It’s no secret that B2B eCommerce is the name of the game.
This holds true whether you’re a manufacturer, distributor, or wholesaler.
But where is the world of B2B headed? What should you watch for—and how will it affect your industry, your customers, and your revenue?
Here are 3 high-level trends that we’re seeing in 2022.
Bigger than ever (and coming for you)
As DigitalCommerce360 reports, manufacturers grew B2B eCommerce revenue 18.4% in 2021, to $543.24 billion.
If that’s not wild enough, consider this.
Corevist clients grew their B2B eCommerce revenue 27.2% in the same period, to $1.59 billion.
Now, these stats may cause anxiety for some organizations. Maybe you have an outdated, disconnected B2B portal that customers have abandoned. Or maybe you’ve never invested in B2B eCommerce—maybe you’re still taking orders and inquiries through phone, fax, and email.
If that’s you, then it’s essential to understand how the digital shift will impact your business. Self-service is now the norm. B2B buyers demand it.
If you’ve never done B2B eCommerce—or if you can do better—the time is now to take your next step.
Templates and fast rollouts required (rather than custom projects)
In the old days, B2B eCommerce was a huge undertaking.
You needed a platform.
You needed servers on which to host it.
You needed a custom UX (user experience).
You needed an integration platform.
You had to hire a team (or several teams) to implement, integrate, roll out, and support your solution.
All that required tons of capital. For many manufacturers, it put B2B eCommerce out of reach—which was fine anyway, because customers were still ordering through phone, fax, and email.
But our first trend (digital expectations coming for you) has converged with another: The commoditization of B2B eCommerce technology.
Now, as customers demand B2B eCommerce, we’ve got good news. It’s actually easier than ever to launch the solution your customers need. The era of two-year, million-dollar projects is over. You can launch a B2B solution, including SAP integration, in as little as 30 days. The key is to find a platform that provides all the essentials:
- Templatized look and feel (so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel)
- Cloud-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) delivery model
- Prebuilt, configurable SAP integration included that supports your complexity
- One partner managing your infrastructure, integration, B2B eCommerce solution, and growth consulting
Hint: This is the thinking behind the Corevist Platform.
IT won’t be able to help (much)
With an S/4HANA migration looming on the horizon, IT won’t have much capacity to support B2B eCommerce. Even if you’re not migrating (or you already have), chances are, IT has their hands full.
The challenge gets more complicated because B2B eCommerce requires you to pivot fast. Even if IT can support your initial rollout, they may not have the ongoing capacity to respond to sudden strategic shifts from the business.
As much as you can, you should minimize your dependence on IT for launching and supporting B2B eCommerce. Ideally, you want to reuse all their ongoing work in SAP through a direct, real-time integration that’s part of a managed B2B eCommerce solution. That way, IT can maintain your business data and logic in SAP, as they do today, with no additional effort on their part to bring that value to customers. (That’s why we built the Corevist Platform—to leverage your SAP investment for eCommerce without creating new headaches.)
If you are migrating to S/4HANA, you’re in luck. Corevist follows you from ECC to S/4HANA with minimal heavy lifting.
The takeaway: Start now, pivot fast, & don’t bother IT
Don’t get us wrong, the technology behind integrated B2B eCommerce is incredibly complex. We’re dealing with SAP master data, ABAP, customer-specific pricing, and much more.
But it shouldn’t be complex for you. You’ve already invested to build out that value in SAP. The next step is to leverage it for B2B eCommerce without reinventing the wheel.
That’s why Corevist is here.