For some organizations, driving B2B eCommerce adoption is a challenge. You need to transition existing business to the web to increase operational efficiency, but sometimes customers aren’t on the same page. They might be wedded to paper-based processes — or simply resistant to change on principle.
More often, though, customers don’t adopt B2B eCommerce because it doesn’t work for them. They try it and find it doesn’t actually support their needs.
When that happens, they’ll abandon B2B eCommerce for good.
So what drives customers away? Here are the three most common causes we see when manufacturers come to us with broken B2B portals.
1. The solution doesn’t support your post-order processes
Conventional B2B eCommerce solutions are focused on the classic eCommerce transaction. Product catalog, cart and checkout — all conventional solutions do these things well.
Manufacturers’ customers often need more. They may not place every order in the web store, which means the tracking portion of the portal needs to show orders from all channels.
Likewise, customers may not appreciate having visibility into invoice status but no ability to pay off invoices online.
How to prevent the problem
First of all, you need a B2B eCommerce solution that supports comprehensive SAP ERP integration. With that technological capability, you’re in a better place to deliver the functionality your customers need to perform post-order tasks.
But technology alone isn’t enough. You also need a project methodology that reveals your customers’ actual needs (and how well the solution supports them — or doesn’t). This is the thinking behind Corevist’s methodology, which puts live, SAP-integrated software in front of customers before GoLive. The goal is to collect feedback from your real users and incorporate it into the solution before you launch.
2. The solution doesn’t show the right personalized pricing
If your customers have negotiated contract pricing, they need the B2B eCommerce solution to honor that pricing. Otherwise, they can’t really place orders through it. They’ll have to build orders in the cart, then call customer service to ask why the prices are all wrong. When customer service can’t do anything about it in the web store, customers will have to place orders over the phone.
You’re not going to get more efficient with that process.
How to solve the problem
For starters, you need a B2B eCommerce solution that includes comprehensive SAP ERP integration that’s personalized by customer account. This is the most efficient way to show the right price to every customer, for every product, every time. It’s one of the big reasons Corevist Commerce includes deep, real-time SAP integration right out of the box.
Without that SAP integration available on Day 1, it’s difficult to test out your B2B eCommerce pricing with real customers during the project phase. This is one spot where Corevist’s technology and methodology work hand-in-hand to deliver real customer value. Since we’re integrated to SAP on Day 1, we can show real pricing to your customers during the project phase and see if it’s working for them.
Sometimes this process can uncover pricing adjustments that need to be made in SAP. Though it’s uncomfortable, it’s great to uncover these issues in the project phase. It gives you a chance to iron out some kinks in your SAP data and logic. In fact, it’s one of the added benefits of our methodology. Read more about it here: The Kimono Effect In SAP-Integrated eCommerce.
3. The solution doesn’t provide trustworthy inventory information
If your B2B eCommerce solution relies on batch updates, there’s a good chance you’re going to display inaccurate inventory information. It might not happen every day (let’s hope it doesn’t), but batch-based architecture simply has too many moving pieces and potential failure points. In this regard, inaccurate inventory data is one of the classic problems that pushes customers away from the web store (and back to phone, fax and email ordering).
How to solve the problem
Once again, you’ll need a real-time SAP ERP integration to show accurate inventory in the web store. The simplest way to achieve this architecturally is with a solution that includes prebuilt integration. This is the thinking behind Corevist Commerce.