The latest Forrester Wave™ report on business to business (B2B) ecommerce solutions for medium-sized organisations, says that on-site software and legacy technology are becoming outdated and less effective.
We decided to take a look at the key points raised in the report.
B2B ecommerce is growing because mid-sized companies recognise it as the way to truly engage with buyers through research, sales, and servicing. The report says that investment in B2B ecommerce platforms is expected to be $2.4billion by 2021.
Businesses that want to outstrip their competitors, or even simply maintain their market position, will need to put their choice of ecommerce platform at the heart of their strategy.
Comprehensive online product catalogues, effective payment options and personalized promotions are now minimum requirements, along with straightforward integration with leading enterprise systems.
Buyers now expect a seamless journey throughout the purchasing process, including the option to move to offline support and then to return to their self-service online process. Increasingly, they are also looking for a seamless onward-selling process too.
To meet these expectations ecommerce platforms will need to deliver enterprise levels of service tailored to the needs of small and medium-sized B2B companies.
Businesses are increasingly using the data provided by an integrated ecommerce system to understand buyer behavior and make critical decisions.
In the future, businesses will invest in reporting tools to improve analytics and decision-making processes. Machine learning will also be an important part of the drive to improve personalization and to automate more of the sales and fulfilllment process.
Time and cost
Time-to-market (TTM) and total cost of ownership (TCO) will be increasingly important. Innovation will be critical to success and medium-sized businesses will not be able to spend months, or even years, developing and implementing their next generation of ecommerce.
Costly and resource intensive on-site systems will increasingly be replaced by Cloud-based services. Ecommerce platforms that have inbuilt capacity to develop and test options to improve sales, personalization, and content management are going to be in high demand.
Looking forward, the report says that there are four pillars of B2B ecommerce; your ecommerce site, managing buyer experiences and marketing, order management and product information management.
For many smaller businesses, choosing a single solution that delivers all of these requirements is optimal. For other, larger organisations that retain legacy enterprise systems or have very specialised requirements, a system that supports integration might be preferable.
The influence of business to consumer (B2C) selling is so great on the B2B buyer’s expectations that the Forrester report continues to benchmark against both enterprise B2B and B2C ecommerce solutions. However, they have also included an evaluation of how effectively providers can deliver enterprise-quality features with a faster TTM and lower TCO. They have also considered providers’ route maps to meet B2B ecommerce requirements in the future.
The future, now
Cloudfy is a specialised B2B ecommerce platform which integrates with all major ERP solutions including Microsoft Dynamics, SAP Business One, NetSuite, Access Dimensions, Infor, Epicore and Sage amongst others. That’s why it can already fulfilll the requirements of forward-looking companies.
Innovation is part of the Cloudfy vision, so it is constantly upgraded and improved with a regular programme of updates and enhancements. When they are released they are immediately available in the Cloud, ready to use, speeding up your time to market with the latest in ecommerce innovations.
We would like to show you the future of B2B ecommerce now. Simply request a free demonstration here.