Insights

Better Your B2B eCommerce Strategy By Mimicking, Learning From B2C – Part 1

j
By BlueSky Commerce
}
10.20.2015

BlueSky Commerce Blog

Featured

Related Posts

HCL Commerce Featurette: Signals CDP

Welcome to this month’s BlueSky Featurette where we dissect a feature of the HCL Commerce platform or in this case, a feature that is coming soon! HCL is introducing an open-source customer data platform (CDP) called “Signals” to be included in the HCL Commerce...

read more

HCL Commerce Featurette: Marketplace

Welcome to this installment of BlueSky’s featurette series, where we break down a feature of the HCL Commerce platform. HCL continues to push the envelope when it comes to adding new functionality to the Commerce platform. This featurette highlights their newest...

read more

Have Questions?

Get In Touch

About the Author

BlueSky Commerce

BlueSky Commerce

Blending strategy, technology, marketing, and talent expertise to create solutions that fuel your business.
View BlueSky's Latest Articles:

Follow Us

Better Your B2B eCommerce Strategy By Mimicking, Learning From B2C – Part 1

Topics: B2B / eCommerce / IBM

Want your B2B eCommerce site to drive more sales?

Be more like B2C, advises IBM’s Pete Wharton.

In a recent IBM-sponsored Total Retail webinar, Pete tag-teamed with Terence Jukes, president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence, and Joe Keenan, editor of Total Retail, to teach us how.

First, it’s helpful to step back and consider what’s changed in the market.

“The marketplace has changed dramatically and it’s not going back,” warns Pete Wharton. “You either embrace change or lose to the competition.”

He then points to three key marketplace shifts:

  • We’re in the age of the empowered customer, and customer expectations continue to grow to unprecedented levels. “If they don’t get a good experience, they’ll walk,” says Pete. “It’s far too easy for them to find an alternative.”
  • We’re inundated by data, but data by itself is worthless unless we can quickly gain insights and act on them.
  • We need to know more about our customers so we can build intimacy and long-term relationships.

But here’s the disconnect:
When it comes to B2B eCommerce strategy, let’s put it this way: If we personalize the shopping experience and help buyers complete purchases faster, with no hassle or confusion, sales will increase.

It’s something the B2C market has done well, but B2B? Not so much.

Part of the challenge, of course, is that B2B is often much more complex than B2C. Your product or service might require guided selling and configuration, for example. Your sales process might include multiple market segments, channels, product lines and divisions. Plus, back-end fulfillment might involve multiple internal and external systems.

But that’s where the opportunity lies: The right platform can hide that complexity from customers, making it easier for buyers and partners to do business with you.

Here’s a webinar snapshot of where business goals meet customer needs:

B2b ecommerce strategy - where business goals meet customer needs - bluesky technology partners

How do you make that happen?

In the interest of our limited space and time together, we’ll highlight key attributes of an agile (and profitable) eCommerce platform.

First, an agile business environment:

  • Responds quickly and dynamically to demand peaks.
  • Accelerates new promotions and offers, with the ability to respond immediately to competitor moves and market shifts.
  • Innovates with rapid time to market by integrating with pre-built solutions.

That agile environment should enable the following B2B eCommerce capabilities:

  • Support multiple business models (B2B, B2C, distribution, partners, value chain)
  • Business process support (marketing, onboarding, selling and supporting, end-to-end)
  • Extended sites (multiple tiers, partners, brands and geos from a single instance)
  • Contracts (supporting complex contracts with partner-specific catalog, pricing, terms)
  • Policies (automate rules and practices)
  • Approvals (flexible order approval process for buyers and RFQ response for sellers)
  • Member management (organization, users, access control)
  • Merchandising & selling (catalog filters, bundles, kits, product configuration, guided selling)
  • New mobile capabilities (rich, interactive experiences across devices)
  • Robust business user controls (governance and control to manage users submitting requisition list, large and saved orders)

It’s a big list, but Pete emphasizes IBM’s eCommerce solutions aren’t just for big business: “Don’t assume IBM won’t work for your SMB company.” In the end, all of these components are about simplifying buying and selling processes, both for you and your customers.

In Part 2 of our webinar recap, we’ll continue our discussion with three (3) questions the experts gave to help you define and prioritize your eCommerce strategy. You’ll also learn what our experts had to say about B2B marketplaces like Amazon and eBay: How can they benefit businesses?

Until then, think “ease of use”: How can you make buying easier for your customers, while making life easier and more efficient for your organization?

[Jump to Part 2 to learn how to define and prioritize your B2B eCommerce strategy.]

Or if you’re feeling lost and would like to consult with a BlueSky eCommerce strategist, reach out now.

Start the Conversation

BlueSky’s unmatched commerce expertise allows us to help our clients understand how to utilize omnichannel and business solutions to reach, attract, engage, and grow customers.

Related Posts

Talent:  Benefits of Hiring Talent Acquistion

Talent: Benefits of Hiring Talent Acquistion

Ten Benefits of Outsourcing Recruitment to a Third Party In today’s competitive market, finding the specific talent that meets your company’s requirements is more difficult than ever. It’s also no secret that hiring new employees can be costly, time-consuming, and...

Did you miss the HCL Commerce Global Summit in July?

Did you miss the HCL Commerce Global Summit in July?

Don’t worry – BlueSky has got you covered! It was great to see old friends, partners, clients, and prospects at the House of Blues in Chicago last month. If you weren’t able to attend this year, read on to catch up on what you missed! Over three days in Chicago, HCL,...

What to Consider When Hiring a Marketing Agency

What to Consider When Hiring a Marketing Agency

Lead generation and increasing sales take a strong marketing strategy and a specific skill set. Therefore, effective marketing services are dependent on the people involved. Finding the perfect mix of talented marketers to add to your internal team or outside your...