How has B2B digitally matured? Are the days when digitising a business was understood as an online copy of the physical business or product catalogue now behind the industry? After all, to be successful in online reatil over the long term and to stand out from the competition requires far more than just a good shop system.
The growth potential for the B2B sector is undoubtedly enormous, but the same is true for its challenges. This is also confirmed by current studies »B2B E-Commerce Sector Report« by IFH Köln and »B2B E-Commerce Economic Index« by ECC Köln and Intellishop. The results paint a complicated picture.
As for e-commerce in 2019, there are two important pieces of news: Good and bad. First, the good news. E-commerce is growing and growing, it is and remains one of the strongest growth markets in the DACH region’s economy. From 6.4 billion euros in 2005 to 35.6 billion euros in 2014 and 53.4 billion euros in 2018.
But with or without growth, online commerce is also a competitive market, especially in B2C, but also increasingly in B2B. What to do to maintain competitiveness or even become a pioneer? One of the most important success factors is selecting and implementing a tailor-made e-commerce system. But which e-commerce software suits whom? And what developments are there?
Not only do we describe the leading providers for different sizes of companies from start-ups to Enterprises but we also explain why online stores are evolving towards e-commerce functions as part of a DXP and how technologies such as Framework or SaaS differ.
Online shopping doesn’t end after a purchase. Many companies are now aware of this. But what does it take to be successful in the digital business in the long term? Whether B2C or B2B, it’s important to offer the customer added value beyond the product purchase. And how does that succeed? With all-round service. In the digital age, however, this is no longer exclusively in the hands of the sales department. So the challenge is to transfer the analogue customer relationships into digital. Important factor: Customer Relationship Management. But with the selection and introduction of a suitable CRM system it’s not done, because as well as the customers, a system wants to be understood and maintained.
Frequently this means a restructuring (if not a complete reorganisation) of organisational and process structures. MEVACO also experienced this. On 28 March 2019, Achim Ahrens, e-commerce manager at MEVACO GmbH, will give practical insights into the technical and internal requirements at Handelskraft 2019, which will entail the implementation of a CRM system. In our interview with him, he discusses the topic with us before the conference!
Cross-border e-commerce is booming. Consumers are increasingly buying online and are increasingly attracted to foreign brands and retailers. Cross-border retail is, therefore, a great opportunity for brands and retailers looking for growth. But entering this market is not easy and requires a lot of preparatory work.
One of the questions that you should ask in advance is: Which channel offers the greatest opportunities in the target market? Do you start with your own localised version of the online shop or do you test marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Tmall (Alibaba) oder JD?
Getting started with international e-commerce via the marketplace is not only worthwhile because of the lower initial costs. There are also countries where marketplaces are worthwhile because of user preference. In China, where Tmall and JD are the market leaders, online retail takes place in marketplaces primarily. In fact, brands like Burberry, Estée Lauder, Swarovski or RayBan, and others have opened stores on Tmall. In addition, retailers multiply their customer base via international marketplaces.
Customers are no longer satisfied with what’s standard. On the contrary: They expect customised products that reflect their own wishes or meet their specific needs. Product attributes such as colour, size, shape, features, and technical details can already be selected online, allowing customers to configure a tailor-made product. Responsible for this is the well-named online configurator.
Their use in the automotive, furniture, and PC industry is particularly well established.
The potential in the B2B sector is still largely unused, but it is enormous. In the first part of our two-part article series, we’ll show you the benefits of what an online product configurator can offer, with a particular focus on B2B applications.