George Anderson


Mobile Vs. Integration (and why you shouldn’t have to choose)

In a recent infographic, Digitalcommerce360 reports on the top priorities of smaller B2B sellers (<$10M) when it comes to new features and functionality in B2B e-commerce platforms. Though the survey in question gathered data from smaller companies, it’s worth comparing those numbers to what we see among Corevist clients, who are global, enterprise-class manufacturers.

In this article, we’ll look at mobile B2B ecommerce vs. ERP integration. We’ll also explain why you shouldn’t have to choose between the two.

Smaller B2B sellers weigh ERP integration against mobile readiness

Here are the stats that struck us from the survey of smaller B2B sellers.

“Which are your top priorities for new features and functions?”

  • 43.5% will prioritize CRM & ERP integration
  • 25% will prioritize a mobile site

Small B2B sellers may have far fewer resources to invest in their ecommerce presence. In that case, it’s understandable that they would prioritize ERP integration above mobile responsiveness—and if they have to choose, they’re making the right choice. The slickest B2B mobile site in the world is dead without accurate data for contract/scaled pricing, inventory availability, and more. (Hint: that data comes from your SAP system.)

Of course, for enterprise-class manufacturers using Corevist Commerce, there’s no need to choose between SAP integration and a mobile-ready experience. You get both out of the box with Corevist Commerce.

However, there’s more to the story. Let’s talk about another stat from the study—one that surprised us.

Starting in the right place: How do your customers want to do business with you?

If you’re weighing mobile readiness vs. ERP integration, you’d think the best place to start is with some actual data about your customers’ mobile preferences—either what they’re doing today if you already have ecommerce, or what they want to do. You might conduct a survey or run a customer focus group to get that information.

But here’s the surprising stat from the Digitalcommerce 360 survey:

  • 34.30% of small B2B sellers don’t know what percentage of their orders are placed from a mobile device.

This illustrates an important point. If you’re  weighing mobile readiness against ERP integration, it’s possible you’re starting in the wrong place. Both of those are technology-focused questions. The first question you should ask is, “What do our customers need?”

If you can’t answer that question with real data, then you need to find out. (That’s why the Corevist Commerce methodology depends so heavily on customer focus groups—they’re the #1 way to learn what your real customers actually want.)

Having gone through our methodology in the implementation process, every Corevist client knows exactly what their customers want. They get a solution that’s tailored to the needs of their actual buyers.  

On the question of mobile B2B ecommerce, let’s look at the needs of Corevist users and see just how significant mobile/tablet traffic is.

Mobile/tablet usage in Corevist Commerce (it might surprise you)

Biggest trend: Low mobile/tablet traffic

First off, some aggregate stats on mobile usage across all Corevist Commerce clients.

  • 4.0% of sessions are from mobile.
  • 3.5% of sessions are from tablet.

That’s a little surprising. Isn’t this the age of mobile?

It is—for consumers. The key, though, is that B2B transactions still take place largely at work. Professional buyers and procurement managers often work out of an office with a desktop computer or laptop.

In contrast to smaller B2B sellers (some of whom place a high priority on mobile, while others don’t even know if they’re getting business on mobile), Corevist’s enterprise-class clients have a clear picture of their customers’ needs. They also have a clear picture of what device types bring them the lion’s share of their ecommerce business.

Outlier trend: High mobile/tablet traffic

Of course, not all Corevist clients follow the trend of most traffic coming from desktop. (That’s the beauty of working with manufacturers—no two are alike!) In fact, two of our clients have shockingly high numbers on mobile/tablet:

  • Client A—96% mobile/tablet traffic
  • Client B—87% mobile/tablet traffic, nearly all of that tablet

There’s a story here. Each of these clients has a large mobile salesforce that buys on behalf of customers while out in the field. For businesses like this, a seamless mobile experience is absolutely key—as is real-time SAP integration, which allows field sales reps to get accurate SAP data for contract pricing, inventory availability, and more, all while they’re meeting with the customer to finalize an order.

The lesson here is to know your own business. Trends are one thing—but your customers are unique, and you need their input when making decisions in B2B ecommerce. After all, ecommerce is for them.

What’s hottest in B2B? It depends on your business (and Corevist comes with both OOTB)

When it comes to mobile readiness vs. SAP integration, we would argue that integration should be your #1 priority. The results of the Digitalcommerce 360 survey support that claim, with 43.5% of B2B sellers prioritizing CRM & ERP integration.

With Corevist Commerce, though, you don’t have to choose between accurate ecommerce data and a mobile-friendly experience. Corevist is fully mobile-responsive, and fully SAP-integrated, right out of the box.

The point is to know your business and your ecommerce users, whether internal or external. Understand their needs and choose an ecommerce solution that meets those needs.

Moving forward: FREE case study

Wondering what real-time SAP data can do for ecommerce? Download this FREE case study on LORD Corporation. You’ll learn how LORD replatformed onto Corevist Commerce and kept SAP as the system of record.

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