[Tribune] B2B e-commerce: integrating new purchasing practices in the service of customer relationships – Retail Strategy > Retail

Two-thirds of current e-commerce projects are related to the B2B segment, with an increase in sales of 19.6% against a post-Covid decrease of 15% (Fevad) for B2C purchases in 1eh quarter 2022. Regardless of orientation, setting up a platform involves understanding some commonalities between a course “consume” where”in business”, in terms of user expectations. The challenge lies in optimizing the customer journey as it is specific to the complexity of the offer (products, prices, etc.).

A single model…

B2B e-commerce has recently established itself among inter-company exchanges. Whether it is an initial design or a replatforming (evolution of an existing platform), an e-commerce project meets customer acquisition, loyalty or operational efficiency goals, which require a long-term commitment. Achieve efficiency, simplicity, security or even a reduction in operational costs, B2B buyers expect a seamless user experience from this solution, with access to all their personalized information, while equaling the ease of purchases offered in B2C, away from dusty faxes or purchase orders by mail or phone.

A buyer’s loyalty or customer commitment is a key issue in deploying this new channel that will address an important need for autonomy in order management. Digital allows companies to operate faster, on a larger scale, by providing more services and therefore frees up more time for sales forces to focus on their core business: acquisitions and customer relations. Conceived in a global way, the platform needs to be fully integrated across all channels, up to the use of tablets, handheld showers or even smartphones for greater mobility. In addition, the challenges of B2B e-commerce are many and changing, technological platforms must be flexible and scalable, due to the complexity specific to the products offered. The functions can be multiple, from a simple repeating sequence with one click to some adaptations such as obtaining quotes or the multi-basket function.

Faced with specific technological and user experience design, the nuance of a B2B strategy is based on the expertise produced but also on the specificity of the customer profile. This is the whole point of success in digitizing a relationship based on personalization.

…which involves a personalized integration, which is complementary to the information system

From the general framework of the project, it is a question of crossing the different information repositories held by the company, if they are related to the product (PIM), the management elements (prices, order, invoices) (ERP) or customer relations (CRM), considered as the back-office of an e-commerce platform. It is through different operational processes agreed with each of the customers that the personalization of the course will be possible: price, quantity, logistics, delivery… This data conversion, combined with the new data enabled by the e-commerce solution, will offer visibility and meaningful lessons in terms of customer acquisition and/or loyalty. For more, this collected data will also make it possible to develop a commercial relationship with a more refined relation to the proposal of value services. (cross-sell, up-sell, etc.)

However, the challenge remains to map all this information within the company, digitized or not, in order to identify and thus involve the various stakeholders. This business intelligence integration really needs to be supported by different business bricks, even if it means creating certain connections, for a successful return. Be careful not to reproduce the complexity already rooted in the company’s processes so that the information system integration remains as simple and intuitive as possible. The challenge is greater when the case applies to certain sectors, which are complex because they are highly regulated or require large stocks, thus involving solid logistics and flow management.

In fact, the transfer of an entire history is a profound change that sometimes requires the change of some profession or co-construction, such as for part of the design of an e-commerce platform. As with the most detailed functions, the consumer expects to navigate a continuous and attractive space where one can easily find one’s bearings.

The integration of an e-commerce project involves a complex set of steps and evolution. The idea of ​​the project, design, putting online… each of these branches is complementary to the work of an integrator who will ensure consistency and compatibility, until defining the positioning of the portal in the digital ecosystem of the ‘company. In fact, the challenge is to build a coherent architecture, integrated with the company’s IT to enhance customer data. As with any construction site, the stage before the realization of the material is decisive and requires specific advice to be able to stagger and assess the issues raised. While the technical aspect drives the goal of a finished product, it is this deep understanding of the customer that will make the difference, whether upstream, by avoiding simple duplication of identified information, or downstream , including changing processes and teams. support. Although such a launch may materialize in a few months, the main factor of success depends on the adjustment of the platform over time, for a ramp-up according to market developments. Internationalization, Marketplace… each development will make it simpler, save time and add value to various commercial enterprises.

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