Challenges in launching B2B Digital commerce sites
B2B digital commercial sites have not traditionally been a factor. Most often, you would encounter them with B2Cs. Today, there is more and more talk about B2B digital commerce sites. It is for this reason why application leaders should better understand the industry trends as well as what challenges lie ahead.
Surveys indicate that 56% of businesses that sell to other companies have already launched a B2B commerce site. Besides, 9% more intend to do so in 2019, while another 4% in 2020.
What to Consider When Deciding to Launch a B2B Digital Commerce Site
When considering the development of B2B digital commerce sites, businesses also have to develop a plan. This plan has to include specific reasons why the company needs a commerce site, in the first place. Some of the criteria that you should include in this assessment are customer demand, customer influences, reduced costs, changing product mix, or various technology advancements, among others.
It's also advisable to look at the changes happening in the industry. By 2020, there will be almost 70% of B2Bs that have a digital commercial site. If you don't see yourself among them, consider that seven out of ten of your competitors will be.
Many of your customers or potential customers might be positively influenced by those that have one such site up and running. They could opt to choose their business over yours, or they might desire a similar B2B digital commerce site from your organization, as well.
What Are the Three Challenges of Launching a B2B Commercial Site?
Like with every significant investment, launching a B2B digital commercial site requires a considerable amount of time and resources. Over 56% of B2Bs that have already made the transition say that it took them six months to do so. An additional 29% of organizations said nine months.
The reason for this is the need to integrate with other systems that are capable of providing critical components necessary for the entire commerce ecosystem. These type of commerce sites take their data from some systems and offer it to others to create a cohesive and all-encompassing customer experience.
Among these systems, we have things such as order management, CRM, ERP, contact centers, or product information management, to name a few. A lack of internal resources, like these mentioned here, as well as the projected costs of implementation, are also crucial challenges to overcome when making the transition.
How to Overcome These Challenges?
To overcome these challenges, you will have to identify the entire ecosystem that surrounds the customer experience. Some of the applications and systems that need to be included here are related to sales and lead management, sales effectiveness, price optimization, field service enablement, customer service, contract lifecycle management, or complex product configuration.
Once this is accomplished, try optimizing the costs as well as the time-to-launch for the B2B digital commerce site. To do this, you need to plan for critical integrations as part of the initial implementation.
Other, less critical systems, can be prioritized for subsequent deliveries by using a repetitive, agile “product” approach. This approach is better and less challenging than looking at the entire implementation as a one-time project.
As far as talent is concerned, look for people with the necessary skills for this implementation. It includes a product manager, API product manager, as well as an enterprise architect.
Like with every new endeavour, launching a B2B commercial site is not without its series of challenges. If you want to learn more about this transition, please feel free to visit our website or contact us directly.