Digital Transformation of B2B Commerce

Is your business ready?

For manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers around the globe, ecommerce has become one of the key drivers for digital transformation and companies with a well-executed digital strategy are quickly becoming disrupters in their markets.

In order to remain competitive, businesses need to be willing to adopt a new way of thinking and working – one that is digital-first. This approach embraces technological advances and puts digital at the core of all organisational initiatives, transforming key areas of the business, such as marketing, sales, customer service, external channels, operations, R&D and HR.

Many companies underestimate the impact of an ecommerce venture, thinking of it as a channel operating in silo. In reality, it is the stepping stone to transforming into a digital business. With over 60% of B2B purchasing decisions being made online, the process of digital transformation is one that any company will have to prepare for. This starts with understanding the effects on different areas of the business.

Marketing

Marketing initiatives are no longer confined to traditional channels. A digital B2B firm needs to be able to market itself digitally. Marketers need to know how potential customers use the web to research and find what they are looking for.

Sales

With a digital platform for online ordering, a shift in the role of the sales department is inevitable. It is therefore important to monitor the impact and ensure the sales team can leverage on the efficiencies and opportunities of digital technologies throughout the sales process.

Customer Service

Online never sleeps. This can be a challenge, as businesses suddenly have to provide customer service around the clock. 80% of B2B customers expect responses in real-time.[i] As such, it is vital for a digital business to have tools, processes and people available to meet this expectation or risk losing out on sales.

Channel Relationships

The ability to sell direct to customers through online seller portals can quickly cause disruption to channel relationships between distributors, their suppliers and manufacturers. Access to a shared platform such as a channel partner portal can assist in minimising perceived channel conflict and present new opportunities.

Operations & Logistics

An online ordering system allows businesses to reach a wider market. As a result, manufacturers and distributors may need to re-visit their delivery services. Integration between the ecommerce, warehousing and freight system can streamline the delivery process, increase efficiency and enable offerings such as split shipment, express delivery, automated replenishment and more.

Research & Development

In order to facilitate digital transformation, companies are required to invest in new technologies, services and resources supporting these. The necessary level of investment will need to be determined as part of a long-term strategy.

Human Resources

Along with new technologies, B2B firms need the right people and processes to support changes and challenges that arise throughout the transformation journey. Some activities may require outsourcing whereas others require training and adoption programmes for internal resources. Without the right people and skills throughout the business, digital transformation will be hindered.

What about your business?

Is there resistance to digital transformation in your organisation? You are not alone. However, 70% of manufacturers without an ecommerce site are planning to get one in the next 2 years.[ii] This will change the landscape of B2B forever. Be part of this change with Insite Software – A global leader in B2B commerce, supported locally in New Zealand and Australia by Solutionists, Ecommerce and Integration specialists. We are ready to join you on your journey to transform your business.

Call us today on +64 9 630 3074 or visit www.solutionists.co.nz/insite to find out more.

[i] www.convinceandconvert.com/customer-experience/buyers-expect-real-time-interaction/

[ii] www.digitalcommerce360.com/2018/01/12/what-manufacturers-doing-ecommerce/

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