As B2B companies embrace digitization and the shift to eCommerce, several trends are emerging. These trends are setting the stage for further eCommerce adoption by B2Bs in the coming months. Here’s a look at what’s next for B2B eCommerce:
Many organizations are opting for a slow shift to eCommerce, moving supporting services like customer service first, while they decide how to best present their product catalog. From there, the rollout opens up to existing customers, and eventually, the organization can scale to being fully viable as an eCommerce player, complete with digital marketing and new customer acquisition.
Immediate ERP eCommerce integration
Existing customers will be difficult to convince to make the shift to buying off of a platform unless it’s easy, intuitive and fast. B2Bs are looking for solutions that can meet their needs for ERP data and logic, so they can roll out attractive features like real-time inventory, personalized pricing and up-to-date credit status for their dedicated customer base.
Quick wins with integrated platforms
Lengthy site development isn’t enough when stakeholders demand fast results. B2B choices for eCommerce platforms are many, but choosing a turn-key option means results happen faster. However, not all platforms are created equal; you’ll need ERP eCommerce integration on a platform that can easily scale up to full B2B eCommerce functionality.
A push for greater efficiency
There are three drivers that typically act in unison to convince organizations to make the shift to eCommerce. Customer experience, revenue growth, and cost-efficiency are all needs that can be met with eCommerce. Many B2Bs still depend on manual processes for handling inquiries, orders, and inventory checks. With the right eCommerce platform and ERP solution, processes can be streamlined.
Increasing demand for personalization
B2B customers are also B2C customers, and they are becoming accustomed to heavily tailored experiences. An eCommerce solution powered by ERP logic can deliver real-time inventory based on past purchases, customer-specific B2B pricing, immediate credit status on request, and repeat ordering functionality.
Requested delivery dates
There is increasing B2B customer demand for transparency in regard to their RDD. Timely delivery is critical for many companies, and your eCommerce site should be integrated with all data from your supply chain to make tracking orders easy. If you fail to provide visibility into this important data point, you’ll be back to handling phone calls with queries about deliverables.
Upselling and cross-selling recommendations
A creative and exciting trend in B2B eCommerce is using the platform as a way for sales reps on the ground to utilize real-time information to increase order frequency, size, and range of products. A B2B eCommerce platform capable of mapping individual sales rep users to their assigned customer accounts can allow them to readily see customized product catalogs, recommend new products, and even place orders on behalf of customers from the field.
Digital self-service acceptance
It’s been a slow shift, almost glacial in some aspects, but B2B customers are coming around to the idea of digital self-service over having to pick up the phone every time they need something. The pandemic sped up the process artificially and ruthlessly, and many organizations weren’t prepared. However, with B2B adoption of B2C tactics and the advent of hybrid B2B with direct-to-customer sales taking off, more and more businesses are completing their transition to self-service on an eCommerce platform.
Flexible eCommerce platforms allow B2B organizations to customize their online store, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms, like Sage X3 and NetSuite, help them manage and integrate all the moving parts of their business. Together, ERP + eCommerce makes the Pixafy erpCommerce™ solution, marrying front and back ends as well as on and offline data for a seamless transition into the world of digital B2B sales. Contact us today to learn more or request a free demo.