Tuesday Apr 08, 2014

2014 B2B Commerce Survey Reveals B2B Businesses Continue to Struggle With Complexity While Increasing Focus on the Customer to Drive Growth

The results are in!  We surveyed B2B commerce IT and business professionals to see where their organizations have invested in the last year, challenges they are facing, and key investment areas for 2014 and beyond.  Here are some of my key take-aways from this year’s survey:

Complexity grows in 2014 as businesses strive to increase market share
B2B organizations have always operated in complex environments – even before the internet came along.  Now having to contend with new and growing digital channels opens up new forms of complexity. 28% of survey respondents support 10 + brands / websites online and 31% support 5 + languages adding to the complexity of their business.  Complexity across pricing, products, channels, online experiences, and back-end systems all remain a challenge for businesses selling to other businesses through digital channels with 98% of respondents dealing with complexity in their org. 

Online channel drives revenue in 2013 BUT is expected to take an even bigger piece of the pie in 2014
There is still a lot of opportunity for growth with only 39% of respondents seeing 20% or more of their revenue coming from the digital touch points.  Survey respondents agree with 86% expecting at least 5-10% growth online in 2014.  But, how will businesses achieve growth in their online channel?  Many respondents believe that their customers are looking for key capabilities such as custom pricelists, search & navigation, and mobile web/apps when buying online.  To provide these features B2B organizations are making a higher investment in their commerce infrastructure and multi-channel tools. 

Customer satisfaction not only a priority in 2014, but a key success metric
Growing market share was the top priority in 2013 and still is for 2014, but other company-centric priorities of 2013, such as growing profit margins, have shifted to include more customer-focused areas such as customer loyalty and retention and increasing the cross-channel experience.  For example, only 8% of respondents said customer loyalty and retention was their top area of focus in 2013, but 45% said it was going to be one of their top priorities in 2014.  And, 28% of respondents say they measure customer loyalty as a key measure of success.   The impact that B2C experiences are having on B2B expectations still remains important in 2014 with 77% of respondents agreeing that customer expectations have changed due to B2C practices. 

Mobile is now table stakes for customer experience, but not yet driving significant direct revenue
Mobile is no longer a nice to have in B2B but is beginning to be a must have to meet customer expectations.  40% of respondents said that mobile is a key capability B2B buyers need but only 2% of respondents said that mobile is drove significant revenue in 2013.   I predict that mobile will begin to be a key revenue driver for B2B commerce in 2014.   Do you agree?  

Want to see the complete survey results, click here to join a live webcast April 16th.
[Read More]

Tuesday Mar 11, 2014

B2B Leaders Weather the Storm for Oracle B2B Commerce Summit

Guest Post by Justin King, B2B Commerce Evangelist 

Despite the approach of (yet another) winter storm on the East Coast, and freezing temperatures in the Chicago area, Oracle hosted theB2B Commerce Summit at the Chicago Fairmont Millennial Park on February 13. Joined by more than 150 attendees—most of whom hold Director-level titles at B2B organizations—the event focused on how B2B professionals can better use eCommerce to engage their customers.

With the Summit theme, "The Balance between Customer Experience and Complexity," the conference content centered around providing exceptional customer experiences amidst complex commerce requirements. Although B2B companies have complex customers, products, internal processes and internal systems, delivering unique and engaging customer experience is of utmost importance—and continues to be a critical competitive differentiator. Some key themes at the event included: 

[Read More]

Thursday Oct 31, 2013

B2B and B2C Commerce are alike… but a little different – Oracle Commerce named Leader in Forrester B2B Commerce Wave

We weren’t surprised to see Oracle Commerce positioned as a Leader in Forrester’s first Commerce Wave focused on B2B, released earlier this month. The reports validates much of what we’ve heard from our largest customers – the world’s largest distribution, manufacturing and high-tech customers who sell billions of dollars of goods and services to other businesses through their Web channels. More importantly, the report confirms something very important: B2B and B2C Commerce are alike… but a little different.

[Read More]

Tuesday Oct 01, 2013

October 17th Webcast: B2B Commerce – What Industry Trendsetters Do Right

Thursday, October 17, 2013
8:30 a.m Pacific / 11:30 a.m Eastern / 5:30 p.m CET

The B2B e-commerce landscape is changing. In fact, according to Forrester, the B2B commerce marketplace is nearly 5 times larger than the B2C marketplace. Leading edge companies such as Carolina Biological Supply know this and have adapted.

Carolina Biological Supply has looked to Oracle and Oracle partners for commerce and JD Edwards product solutions that provide a clear business edge.

Join us for this thought provoking panel and hear how:
  •     B2B commerce is changing and what you should know.
  •     Market leaders are evolving successfully.
  •     Oracle solutions offer unique technology and capabilities that deliver results.

Webcast Panelists:

Chad Petersen
Director, eCommerce, Carolina Biological Supply Company

Andy Hoar
Sr. Analyst, eBusiness, Forrester Research

John Andrews
Vice President, Product Management, Oracle Commerce

Don’t miss this informative, lively discussion from B2B commerce industry thought leaders. And come ready with your questions for our panelists. Register Now.

Thursday Apr 18, 2013

2013 B2B Commerce Survey – Insight Into Key Trends Include Customer Experience, Mobile and Online Growth

According to Forrester Research, B2B e-commerce sales are now more than twice the size of B2C e-commerce and are expected to achieve $559 billion in sales in the US by the end of 2013.1 With an increasing focus on principles and trends of B2B, Oracle conducted our B2B Commerce Trends survey for the third year in a row.2

For this particular report, Oracle surveyed almost 100 B2B commerce professionals across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific.  We found some interesting parallels for both B2B and B2C this year and their similar goals for 2013.

Like B2C, many B2B organizations have established an online channel and the focus in 2013 will be how to grow this channel to maximize revenue, especially with an increasing focus customer experience (CX).  Both are pursuing how to best achieve CX with key success metrics, and keeping a close eye on customer acquisition and retention.  62% of B2B respondents have a CX program in place and 57% said that customer acquisition is a top success metric.[Read More]
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