80% of B2B buyers now expect the same buying experience as B2C customers. And the greatest challenge preventing B2B organizations from matching B2C is that their systems are legacy-based, relying on disparate data sources and requiring manual processes for updates across sales, service, and marketing. Legacy commerce systems are just as bad for your business operations as they are for customers–preventing real-time communications, seamless multi channel experiences, and visibility into cross-selling and upselling opportunities, reduce the efficiency of sales teams, create the potential for buyer frustration, and hinder growth. So, how can B2B organizations adopt customer-centricity for business buyers?
Today’s B2B eCommerce environment is shifting from manual transactions and processes to automated self-service. More specifically, B2B organizations are adopting a digital commerce platform as the core technology to enable their customers to purchase goods and services through an interactive and self-service experience. Omnichannel B2B eCommerce is an integrated approach for selling to and serving customers across traditional and digital channels alike. It is characterized by real-time responsiveness, proactive service, and contextually relevant customer experiences, regardless of the preferred channel. Based on a centralized, cloud-based platform, Omnichannel B2B eCommerce can scale with the growth of your business and with the changing demands of your clients.
Such platforms are defined by out-of-the-box capabilities or the APIs to support a self-service, interactive commerce experience that includes:
- Product catalog navigation
- Product pages
- Shopping cart
- Customer account
Make Complex B2B Sales Simple for Products and Services
B2B buyers want to search and find products fast and see accurate and customized contract pricing, quickly reorder products and services, and see their custom quotes when they login to your site. Leading-edge brands are investing in eCommerce platform solutions that allow them to offer fully-personalized portals for their customers and partners.
Today’s leading B2B eCommerce technologies:
- Offer a complete end-to-end solution covering everything from digital asset management to integrated quote management.
- Deliver a B2C-like experience for easy ordering, checking the status of orders in process, and the ability to conduct transactions on any device.
- Give customers and partners a personalized portal view with access to their products, warranties, manuals and related parts and inputs – including pricing and promotions – in a single view.
- Make it easy for customers to capture self-service efficiencies, whether it’s completing orders online or setting up recurring purchases to process automatically.
- Adapt to complex B2B models that may encompass purchasing under multiple contracts, with different departments, and on different schedules.
Differentiate Your B2B Brand with Order Management
Delivering what customers want starts with building a back-end system that meets the changing dynamics of business commerce. Order management tools are also critical, from providing streamlined order processing to optimizing the fulfillment experience. B2B brands must maintain global inventory visibility, to optimize delivery from end to end. Ultimately, B2B brands that build their omnichannel eCommerce experience will remain competitive. Laying the foundation now for long-term success means investing in a modern B2B commerce platform that’s built on flexible APIs that will continue to deliver as buyer expectations continue to evolve.
Incorporating AI with B2B eCommerce
By 2023, 80% of organizations using AI for digital commerce will achieve at least 25% improvement in customer satisfaction, revenue or cost reduction. AI with B2B commerce enables organizations with analytics that monitor usage patterns and interactions to identify current trends, leverage predicted outcomes, and surfaces recommended next steps in real-time. Additionally, this functionality can drive value from stores or regions with unique product needs and provide clients’ B2B partners with effortless purchasing options. B2B companies, serving a market 2x the size of B2C, have a massive opportunity to shift their business models from indirect distribution to Direct-to-Consumer (D2C).
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