A new report from DHL Supply Chain shows that many companies have not yet implemented an ecommerce strategy that includes their supply chain, even though they recognize how important this is for customer retention and satisfaction.
The worldwide survey of almost 900 decision-makers responsible for ecommerce and logistics or supply chain management says that six out of ten B2B companies are still working towards full implementation of their ecommerce strategy. Although they recognize that customer service is the most important aspect of ecommerce, other business pressures are slowing down progress.
The digital progress of B2B ecommerce businesses can vary dramatically, so strategies to address the challenges of the next three to five years are going to be very different. Time pressures and costs mean that experimentation is a luxury very few will be able to afford.
Businesses that succeed will deliver outstanding service and achieve increased profitability.
Same-day delivery, real-time track-and-trace, return options and flexible delivery choices are just some of your buyer’s expectations. Increasingly, purchasing decisions are based on how well businesses meet their customers’ demands.
Barriers to full implementation of ecommerce strategies
In the next three to five years, more than half of businesses will be making changes to distribution as part of their ecommerce strategy. The DHL report identifies the main barriers to progress as:
- constantly evolving customer expectations
- conflicting business priorities
- limitations in existing infrastructure
- current technology platforms
- finding the right business partners
- the need to fully develop a strategy
- readiness to make the investment.
For B2B ecommerce companies that want to capture new customers and retain existing ones, their supply chains must be able to respond to new business models, service expectations and the online needs of customers.
To deal with this pressure many companies are looking for partnerships with third-party logistics companies (3PLs) to complement in-house resources and capabilities, allowing them to respond to opportunities quickly and effectively.
To meet and even exceed expectations B2B ecommerce companies are in a race to balance cost and service across the whole business.
Although B2B ecommerce implementation is catching up with B2C companies, they have come from very varied starting points. In terms of inventory management and distribution, B2B businesses currently have very different ways of handling and fulfilling ecommerce orders that will affect their strategic approach.
Many currently use two or more distribution methods. So far there isn’t a clear preference of approach for the next three to five years, even though more than half of businesses plan to make changes.
Agility is the key
All B2B ecommerce businesses will need to be highly adaptable, agile, and responsive to buyer expectations while remaining cost-effective. Transformation is essential for survival.
Because Cloudfy was specifically designed to meet the needs of B2B ecommerce it is a scalable, cost-effective option for delivering a full ecommerce strategy. It comes with integration options for major business systems, a powerful application programming interface (API) for bespoke requirements and can interface with third-party systems.
Importantly, with regular upgrades deployed in the Cloud, it is also a ‘future-proofed’ option that will allow businesses to respond quickly to changing conditions.
We like to discuss how Cloudfy addresses barriers to full B2B ecommerce implementation with forward-thinking businesses. Please get in touch.