Categories: Growth Strategies


Andy Martin


Both Forrester and DigitalCommerce360 have made an astounding prediction: US B2B ecommerce sales will surpass $2 trillion in 2023. According to Forrester, we’re on track to hit $3 trillion in 2027 with a compound annual growth rate of 10.7%.

The kicker? By 2027, Forrester says B2B ecommerce will account for 24% of total B2B sales in the US. That’s up from 16% in 2021.

Clearly, big things are happening in B2B ecommerce. A digital channel is a serious growth engine—and our clients validate that with stats like 325% digital revenue growth.

But not every organization is realizing their digital value. In fact, some companies just see obstacles when they look at B2B ecommerce.

Here are the most common roadblocks—and how to overcome them.

1. B2B ecommerce is too big, complex, and risky

Let’s be honest, some B2B ecommerce platforms aren’t built for midmarket companies that run on SAP ERP.

Your business data and logic live in SAP, but how is your B2B ecommerce solution going to interact with that data safely, securely, and without errors?

It’s a huge challenge. Most platforms will require you to implement a third-party integration solution between SAP and B2B ecommerce. Typically, this integration platform will replicate and synchronize data—meaning your customers never get the real-time information they need.

As time goes on, this architecture can get more complex as all 3 systems (SAP, middleware, and B2B ecommerce) go through various update cycles. You’ll need dedicated resources in place supporting all 3 systems, and ultimately, your risk of technical debt will increase.

How to overcome this obstacle

Here at Corevist, we think the solution is pretty simple.

Why construct a complex architecture with 3 separate systems when you can get a B2B ecommerce solution that includes integration for ECC or S/4HANA?

Make that a managed solution, i.e. one that doesn’t require additional IT resources, and you’ve got a huge win. That’s the thinking behind Corevist.

2. We’d rather build B2B ecommerce ourselves, and we don’t have the resources

Back in the day, it made sense to build your own B2B ecommerce solution in-house. The technology on the market couldn’t handle the complexities of B2B companies with complex business rules in SAP. If you were going to do B2B ecommerce, you’d better have the resources on staff to scope the project, build it, integrate it to SAP, and maintain it yourself.

My, how times have changed.

B2B ecommerce technology is so mature now, it doesn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel. A platform like Corevist comes with prebuilt, configurable integration for ECC or S/4HANA. We can get you up and running in as little as 30 days, and you can roll out new features and functionality on Corevist without additional infrastructure investment.

We may be biased, but it sure looks like the best way for SAP companies to do B2B ecommerce.

How to overcome this obstacle

Educate your stakeholders on just how far B2B ecommerce technology has come. Let them know what’s available on the market. Show them how easy it is to provide every customer with personalized data straight from your SAP system. You’d be amazed at what this information does for an organization that’s stuck without B2B ecommerce.

Learn more here: Get Buy-In For B2B Ecommerce.

3. We’re migrating to S/4HANA, and we have to figure that out first

For many organizations, an S/4HANA migration is the most significant technology project that they’ll undertake in the next few years. The new ERP will impact every part of the organization, and for IT, it’s all hands on deck.

It’s easy to let that S/4HANA migration push other projects to the wayside. But in the case of B2B ecommerce, it actually makes more sense to pursue both projects in parallel.

How to overcome this obstacle

You should see B2B ecommerce as a line item in your larger S/4HANA project.


Because the needs of your customers in B2B ecommerce should dictate certain configurations in S/4HANA. When you pursue B2B ecommerce alongside S/4, you ensure that your new ERP is “B2B ecommerce friendly”—ready for the deeply-integrated solution that your customers will love.

Read more here: Launching B2B Ecommerce And S/4HANA In Parallel.

4. Our customers will never place orders online

Let’s be honest, some products aren’t a great fit for B2B ecommerce. That $1M industrial machine may never be a one-click purchase—though plenty of Corevist clients routinely log B2B ecommerce orders valued in the mid-six figures. Some clients even get orders that approach $1M in value. 

However, even if your products are no-brainers for selling through B2B ecommerce, some customers may object. They may be more comfortable with slower workflows that they’re used to—things like building an order in a procurement system, exporting it to a CSV, and emailing it to your customer service department.

How to overcome this obstacle

In this specific case, customers can actually upload that CSV directly to the B2B ecommerce cart in Corevist—which is more efficient for you and, ultimately, more seamless for them.

Whether or not every sale moves to B2B ecommerce, you can create a better customer experience through self-service tracking capabilities. In the case of Corevist, you can choose our Launch package, which empowers customers with self-service tracking for orders, shipments, invoices, payments, and more. You can add digital payment capabilities too, making the portal a one-stop shop for customers to manage their accounts.

And you can do all of this without investing in a product catalog or online ordering. The choice is yours!

Either way, the efficiency gains from self-service are significant. Our client Emmerson Packaging reduced their customer service workload by 97% with their Corevist portal.

5. Our ERP and our internal processes are too messy for integrated B2B ecommerce

If this is your organization, we’ve got news for you: You’re not alone! Over the years, we’ve helped numerous companies work through this type of challenge. Here’s what it looks like. 

Everything lives in your SAP system. And chances are, you’ve got layers of configuration changes in there from different IT directors, initiatives, and evolving policies over the years.

On top of a messy SAP system, you might have an organizational culture that doesn’t care to use SAP as the system of record.

Maybe each customer service rep has their own processes for interacting with customers. Maybe you’ve got essential information that lives in tribal knowledge or sticky notes on people’s monitors. The details may differ, but the result is usually the same: SAP needs some TLC to get it ready for customer interaction through integrated B2B ecommerce. 

How to overcome this obstacle

In all these cases, SAP-integrated B2B ecommerce can act as a powerful catalyst for healthy change. It might just be the push your organization needs to standardize everything in SAP, throw out the sticky notes, and build internal processes that are scalable.

We call this the Kimono Effect—the fact that customers interacting with your SAP data will push you to clean things up. It’s one of the great benefits of integrated B2B ecommerce, and there are few other projects that can initiate this kind of change.

The takeaway: Don’t let these obstacles stop you from selling more stuff

At the end of the day, B2B ecommerce is the future. It’s also an incredible growth engine for your organization. The obstacles can be intimidating, but they don’t have to stay that way. With the right partner guiding you through the process—and providing a managed, integrated solution—you can start tapping into the $2T B2B ecommerce market.

And you can do it in as little as 30 days. That’s the thinking behind Corevist.

The Corevist Platform | Full SAP Integration Included | Corevist, Inc.

Want to become Easier To Do Business With?

Check out the Corevist Platform.

Managed B2B portals and eCommerce with prebuilt integration for ECC and S/4HANA.

Take A Tour