and Brooke Logan, Director, B2B Digital, NAPA Auto Parts discuss the B2B commerce technologies and organizational technology approaches that will carry us into the coming years in this session moderated by Paul Demery.
Session details: https://www.dc360events.com/agenda/session/713827
How to Win Sales on Marketplaces Without Slashing Pricing
Adam Thibodeaux was joined by Jeff McRitchie, President, Messenger Corp., to discuss practical actions that marketplace sellers can take in order to compete with an ever-growing seller ecosystem on today’s marketplaces in this session moderated by Mark Brohan.
Session details: https://www.dc360events.com/agenda/session/713856
Distributors Step Out
In this session, Tom McFadyen discusses practical steps distributors can take to leverage the marketplace model as a means of scaling up the amount of products offered and amount of overall sales transacted, then sits down with Mark Brohan for a Q&A session.
Session details: https://www.dc360events.com/agenda/session/713863
on-demand video coming soon
Making the Case for Digital Investment
Michael Eichinger of Bay Supply gives a compelling account , with statistics and examples, of how his fastener business fully embraced digital, then expanded with a marketplace in order to scale.
Session details: https://www.dc360events.com/agenda/session/713842
Not Too Hot or Cold—Just Right: A Recipe for B2B Marketplace Success
Michael Eichinger of Bay Supply is joined by Alex Moazed of Applico in this Mark Brohan moderated session about the right time for a business to consider launching a marketplace of their own.
Session details: https://www.dc360events.com/agenda/session/713862
We were also excited to host Marketplace Chats, a series of from-the-show-floor conversations with our partners, customers, and other industry experts. At EnvisionB2B 2022, we were honored to sit down for conversations with representatives from Algolia with mutual customer ChemDirect, and we also got to know more about B2B payment gurus Balance and talk about the simplification and consumerization of B2B payments and checkout.
Marketplace Chat with Algolia and ChemDirect
McFadyen CEO Tom McFadyen chats with Algolia B2B Lead Jack Moberger and ChemDirect Marketplace product lead Grant Lacy about the importance of search and discoverability on a high-SKU marketplace and how proper performance management can democratize data both internally and to the seller audience.
Marketplace Chat with Balance
McFadyen CMO Tom Gaydos chats with Max Zuckerman, VP, Sales at Balance to learn more about how Balance helps B2B marketplace operators to offer simplified checkout and unified terms to their customers.
B2B SOCIAL @ VU ROOFTOP
One of our personal favorite highlights was the social event that we co-sponsored with partners commercetools, Balance, and Algolia, dubbed B2B Social @ VU Rooftop. It was amazing to gather so many friendly faces and bright personalities in such an beautiful rooftop venue at sunset with live music, food, and drinks. The VU Rooftop was the perfect venue to get a little fancy in what felt like a…dare we say it…return to social normalcy.
“I don’t throw around the term “magical evening” often, but… <waves arm around at the surrounding party>”– Smiling attendee of the B2B Social event
While enjoying the beautiful voice and piano stylings of NEIV, guests soaked in the wrap-around 22nd story rooftop views of Chicago and the waterfront while enjoying top-shelf cocktails, tasty snacks, and some Grade-A selfie-taking. The vibe was as good as the networking, the VU Rooftop staff made sure the experience was incredible, and we’re proud to have been associated with the team of sponsors who made this a reality.
‘TILL WE MEET AGAIN…
The best part of the event experience continues to be everyone we have the privilege of interacting with. We’ve missed being face-to-face with our customers, partners, competitors, and everyone else who makes a show like this memorable. At McFadyen Digital, we certainly know how to work remotely and globally, but we appreciate these opportunities to gather and the sense of community that builds. This is why we’ll continue to support, attend, sponsor, participate-in, and exhibit-at physical shows like Envision B2B. We’ve got a full roster of live events coming up including the MIT Platform Strategy Summit July 14th and our Marketplace Best Practices Master Class the day prior (July 13th), NRF’s NEXXUS event in late July, Groceryshop coming up in September, and more virtual events like Building a Marketplace Business Case with Digital Commerce 360, Tuesday, June 21st at 2pm ET.
It was nice to see so many of you at Envision B2B 2022 and we hope to see you all again soon.
If you’d like to meet up at one of these events or if you have any questions about your own marketplace operator journey, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.