2016: The Year Ahead in B2B
What’s in store in 2016 for B2B eCommerce for Industrial Manufacturers who run their businesses on SAP?
Here is what I predict:
- hybris continues to give away their product for “near free”. If you haven’t gotten a 90% discount from SAP on hybris licenses or been courted as a “strategic” account, you must have an unlisted phone number or a sexually transmitted disease. SAP needs to establish hybris’ footprint in the Midmarket B2B sector and giving it away for free is their short term ploy.
- hybris SMB SAP integrated B2B implementation horror stories continue to surface. Turns out that while SAP hybris may be giving away their software for free, it still costs plenty in time and dollars to overcome hybris’s complexity of implementation and support. We already know of one CIO who lost his job in 2015 over an over-promised and under-delivered B2B SAP hybris implementation. There will be more.
- Mobile starts to find its niche. Accessing SAP info on products, orders and invoices from a mobile device is old hat. This year we’re going to see projects appear where clients really want to take advantage of the mobile platform as opposed to simply interrupting their sleep with an ASN email on their phone. One great idea that I see percolating is using a smartphone to create a restocking order by walking around a showroom and scanning bar-codes. Now that is taking advantage of the mobile platform.
- B2B Payments come to life. As more industrial Manufacturers come onto their SAP Integrated B2B eCommerce platforms, they are going to realize that they are not only making it easier to buy their products, but that they can make it easier to get paid for them as well! Payments that are made to pay off invoices dwarf the volume of payments that are made during the shopping checkout process in the B2B world. Accelerating the receipt of funds by 3-5 days could add great value to cash flow management. Smart CFO’s are going to take advantage of electronic bill presentment and payment…PCI compliant of course!
- Product Catalogs finally go digital. I know, it’s crazy to think that Industrial Manufacturer’s marketing departments are still entrenched in their paper catalog worlds. They’ve evolved somewhat over the years and repurposed some of that content onto their pretty corporate websites, but they still look at the world through the lens of tree crushing paper catalogs. In 2016, we’re going to bring these folks out of the dark ages and show them that by going “digital” that they can not only produce great product content, but it will take zero additional effort to make those products “orderable” AND they don’t have to go Big Bang digital. They can start their electronic catalog journeys with simple SAP driven Product Selector Guides and add rich content and sophisticated browsing and searching capabilities as time and money allow.
- The cloud wins. We’ve been educating the market for 8 years now that a cloud based SAP Integrated B2B eCommerce solution offers maximum agility at the lowest cost without sacrificing functionality or taking on any unmanageable risks. In 2016 we won’t enter into any “on premise” versus “cloud” discussions. That game is over.
- B2B eCommerce websites are proudly marketed. It used to be “just build it and they will come” in the B2B eCommerce world. After all, these are our employees and clients that are using the website and if we tell them that that’s they way they will be doing business with us, than that’s the way that they will have to do business with us. No need to “sell” them on it. No need to make it easy for them to understand what they can do with the website. No need to provide special support for them. No need to incentivize them to use the website. Right? Wrong. Marketing departments will now see that their B2B eCommerce websites are just as much of a corporate asset as any product that they manufacture and sell.
2015 was Corevist’s best year ever. I’m looking forward to a repeat performance in 2016!
Happy New Year!