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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.