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.
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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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