Editor's note

For OEMs and industrial players, e-commerce has been a game-changer throughout the crises that hit the market in recent years. However, there is still much work to be done to truly integrate e-commerce solutions into the business model. As the industry continues to navigate the inflationary environment, the workforce crisis, and economic turmoil, it’s more important than ever before to get a grip on digital sales.

At the 2023 E-Connect Virtual Academy hosted in November, keynote speakers from Mercedes-Benz, 3M, and inRiver discussed how to develop an effective e-commerce strategy, the role of product information in online sales, and the importance of data governance for meeting regulatory demands and improving the customer experience, highlighting three major trends.

1 — B2B E-Commerce for a Boost in Business Growth and Productivity
B2B e-commerce is growing at a rate of 10-18%, depending on the sector. For 32% of B2B companies, it has become the most effective sales channel, surpassing the preference for in-person channels, and across the industry, the majority of companies now provide e-commerce capabilities. Those who implemented e-commerce within their business models have experienced revenue and market share growth, enhanced productivity through operational optimization, and increased customer satisfaction. And now, with the integration of AI, video, data, and personalization, organizations have the opportunity to take it to the next level for the customer experience.

2 — Product Information for Revenue Growth and Data Governance
The entire product lifecycle, from sourcing to recycling, relies on product data, making product data governance imperative. Companies must learn how to balance compliance demands with revenue growth for truly sustainable business practices, and this can be accomplished with the next generation of Product Information Management (PIM) systems. This is the cornerstone of effective e-commerce strategies as not only does it inform sales and marketing decisions but it also facilitates syndication and channel management, digital shelf analytics, and digital asset management.

3 — 100% Digital Sales with Human Interaction Where It Is Needed Most
Until recently, automotive purchases were made predominantly offline, which created challenges for companies in tracking their leads and personalizing the customer experience. However, the automotive industry has undergone a transformative shift towards online sales, emphasizing the growing importance of developing an omnichannel strategy. For many, the goal is to transition to 100% digital sales, with human interaction becoming essential in contact centers, retail, and in-car experiences. This digital shift not only enhances customer experience but also future-proofs business growth for OEMs, enabling cross-selling and a deeper understanding of customer needs.

All this and more is now available on demand for your convenience. Thank you to everyone who attended and made the 2023 E-Connect Virtual Academy a true success!



Lisa Hellqvist
Managing Director