Rising consumer expectations in the always-on digital world have greatly influenced the experience for B2B commerce. Buyers on the business side expect a digital commerce experience where:
• Products are easy to find
• Buying process is simple and efficient
• Order fulfillment is fast and accurate
However, manufacturers and distributors struggle to deliver an experience that hits on all of these points.
What are the major challenges B2B companies face when establishing a commerce site?
1. Technology Awareness
Manufacturers and distributors tend to adopt technology slower than companies in service or retail industries.
2. Understanding the Personas
Whether the persona is a buyer, specifier, engineer, or sales representative, they expect the same level of service and personalization from the B2B commerce experience.
3. Developing and Finding Content
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Many manufacturers and distributors think there’s not enough content on their commerce sites and should invest more in creating it. However, creating great content, such as how-to videos, customer reviews or forums, and robust imagery, is a major undertaking for many B2B companies.
4. Platform Integration
Most manufacturers and distributors have data living in multiple systems, making it difficult to synchronize and deliver it in a way that’s clean and intuitive.
The bigger the company, the slower it tends to move when it comes to improving the digital experience. Companies also need to take a holistic approach when creating a commerce site to optimize warehouse management, point of sale, and other back-end operations that impact the front-end customer experience.
6. Cross-channel Capabilities
Many manufacturers and distributors serve multiple channels. Creating and launching one site might not be feasible for their operation, meaning they may have to launch sites for different channels.
7. Fragmented Data and Channels
B2B companies have multiple channels for customers, resellers, and partners. Each group seeks product information for their specific needs. However, this information is being created, updated, and maintained in various locations, causing data silos and compartmentalized organizations. This leads to inconsistencies across channels and decreases time to market.
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