B2B organizations around the world are at various stages of technology maturity. They are in a position to capitalize on existing customers and to capture new customers by enhancing their own digital capabilities. Digital transformation can revitalize growth but needs to be approached with small steps. Too much, too soon can impede existing processes and cause organizational, process and technology challenges. There are several best practices and experiences from peer companies that can serve as a primer for the digital journey.
A recent Forrester survey on B2B eCommerce details recommendations for companies who want to elevate digitally for the goal of customer acquisition and to deal with competition:
- Structure a team – eCommerce needs to be approached like a new business strategy would be. The strategy should be backed by a comprehensive team who fully understand the customer journey starting from sales to customer service. Key operations to be digitalized include marketing, merchandising, operations, training, and enablement.
- Align Sales and eCommerce – Gathering support for new strategies is essential to overcome conflict. While implementing eCommerce, make goals and incentives consistent between sales and eCommerce teams – for instance, offer a commission for sales reps who refer customers to buy via e-commerce.
- Choose flexible technologies – In order to adapt to customer’s dynamic needs, it is better to use a flexible technology stack. Pick a stack built on modular architecture driven by APIs or with an extensible framework for third-party applications. This enables quick changes to the core commerce functionality without much hassle.
While designing the eCommerce strategy, seek insights from all stakeholders in the customer journey map. This will support framing the user experience that is expected of the eCommerce platform. Get responses to questions like:
- What information is needed on a product page
- How online orders should align with existing procurement processes
- How do we follow up on eCommerce sales for cross-selling or upselling
Making sales a part of this strategy will ensure their buy-in and also ensure that they don’t feel alienated. Don’t forget to train all teams on the eCommerce tools. They should be able to check stock or orders at any point and with ease.
Keep it simple and get your ROI.