Product Information Management 2017

Due to the numerous client touch focuses, many organizations are prompted to viably use their product information. Product Information Management 2017 is helpful in keeping customers and stakeholders updated about any change in product data. It coordinates the changes across all channels, thereby keeping a consistent and up-to-date information across the entire business ecosystem.

Product information is conveyed in various configurations, including:

  • Inventories
  • Leaflets
  • Value books
  • Sites
  • Digital content

It is a key resource that holds the prosperity of an organization. The rapid growth of e-commerce is one of the drivers of the Product Information Management 2017 market. PIM helps maintain and syndicate product information from different channels.

PIM in the Cloud
One of the major challenges, however, is the high costs of initial investment. A traditional PIM requires a significant amount from the organization’s financial and human resources, so ROI is also significantly reduced. Thankfully, a new Product Information Management 2017 is in place. It uses the cloud to reduce infrastructure and operation costs. It also increases scalability.

Associations that use Product Information Management 2017 have seen a huge increase in ROI because of reduced number of mistakes and enhanced productivity. Since catalogs analyzer has a single source, the cost funds are available in all divisions. This prompts reliable accessibility and precision of required information, and lessens product returns.

Advantages of Leveraging PIM 2017
Customers require access to bits of knowledge about product information and procedures to make an educated purchase. Using Product Information Management 2017 permits the era of consistent product deals and client patterns, and gives businesses the necessary edge.

  • Increment in income
  • Accelerated showcasing endeavors
  • Faster time to market
  • Value related blunders
  • Higher sales

Enspir provides cloud-based Product Information Management software. It is the only US partner of Akeneo. Focused on the specific challenges of b2b customers, it provides commercial support and managed services for your PIM installation. Collect, enrich and spread content to all users and channels with our solution. Click here to learn more about it.



4 Tips to Ensure B2B E-commerce Success

B2B e-commerce is estimated to grow bigger in the next 4 years. The market is projected to reach $1.13 trillion by 2020. Many organizations want to launch their B2B e-commerce efforts, but they don’t exercise due diligence in advance of launching their initiative. This results to less optimal deployments, ineffectively structured organizations, and missed opportunities. Here are 4 tips to ensure B2B e-commerce success:

  • Choose the right platform. Choosing the wrong platform prevents you from taking full advantage of the opportunities right away. Launching your B2B ecommerce efforts can be time-consuming. The last thing you want is doing it all over again just because you made the wrong choice to begin with. To make sure you choose the right platform, define your requirements in detail. Include information about contract support, flexibility, integration, pricing and workflows.
  • Focus on user experience. Never underestimate the importance of user experience. If it is poor and your website is difficult to use, you will drive potential customers away. Make sure your site search, navigation, listing pages, shopping cart, product details and check out process are optimized to meet modern standards. Invest in building a great user experience, so your customers will keep coming back.
  • Use your sales team strategically. Don’t keep your e-commerce initiative remote to only few top executives. Align sales with e-commerce because it becomes even more powerful when integrated to your system.
  • Planning is critical. E-commerce does not just run itself like a virtual machine. You need to make internal investments on web merchandising and operations, digital marketing, content creation, technology and customer service. You don’t have to build a huge team immediately. You can outsource specific expertise such as technology. The right solution will help you accelerate your efforts to ensure B2B e-commerce success.

The B2B e-commerce market is growing larger every day. It is predicted that by 2020, 27% of B2B transactions will be conducted online. Imagine what it can do to your business. Although implementation may take a lot of time and resources, the ROI for your company is real. Do it right and you will reach B2B e-commerce success in no time. Click here to see what our B2B e-commerce solution can do for your business.

Product Information Management for Greater Customer Experience

How you organize, deliver and display the content in your Product Information Management (PIM) systems is as important as the products and services you are trying to sell. Just like products and services, content also needs to stand out. It needs to be identifiable with your company’s brand and customizable to updates as time passes and business conditions change. Brand engagement has to be always on if you want to provide great customer experience.

Key facts:

  • Roughly a fourth of companies have a PIM system in place to unify data across all channels
  • 43% have started to coordinate their product data
  • Less than 15% are operating without a formal process

To provide great customer experience and stand out online, you must organize and deliver product information in a consistent and differentiating way. The biggest factor that impacts customer experience is not your front-line employees or last touch customer-facing applications; it is your operational systems. If your customers can find the information and products they need, your brand value will soar. If not, it will be damaged – destroyed even.

A great customer experience does not happen at the last touchpoint. You need to equip your underlying operations to support the entire customer journey by providing reliable data. Here’s how you can ensure reliable data to enable exceptional customer experience:

  • Make sure all your channels are connected and share information. In most cases, one channel has different or additional information about your customer. Aggregate all data to build an accurate and consolidated 360-degree view with a modern Product Information Management platform that connects to all systems and channels, capture data, match it against one customer, and merge data to create the correct picture.
  • Make sure all systems and analytics get the data from a single source of truth. All operational systems should have access to a single reliable source to make sure all processes and analytics have consistent information. Once information is shared, your systems will be able to perform efficiently and deliver a consistent experience across departments.  

Great customer experience is a product of operational excellence. It is your competitive advantage. That’s why you need to tweak, or even recast, content for each channel. Keep in mind that you are responsible for your content as you are responsible for your physical products. An omni-channel customer experience will deliver an optimal brand experience throughout a dynamic digital environment. Click here to check out our product information management solution.


Overcoming the Challenges of Digital Transformation with Data Management

Digital transformation has disrupted the business industry. It has digitized processes to enhance transparency and accuracy, ease and speed up transactions, as well as improve customer satisfaction. This concept has become so mainstream that 70% of companies have a dedicated innovation team. However, many leaders may overlook these challenges that can be overcome with data management.

Your customers want only three things:

  • Accurate and up-to-date information
  • Consistently high quality customer experience
  • Ability to search your website with any device

Online customers want easy. They want easy to find, easy to compare and easy to buy products. If your e-commerce website is structured like a labyrinth, you will chase potential customers away. You need to actually transform customer experience to be successful. It’s more than just investing in technology. You also need to reconfigure your business strategies and objectives to deliver.

However, there are three components that may hinder the success of digital transformation:

  • Automation to capture information. Today, all sorts of data need to be collected, extracted and analyzed. Once digitized, they need to be classified, extracted and verified to support and integrate with downstream processes. That’s why you need to quickly and accurately automate the collection of data from various sources. It is the first step in digital transformation process.
  • No context to data. In order to make better business decisions, data needs to be understood within the context of your customers’ needs and cross-reference them with your company’s pre-set rules and policies. The challenge is capturing unstructured data (handwritten notes and social content). You need a more sophisticated approach to capture, classify and extract them.
  • Updating manual business processes. Manual business processes means too much paper. You need proper data management to eliminate this wasteful and unproductive steps if you want to easily and quickly find your documents, reduce costs, and ensure accountability and compliance. Manual processes take forever. A data management solution can help eliminate low-value tasks and automatically process work to meet the rapidly changing business conditions.

With both electronic data and paper being widely used, it has become clearer that smarter data capture is essential to smarter business processes. All information coming from multiple channels contain important data that enable automation and drive your business processes. For digital transformation to be successful, you need a good data management solution. You need a holistic view of how your company meets the needs of your customers. Click here to learn more about Enspir and our e-commerce solutions.


The Role of Data in B2B Ecommerce Success

Integration is one of the biggest challenges and opportunities of B2B businesses today. Companies need to support B2B processes for customers and partners who are using digital, automated solutions. But, they also need to enable data from these processes to land into their existing accounting and ERP systems automatically. This is what Enspir is about, helping suppliers, distributors and manufacturers to step into the world of B2B ecommerce success.

Here are some reasons why integration is important to B2B businesses:

  • Lack of insight into customer data
  • Compromised decision-making
  • Reduced ROI
  • Reduced visibility
  • Difficulty identifying cost-cutting opportunities
  • Increased sales cost
  • More points of failure

An evolving B2B sales process does not deal with manual processes anymore. Gone are the days when sales representatives jot down orders from customers and send back the order forms manually to the distributors. With B2B ecommerce, suppliers and distributors access a better way. They ditch the manual processes and provide customers with something closer to online shopping today. They can record orders on the spot and data will be automatically sent to the distributor.

What is the role of data in this?
Data has become the step that will take businesses further to the path of B2B ecommerce success. Ecommerce provides access to troves of data on consumer shopping habits. It allows customers to purchase a product and automatically recommend similar products that they might enjoy. Thanks to data analytics, companies can also analyze historical shopping habits and make predictive offers for what online shoppers might want or need.

Since SMBs are similar to consumers, this applies to them too. They tend to make higher-value purchases with paper documents, where data is less accessible. With more people making purchases, buying habits are less predictable. This is one area where the Internet of Things can make a mark. IOT-connected devices can offer predictions and suggestions as to what the enterprise needs to procure by using data to effectively understand what set of services SMBs really need.

Data integration impacts many business processes and customer satisfaction. It is important for B2B companies to understand the current state, desired improvements, and how integration can improve their business processes. Lack of integration results to lack of visibility across these processes, including sales, marketing, ecommerce and inventory management. Click here to know more about our B2B ecommerce solution.

B2B E-commerce: Why Modern Tech is Important

The B2B marketplace is increasingly getting crowded with both big and mid-sized businesses. This growth is driving B2B companies to leverage e-commerce tools and techniques to improve reach, sales, customer experience, and efficiency. Modern tech devices made it possible for companies and customers to get a proper approach to the products in the market. Here are some reasons why they are important for B2B e-commerce.

  • Modern tech offers complete end-to-end e-commerce capabilities to companies and customers. This is the main reason why it is suitable for B2B e-commerce. It benefits both and drives a revolution in the market.
  • It offers complete access to all different kinds of products from one particular location. Customers don’t have to go through multiple vendors, making the process less complicated and saving a lot of time and efforts.
  • It allows companies to cut product costs. It also reduces inventory levels and improves market speed for product retailers and dealers.
  • It gives assurance of competitive wholesale prices for everyone. This does not affect the quality of the products in a negative way. The products that are being sold on the platform are perfect and can be used with their best potential.

B2B e-commerce platforms are playing an important part in the overall progress of the e-commerce market. B2B buyers are growing increasingly impatient with sellers that don’t provide it. That’s why B2B companies should build their digital fast if they don’t want to risk losing their customers to the online competitors.

Challenges of the B2B Marketplace
From multiple product lines to complex sales channels, B2B business owners are often faced with challenges that lies on personal contact, slow mode of payment and the number of decision makers. They have to hurdle a consistent fight with these challenges on the B2B e-commerce platform. That’s why it is important to develop a solid business and logistical connections with partners. Incorporating modern technology in the most efficient manner results to smooth product delivery and efficient operations.

With the start and evolution of modern technology, B2B e-commerce has made it possible for everyone to get wider product approaches. It allows business to purchase goods as per requirement, reducing their inventory levels. It also lets them buy goods from different software platform based marketplaces and online networks. Furthermore, modern devices make it convenient for customers to get everything they need. Click here to learn more about our B2B e-commerce solution.

Top 10 Differences between B2C and B2B Platform

Don’t try to purchase a B2C platform and repurpose it for your B2B customers if you don’t want to waste your time and money. B2B is different from B2C. Don’t trust a B2C provider that claims to be an overnight expert on the former. Keep in mind that a few customizations will not make a B2C platform perfectly work for B2B clients. You should start with a B2B platform directly. Here is a short list of features that a B2B provider should be able to demonstrate easily, without customizations.

  • Search – A B2B platform personalizes the search for each user type and to the specific company that is ordering.
  • Products – B2B products are complex. They require advanced quoting and configuration.
  • Integrations – Most B2B projects fail or go over budget on integration. That’s why you should have a strong integration toolset.
  • Performance – B2B handles larger SKU counts and order volumes than B2C.
  • Developer Tools – The platform should have strong B2B features OTB. It should allow the developer community to extend and scale without over boarding the upgrade path.
  • Globalization – Most B2B companies are global. They are available in multiple languages and currencies. They are also flexible enough to handle international shipping and tax issues.
  • Multi-site – A B2B platform provides customer-branded microsites and ordering portal for their key accounts. On the other hand, B2C typically offers a single website.
  • Customers – B2B companies have many different personas, client types and channels. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for all firms. You need to consider various factors when choosing the best B2B ecommerce solution for you.
  • Payments – B2B provides options for PO, order approvals, and payment on credit. It also has the ability to check available credit. On the other hand, B2C is often credit card only.
  • Check out – The B2B checkout process is more complex than that of B2C. It involves multiple order approvals, credit limits and payment complexity.

OroCommerce is the only true B2B ecommerce platform. It will help you drive business growth, reduce total cost of ownership, and improve your customer experience. Built with flexibility in mind, it can be customized and extended to fit any B2B ecommerce needs. Click here to check out its key features.

5 Tips on Building your Next generation B2B Ecommerce Strategy

People are finally talking about B2B ecommerce. Many analysts believe that it will be much stronger and more complicated than B2C. However, it will also last longer. Currently, there are 3 times as many B2B transactions than its counterpart. Stores, dealers, suppliers and distributors are looking for ways to find and purchase products online. That’s why analysts are taking the evolution of B2B ecommerce seriously, and you should too.

If you are running a small or medium sized business, you need to invest in an ecommerce platform that supports the experience B2B buyers are expecting and optimizes your business operations.  72% of SMBs get at least a quarter of their revenues from online channels. With millennials representing more than half of the workers now, you need to provide quality online channels to meet their demands.

  • Focus your sales staff on unique situations. In today’s digital world, you need to rise to meet the shift in buyer’s behavior by supporting complicated transactions such as navigating complex products and services, helping set up installation needs, negotiating prices and selling high-consideration products. Order and sales processes should be supported by digital tools an channels, including chat functions, email, and collaborative software.
  • Choose a stand-alone B2B ecommerce solution. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to all companies. You need to choose a solution according to the depth and breadth of your skill to manage integration processes, legacy technology infrastructure and other factors. Weigh out the benefits of each solution to decide which the best for your business is.
  • Prepare for more competitors. Opening yourself to the online world also opens your business to more competitors. Your online experience will be compared to larger global enterprises, including your customers’ previous online shopping experience. When choosing your technology partner, evaluate their capabilities both as a client and customer.
  • Consider cloud-based solutions. Cloud-based B2B ecommerce solutions can help ease your IT burdens. They help you stay abreast of the latest innovations. They are also easier to scale and faster to market.
  • Explore the role of marketplaces. Online marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba are an effective way to drive traffic, online presence, and sales. Your customers are already buying from these channels. So, make you do your research and decide what best for your business as part of your digital strategy.

In a fast-moving, omni-channel world, efficiency is important. You need to cost-effectively optimize your workflow and productivity to avoid falling behind the competition. By choosing the right B2B ecommerce solution, you can deliver the best customer experience and ensure you stay streets ahead of your competitors. Click here to learn more about our B2B ecommerce offering.

5 Useful Tips for Successful B2B Ecommerce

B2B ecommerce, or business-to-business electronic commerce, refers to the selling of products between businesses via online portals. It is used to improve the efficiency of companies. Seventy percent of all B2B businesses acquire their customers online. B2B ecommerce allows them to gain clients and book new orders without relying on existing customers or using extensive sales force. It serves as a critical sales channel for many firms.

To ensure B2b ecommerce success, you need to tailor your store to the needs of your buyers. You should promote your products and set up automated processes as well. Most of all, you have to have full control over who can view your store. Here are 5 useful tips to help you grow your business and strengthen your customer relationship.

  • Know your customers and create a robust product catalog. Center everything around your audience and think about the employees in your target industry. Then, make it easier for them to research by creating a detailed catalog. Help them find the products that fit their needs and empower them to customize orders to suit their individual needs.
  • Use highly descriptive listings. Show value and benefits through your product listing copy. Use descriptive language, high quality images and videos to show off your offerings and appeal to everyone in the chain of command. Use an excellent Product Information Management (PIM) solution to ensure accurate and complete data.
  • Consider longer sales cycles. Do you have specific products and multiple people that play a role in your purchasing process? Then, your sales cycle can last from a few weeks to even more than a year. Manage all your contracts to keep track of your leads and to improve customer experience.
  • Create omni-channel presence. Customers today are getting more tech-savvy. Make sure you provide the same experience across multiple channels for seamless shopping experience and deeper customer engagement.
  • Provide personalized features. Personalization builds engaging and cost-effective user experience. It is important in meeting your customers’ individual needs. Include product recommendations, best seller lists and wish listing to help them save time and improve your buyer-seller relationship.

More and more people prefer to purchase online than in-store. If you are looking to make your B2B ecommerce business a success, these 5 useful tips can help you. Successful B2B ecommerce requires alignment of physical store locations, salespeople, warehouse, and marketplace storefronts to ensure holistic and efficient business operations. Click here to check out our B2B ecommerce solution.

Why Integrating B2B E-commerce is a Key Success Factor

The B2B e-commerce market is still maturing. It has started to accelerate, but the adoption is a little slow. A significant amount of growth may be evident in the next five years. Although B2B is in the early adopter phase, it is important for businesses to change to stay relevant. Today, investments are only being made by market leaders. They consider e-commerce as critically important for sales.

Key Facts:

  • B2B e-commerce worldwide sales is expected to reach $6.7 trillion by 2020.
  • B2B sales will account for 27% of e-commerce sales.
  • By 2020, total B2B e-commerce sales in the US is predicted to reach $1.1 trillion.

However, B2B e-commerce is not only essential for sales. It also changes what employees do. It focuses on customer service, product development and marketing. Businesses that leverage the technology improve both customer experience and overall operations.

“British Airways equip their cabin crews with iPads to enable flight attendants to re-book in-flight passengers on new connecting flights (if necessary). The maintenance staff also use iPads to track maintenance issues and order replacement parts. The airline has expedited its supply chain to keep its planes operating on time, build customer loyalty and improve overall operations.”

Mobile devices have also gained stream among B2B buyers. B2B e-commerce customers have mobility in mind. For them, mobile is more than just a channel. It allows them to do something within the immediate context.

How to Integrate B2B E-Commerce with ERP Systems
Integrating your B2B e-commerce site with your internal systems streamlines your operations and simplifies your customers’ buying experience. It offers significant benefits such as increasing business opportunities, improving sales, reducing costs and helping your reach more clients.

To ensure your ERP integration is a success, consider these four tips:

  1. Define data to be integrated. Know what data to include, what source, where it will be sent to and how often it will be updated. Integrate some of these data initially and add others over time.
  2. Map your customer registration workflow. Data integrations can affect the registration process. Make sure you map out the workflow for new customers before any integration to make the process as simple as possible.
  3. Build a data migration plan. New integrations have initial, necessary one-time data migration steps including loading product data and ensuring all products have valid SKU, migrating users from previous e-commerce site, and mapping your existing e-commerce customers.
  4. Plan for failure. No matter how well you plan, data does not reach its destination all the time. It is important that you have a backup plan. Set up alerts to notify specific individuals for certain types of error.

With so much data available in B2B e-commerce, there is no room for vague estimates. You can improve your customers’ buying experience and web store functionality. Keep in mind that the sales process is considered as an essential part of your company’s success. Optimizing this process and getting it more efficient is the key. Leveraging B2B e-commerce is a smart thing to do. Click here to learn more about our e-commerce platform.