Sam Bayer


News flash.  B2B eCommerce has arrived.

Intershop’s latest market research offering, “Designed to evaluate the current state-of-play of digital B2B commerce today”, opens by declaring that “…B2B businesses have firmly grasped the potential of online digital commerce”.  Firms that have adopted B2B eCommerce are more efficient, are generating more total sales, more sales per sales representative, more sales per client, and more new clients.  These B2B eCommerce adopters are also able to launch new products faster and reach more global audiences easier.

You can get your own free copy of this 47 page report at Intershop’s website.  If you need a kick in the pants to get your B2B initiative initialized, or maybe looking for ideas on how to spend your 2017 budget, this survey of 400 leading B2B decision-makers across Europe and the US, should do it for you.

There are some really juicy statistical tidbits sprinkled throughout the report that I could easily see showing up in many a corporate powerpoint.  For instance:

  1. 71% of respondents have a dedicated B2B eCommerce website. (seems a bit high but could be a sampling anomaly)
  2. 49% sell their products in B2B marketplaces.
  3. 42% is the average percentage of total revenue that is being generated online (that’s big!)
  4. 32% of respondents will soon have a “mobile” webshop.
  5. 99% of respondents observed marketplace disruption as a result of digital technologies changing the rules of engagement.  (whoa! do the other 1% have their eyes closed?)
  6. 42% of companies “admit” they have yet to integrate their order management system (OMS) with their B2B eCommerce website. (really? how is that even possible. they should be embarrassed to admit that!)

Who is leading the drive towards digitization in these organizations?

  1. 46% say it’s a tech savvy leader like the CEO or CIO. (Our experience is that 100% of our projects are IT driven.  Maybe that’s because we integrate with SAP on day one.)
  2. 29% and 25% say the driving force is coming from Sales Management and Operations Management respectively.

What are the most desired B2B eCommerce features?

  1. 47% want flexible payment options (got it)
  2. 42% want customized content/personalization (got it)
  3. 40% want after sales care (got it)
  4. 32% want mobile (got it)
  5. 29% and 36% want search and comparison functionality (got it)
  6. 94% need to integrate at least one system (OMS, CRM, PIM etc.) into their B2B eCommerce landscape (got it)

While apparently many of the respondents haven’t integrating their B2B eCommerce websites with their Order Management Systems, 94% of those that have integrated their OMS systems say “it is having a positive effect on their eCommerce operations”.  Here is how:

  1. 63% expect more accurate order capture (Corevist provides a zero defect order capture process)
  2. 59% expect better customer account tracking
  3. 58% expect improved stock level management
  4. 57% expect more efficient eCommerce operation
  5. 56% will get better integration between ordering and supply & deliver, and better supply chain management.

I’m really happy to see this Intershop report underscore the importance of OMS (aka SAP) integration.  It’s something that we’ve advocated for from the very inception of our company.  The report acknowledges that while connecting every part of the order process, the OMS:

  • Automates and streamlines the life cycle of orders, payments, and invoices across all channels (I’d like to emphasize ALL channels…phone, fax, email, EDI etc.)
  • Provides real-time visibility into customer purchasing behaviors, stock levels and payments across all touch points
  • Enables organizations to respond to customers with individualized offerings and services (aka customized pricing and promotions)
  • Orchestrates applications like ERP, point of sale (POS) and warehouse management systems to facilitate a truly seamless customer experience (yes!)
  • Manages order routing and fulfillment
  • Supports after order services, including returns management

I love Intershop’s closing admonition:

“Act now or risk being side-lined”

I couldn’t agree more.

Once again, I want to thank my colleagues at Intershop for sponsoring this study.  It’s an important contribution to our industry.

Now let’s get back to pursuing that paperless office :-)