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B2B eCommerce: Integrating Systems to Produce Data

B2B eCommerce is designed with features unique to business relationships. It has undeniable effects on the whole new set of demands professional buyers make on manufacturers. That’s why no investor can afford to ignore it. Research indicates that companies need to invest on B2B eCommerce to meet their customers’ expectations and remain competitive:

  • More buyers are buying online, bypassing traditional methods of interaction.
  • Forrester predicts that the B2B eCommerce market will reach $1.1 trillion.
  • 56% of buyers expect to make half or more of their purchases online by the end of this year.
  • Buyers want to find products and place orders without having contact with a sales rep.

Omni-channel B2B eCommerce
In this omni-channel world, the struggle of consistency in product information across all channels is real. Almost half of companies have already lost $1 million because of this challenge. Failure to integrate customer data with eCommerce tech creates a gap between customers’ demands and what companies are able to offer. There needs to be reliance on partners. They need to enhance connectivity between each other.

Why do you need a good B2B eCommerce website?
A good B2B eCommerce site accommodates all the buyer/seller relationship requirements and makes it easier to do business. It improves client engagement and satisfaction, as well as the operational side of the process. All systems will be integrated in the website, including ERP, order management, accounting, shipping and many others. The website will serve as the company’s hub and will get data from all sides of the operation.

Since data from the integrated systems will be congregated into a B2B eCommerce platform, B2B clients will receive a more efficient and personalized experience. They will be able to see details, such as pricing, payment and shipping options, tailored to their specific relationship. At the same time, the data from the integrated systems will help the company respond to their clients’ needs better.

If you want to grow your business and reach new markets, you need a particular piece of your ecosystem to solve that particular problem. You need an e-commerce platform that can expose your ERP in a way that creates an exceptional customer experience.” – Zach Hanlon

If companies do not integrate their systems, they will create, maintain and track the same set of data – which is an invitation for error. To keep the integrity of data, there should be one primary source for any data type. Integrating the systems enables a company to share data from the primary source, including all relevant support systems.

Buyers today expect to be more self-service in their day to day interactions and companies need real-time data to improve their operations, lower costs, measure performance and respond to customers’ needs. Relying on historical data alone is no longer enough to run business operations effectively. A well-integrated B2B eCommerce site is most needed to enable companies to engage, analyze and execute better in this technology-driven business industry. Click here for our B2B eCommerce solution.

3 Important Tips for Migrating B2B E-commerce Platforms

By 2020, the B2B e-commerce market is predicted to reach $1.1 trillion and will account for 12.1% of al B2B sales in the United States – according to Forrester. The research and advisory firm found that manufacturers and wholesalers generate the majority of market growth as they rely on existing homegrown systems that support outdated processes and limited sales channels. As a result, they are not meeting the needs of B2B buyers. Here are some key facts on migrating B2B e-commerce platforms:

Key Facts:

  • More than half of businesses last updated their systems over two years ago.
  • 70% have lost a deal due to their inability to meet ordering-specific needs.
  • More than a fourth has missed out on at least $2 million in sales.

Industry evolution has led to a widening gap between what B2B buyers expect and what companies can provide. This pressures industry leaders to move to online platforms. The growing demand for self-service and advanced payment options has become critical to a company’s long term success.

Tip #1: Identify your customization needs. B2B websites often have customization needs including pricing, account types/users, payment methods, shipping and taxes. To identify these needs, compare your current site to your potential new platform.

Tip #2: Select the right platform. Migrating B2B e-commerce platforms is a major endeavor. You need to consider your company’s website needs to select the right platform. Identify your top obstacles and assemble a plan to overcome them.

Tip #3: Check your timeline. Set up a test environment for your ERP system, other software, and potential new B2B e-commerce platforms. Then, import your data in your test system.

It can take up to 12 months to accomplish the development tasks of new B2B e-commerce platforms. The complexity and availability of internal resources are major factors in the speed. If you have a specific date to launch, break your project into phases or outsource a development team. Click here to see our B2B e-commerce solution.