B2B e-Commerce software often includes many dedicated functions such as trade credit, elaborated multilevel customers’ accounts, creation of offers and price lists. As a consequence of all these factors, B2B e-Commerce applications are believed to be particularly difficult to implement. However, if we study the expectations of B2B applications users, we discover that in spite of all these advanced functions, what they appreciate the most is the simplicity of operation known from B2C solutions.
In the Forrester research from 2014 – Building The B2B OmniChannel Commerce Platform Of The Future – the users were asked about their most important B2B values . Almost half (49%) of the users prefer to do their business shopping on the same websites they use for personal shopping. 32% of customers start their research from the producers’ websites, while 25% start from search engines.
Customers expect an omnichannel approach – that is a uniform offer and service in all channels. Customers also expect a next-day delivery and real-time information about the expected delivery time.
Functions expected by the B2B clients include also: self-service, shop locators, personalized product recommendations and opinions about products.
When, in the same research, the companies were asked about B2B e-Commerce technologies they were going to invest in, the following information was obtained:
- Automated pricing optimization – 62%
- Personalized recommendations – 56%
- Use of wearable computing in distribution centers – 49%
- Sensors in shipments/products – 46%
- Robots/automation in distribution center/supply chain – 34%
- Shopping cart abandoment analysis – 32%
It’s clear that two main trends are automation and improvement of User Experience.
SalesForce.com had already begun the trend of building a modern, useful business software. This trend will certainly become more and more important in the future.
P.S. You can read more in B2B e-Commerce Case Study (https://divante.com/case-studies/tim).