Why B2B eCommerce?
eCommerce has become a core requirement to any successful B2B business. In fact, numerous studies show that the majority of B2B purchase decisions begin with a Google search and that the majority of the buying process happens before a user engages with a potential vendor. B2B businesses without an effective B2B eCommerce strategy will be at a competitive disadvantage.
Utilizing online tools to research buying decisions, B2B buyers are increasingly choosing to complete purchase transactions online. Simply having a rich informational site is no longer enough. B2B buyers expect to be able to purchase when they want, quickly and conveniently.
There are clear benefits to allowing B2B buyers to purchase products on your web site because the average online order value is higher than an offline order by as much as 31%.
Doing ERP Integration the Right Way
60% of B2B executives state integration with ERP is a key technology priority
We know real-time consistency between the back office and a B2B eCommerce website is a foundational requirement to any successful B2B strategy. Traditionally this has required the need for a standalone eCommerce shopping cart to utilize web services to connect to the ERP to access pricing, order history and inventory. But there are inherent risks and performance challenges with this approach. A connection may not be available, the ERP system will not be configured to support hundreds of simultaneous price look ups, and not to mention inherent security risks.
Real-time, bi-directional data replication and duplication business logic
This is why your eCommerce platform needs to be architected to replicate both your ERP data as well as your ERP’s business logic, including duplicating the pricing engine. Through leveraging the same data and the same business logic, your eCommerce platform will automatically support customer specific pricing and can display real-time information including all sales orders, AR transactions and inventory all with no requirement to reach into your ERP system via web services. Instead the business logic is executed within the site itself.
76% of buyers say that making it easy to find what they want is most important to site design
B2B buyers are on your site because they need to buy something, not necessarily because they want to buy something. It’s critical to make the buying process as quick and easy as possible. On site search must be fast, must provide relevant results and must allow the buyer the option to drill into the results based on their criteria.
Site navigation must be simple and intuitive, and ideally will present the most popular products on the first page. In addition, great B2B eCommerce sites provide buyers with multiple ordering options, such as quick order, order templates, re-order options and fast checkout.
40% of buyers state real-time access to information relevant to them as a critical want
At Net at Work the solutions we recommend are so tightly integrated with your back end ERP solutions, it is very simple to create a highly personalized experience, which can include a catalog that can dynamically change based on a user login and the ability to change many elements of site look and feel.
B2B buyers will gravitate to sites that are easy to navigate and tailored to them
B2B buyers are accustomed to the convenience of researching and buying online for their personal needs and they expect the same experience when using a vendor’s eCommerce web site. But more than that, B2B buyers expect a personalized experience that includes an easy-to-navigate catalog of products at their negotiated prices, access to accurate real-time inventory information, access to a consolidated view of their account including sales order status, transaction details and the option to use a variety of payment methods.