Finding the right e-commerce platform is an increasingly important concern for B2B companies, yet a recent study by B2B Online revealed that a majority of respondents reported only average or below-average satisfaction with their current provider. The greatest challenge to a satisfactory partnership? Sufficient integration with the existing technology.
A lot of attention is given to consumer-facing businesses and omnichannel strategies, but B2B companies are also now seeing a need for a strong online presence, something many lack. The report found that only 46 percent of surveyed businesses would describe their e-commerce channel as high-performing, while 19 percent didn’t have an online channel at all.
Whether a manufacturer or distributor, transactions and sales relationships are increasingly developed online. A number of new platforms have entered the market to meet this demand, including personalization solutions and multilayered customer relationship management. However, this can often be a daunting adoption process for legacy providers who don’t have a robust system to build on, as well as one that requires financial investment and interdepartmental collaboration, the next two most commonly reported obstacles in the report.
Despite these obstacles, the B2B community openly acknowledges the value of a highly performing online channel. The industry highlighted advanced product information management (PIM) systems as the most essential platform offering for e-commerce success, with assisted sales alternatives like AI chat programs next on the list.
For companies seeking to invest in a new platform, B2B Online’s report also included a set of recommendations alongside a list of challenges to keep in mind. Co-authored with e-commerce platforms including Oracle NetSuite and Elastic Path, the report concluded that flexibility and adaptation are the most important qualities in a provider; global scalability and the need to balance successful analog practices are the greatest challenges.
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