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Nowadays many companies have to manage high expectations when it comes to their e-commerce activities. The manufacturing professionals positioned on both sides of B2B internet buying and selling processes transfer their expectations coming from the best experiences with technology. This means that ecommerce platforms are expected to work fast, to be connected and intuitive. 

Author Iva Danilovic | Copperberg

Businesses involved in selling goods and services online want to invest in technologies that will help them to smoothen the customer journey, but also to automate repetitive work done in the back office. Being able to adjust product details, availability and price changes in real-time is among top priorities for companies. 

According to Copperberg’s recent research about half of survey takers said that their companies want to invest in system integrator(s) to have better integration of ecommerce platforms with other internal systems like ERP/CRM. That way the companies get the opportunity to provide clients with a self-service portal that makes every part of the online purchasing transparent. 

Connecting back-office systems to digital shops can minimize repetitive tasks and save a lot of time that was previously needed for the distribution of information. Therefore, cross-channel technologies such as the new age digital Product Information Management solutions (PIM) are also a popular choice among companies that want to optimize e-stores, classify and extract data. Such ecommerce solutions also save time for B2B customers by simply finding the items they need with the available search filters.

The technology also helps companies to keep their customers, as the cross-border online market develops. Following one of the key trends in the B2C segment, there is an important increase in purchases from sellers in other EU countries (from 29 % to 35 % in the last five years) and from sellers outside the EU (from 17 % in 2014 to 27 % in 2019). The number of online purchases done in the single market vs. cross-border can show the extent to which consumers make use of wider choices and lower prices when information is right at hand. With B2B international payment and its substantial revenue potential, advances in fintech continue to support cross-border corporate transactions, with an aim to make them less complex and more secure.

Despite the anticipated rise in global B2B eCommerce, not all companies want to show their prices publicly nor are they interested in closing a deal online. When it comes to pricing about 30 percent of the management plan on investing in pricing software. Their wish is to gain more control over them and they are ready to challenge the existing pricing strategies and work on the visibility of product prices. Moreover, they are open to the idea of changing their current pricing strategies, and switching to value-based pricing or subscription-based pricing models to suit the new ecommerce landscape and maximize profits.

Finally, customer satisfaction seems to become the main trend in eCommerce, giving the fact that 60 percent of companies claim that they want to encompass new digital services, in addition to ecommerce, to additionally smoothen the customer journey. Gartner’s research showed that B2B buyers today will reward suppliers who make the purchase process easier. 

The customers who receive helpful information that eases the purchase process are three times as likely to buy the bigger, more expensive option.

Automated Experience 

As technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence are no longer reserved only for software giants, 34 percent of companies that took part in the research said that they wanted to invest in AI/ML. The reason behind it is primarily the wish to improve the interfaces and tools on their own ecommerce platforms, such as the product search & recommendations tools. The integrated e-shop collects data and provides analytics based on the monitored customer behavior, which is then able to offer adequate similar or replacement products. The result is significantly more opportunities in online sales.

About a quarter of companies surveyed plan to optimize payment solutions in the future in order to offer more flexibility in the checkout phase to their business customers. Similarly, almost the same number of companies would also like to go one step further and offer more variety in delivery times of products, and further the current shipping/logistics channels and practices, as the demand for quicker and more accurate deliveries grows. 

Last year, the so-called Delivery war between Amazon and Walmart, brought new challenges that set shipping standards across the industry. A recent report in the field of spare parts management by Copperberg suggested that one of the ways manufacturing companies are responding to this need is by speeding up the process within the spare parts inventory and minimizing human errors that can occur.

It is important to note that 41% of Copperberg research interviewees come from large companies that employ over 5000 people worldwide, followed by 23.58% of those who are employed in a company of over 1000 people. At first glance, their endeavor into high-tech e-commerce may seem distant – half of the companies said that currently a maximum of 10 percent of their products and services (in turnover) is sold through ecommerce. This is mainly because B2B ecommerce comes as a long-term assignment and a large-scale transformation program, that is necessary for setting a top-notch customized omnichannel approach tailored to fit even the most exclusive clientele.

B2B ecommerce often includes only a small circle of clients, but even so, that doesn’t mean that the market cannot face disruptions. Accenture has forecasted almost double revenues from B2B digital commerce in 2020, accounting for around half of all B2B revenues, while global revenue from offline commerce channels is expected to experience the decrease of up to 20% by 2021. 

Right now, many businesses are determined to follow the latest ecommerce optimization trends. There is a large scope of ecommerce technology present on the market. Every single answer received from the participants shows that the companies are likely to choose at least one of them to push the transformation further.

If the cutting-edge technologies cannot be supported by the currently used ecommerce platform more than 40 percent of companies are willing to invest in a new ecommerce platform that could offer scalability, more functionalities and support growth for the next generation of business transactions. 


https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2019-04-29-gartner-says-marketers-must-focus-on-helping-customer

Copperberg Report – Top Spare Parts Management Trends in 2020 https://online.flowpaper.com/7abd0750/SPAREPARTSMANAGEMENTTRENDSREPORT2019

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