Commerce

Top 7 Challenges of Establishing a B2B Commerce Site

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

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.

5. Speed

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.
Download our latest guide, and learn how to overcome these challenges by aligning your B2B commerce strategy with a best-in-breed PIM solution.

Thoughts on “Top 7 Challenges of Establishing a B2B Commerce Site”

  1. #4 Platform integration can be a huge issue for B2B eCommerce solutions and manufacturers. Typically a manufacturer will leverage their existing ERP systems for product information including SKUs and descriptions assuming a PIM is not in place.
    When data is entered into the system of record by internal resources very rarely is it consumer-ready. What I mean by that is the data is typically entered in a short-handed, abbreviated fashion. The manufacturer, with abundant product knowledge, knows what these part numbers and cryptic descriptions represent. However, using this data to populate your website would be a disaster for external customers.
    Every SKU that is going to be sold online needs a customer-friendly description to help with the sales process. Without it, the customer will struggle to correctly order the desired product.

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Stephanie Gallina, Senior Manager, Microsoft + CXC Partner Marketing

Stephanie has more than 15 years' experience in marketing communications, leading and executing marketing strategies for corporate and non-profit organizations. She elevates the awareness of relevant digital solution topics and thought leadership for Perficient.

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