Top B2B Commerce Trends

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Transcript of Top B2B Commerce Trends


  • B2B COMMERCEPrior to the digital age, manufacturers and suppliers produced thick, printed catalogs, employed armies of sales and account managers to build relationships and close deals, and staffed backshops and warehouses to deliver on their customers needs. Todays B2B commerce transactions typically involve multiple organizations and cover a complex range of applications that enable organizations to form both offline and online relationships with suppliers, customers, distributors, resellers and other partners.

    While traditional B2B selling channels have remained the most influential, a combination of ubiquitous digital technologies and increasing buyer expectations have led a rapid shift towards digital B2B commerce. Pure-play retailers like Amazon are using their sizable momentum in the B2C world to double down in the B2B market. These shifts are causing B2B sellers to rethink their marketing and sales strategies and the corresponding core investments around customer engagement and commerce infrastructures.

    A recent study shows that more than half of global B2B buyers will make at least 50%2 of their purchases online within the next three years. B2B customers are changing the game of business-to-business as they become more accustomed to a buying lifecycle that includes digital experiences well before and long after the sale. B2B buyers, like consumers, now expect seamless, omni-channel experiences, accurate and detailed product and inventory information, reduced shipping and delivery times, and 24/7 self-service access. B2B sellers need to adapt their strategies with a B2C focus, manage the complexity of B2B transactions, provide seamless integration, and be fast, reliable, and efficient to satisfy changing buyer expectations.

    Many B2B organizations have established an online channel and are focusing on how to grow online sales in order to maximize revenue. A study conducted by Frost & Sullivan projects that B2B eCommerce sales will reach $12 million globally by the year 2020. But to succeed in the new B2B landscape, companies are going to have to shift the way they think about the end customer and their buying experience. In this guide we look at the top 4 trends that are driving B2B companies to re-platform and rebuild their eCommerce sites to satisfy the growing demands and high expectations of their customer.





    Enhance search functionality on website

    Enhance search functionality on website 48% 60%


    Access to website through mobile app

    Improved personalized product recommendations on their website

    42%Improve personalized

    product or service recommendations on



    58% Visibility to rates & reviews of products and/or services


  • OPTIMIZING THE B2B EXPERIENCE TO MATCH B2C EXPECTATIONSAs B2B buyers become more empowered, they are demanding the same type of experience as B2C consumers: control, transparency, inventory visibility, product information, and convenience. The B2C customer experience has put tremendous pressure on B2B commerce, and buyers are no longer satisfied with fragmented experiences they want a seamless one. The path to purchase is no longer linear and offline. Todays buyers are transitioning their product search and purchases from traditional, offline channels to digital (i.e. web and mobile) settings and companies that do not adapt their technology to their buyers needs will fall behind.

    We can see this happening in the B2C world as companies adapt more digital technologies to create seamless experiences to satisfy customers. Customers move between a multitude of touch points that did not exist before, researching product information and reviews, checking social networks, and posting/tweeting about their experience through the entire shopping journey on a wide variety of social channels and communities. B2B companies can utilize social channels to help expand their brand, engage with different communities, express a vision, promote products and offerings, and offer customer service and/or support.


    KEY CHALLENGES High demands and expectations for B2C-style offerings and buying experiences

    Understanding the buyers B2B shopping journey

    Providing deeper levels of product information and rich content

    Managing and tracking communities and social interaction

    Delivering targeted and personalized experiences that grow sales and retention

    TREND 1


  • THE IBM-PERFICIENT SOLUTIONIBMs Smarter Commerce offering provides B2B organizations with unique tools and solutions to meet todays eCommerce demands and challenges. Perficient & IBM worked closely to develop the Smarter Commerce portfolio, providing technology to implement web, tablet, and mobile sites tailored for both B2B and B2C using business user tools and a configurable framework to target customers with pertinent and contextually relevant content, better product content and recommendations, complex product entitlements and pricing rules, a flexible promotions engine, dynamic search capabilities, and visibility into past purchases across multiple customer channels. The IBM Smarter Commerce solution provides a single view of supply and demand across channels and a coordinated and customizable fulfillment processes to support various channels and suppliers.

    Perficient XD is a creative digital agency within Perficient that partners with our B2B and commerce experts to provide seamless, end-to-end client solutions. Our agency helps clients transform the way they connect with consumers through ideation, research, creative design, and innovation. Our deep B2C and commerce experience is a force multiplier when coupled with our technical and industry knowledge and our ability to deliver solutions to help organizations realize their business strategy.

  • B2B OMNI-CHANNELLeading B2B sellers recognize the importance of integrating systems and platforms that support omni-channel requirements of todays B2B buyers. Driven by online purchasing experiences, buyers are demanding omni-channel capabilities across the buying lifecycle when making business-related purchases. Flexibility, speed, and convenience are the keys to adapting and differentiating business models. In order to meet this demand, B2B enterprises need to integrate technology and transform of processes at the same time. Most B2B organizations realize that the need for online channels in their sales and fulfillment strategy is imperative, but many are still far behind when it comes to their B2B commerce capabilities.

    Omni-channel strategies help B2B suppliers make it easier to conduct business reducing internal costs, optimizing operational efficiency, and enabling sales teams to provide more value where it counts, manage relationships, and grow the business.

    TREND 2

    KEY CHALLENGESConnecting consistent experiences to all customer touch points (field sales, all digital channels, call centers, and in-store experiences)

    Sharing customer data and insights across locations and channels

    Disjointed sales messaging and incentives among sales channels and departments

    Understanding the engagement between peers, account reps, other company stakeholders, vendors and service providers

    Access and integration to systems and data across multiple business processes



  • The intricate nature of B2B buying and selling requires an advanced level of sophistication on the backend, both in terms of platform functionality and integration. B2B organizations often deal with various networks and channels of business partners, manufacturers, resellers and dealers within many different locations, requiring configurable business rules and workflows to execute sales and marketing strategy across all channels. IBMs portfolio delivers the necessary capabilities to deliver on the omni-channel needs of B2B providers.

    Perficient has deep experience leveraging IBM products to meet the needs of B2B providers, including:

    A single-view of supply and demand across all channels to improve inventory utilization and provide accurate promise dates

    A coordinated and configurable workflow modeling to manage


    complex B2B fulfillment processes across store, call center, and online channels

    A single-view of all backend processes such as purchasing, fulfillment, and reverse logistics, across the entire supply chain

    The choreography of integration to backend enterprise resource planning and other legacy systems to provide consistency across the enterprise

    By providing business-driven solutions and technical expertise to implement the IBM portfolio, Perficient drives the business value B2B providers need to retain customers as the competitive landscape continues to intensify with new entrants to the traditional B2B markets. By providing a superior experience, organizations can build loyalty with their customer base and target new organizations with an enticing offering.

  • THIRD-PARTY PROCUREMENT PROVIDERS TO INSOURCED B2B PLATFORMThe days of faxing procurement orders are over for most B2B companies. By moving away from third-party procurement providers, B2B sellers can establish stronger relationships and achieve greater visibility into customer needs and behaviors. B2B customers expect integrated channel fulfillment so eCommerce sites need to be