A big factor in today’s e-commerce world is real-time integration — data cannot be out of sync anymore and it needs to match your SAP system.
The more integrated a solution, the more powerful it will be for your organization to make changes quickly and enable the right information at the right time wanted by your customers. Tight integration without complex data sync queues greatly simplifies maintenance for your internal IT team, and lets them focus on improving the customer experience instead of constantly fixing or changing integration scenarios.
Another key to a successful B2B e-commerce implementation is completeness of products available and available business processes. More to the point, if key products are not available on your portal, or more advanced business processes such as returns, consignment, open invoice payments, etc. are not supported, and a buyer is forced to call customer service, then this will slow down buyer adoption dramatically. Real-time inventory and ATP are key as well in a tight SAP-ERP integration. Pre-built shopping carts, templates, and product recommendations (cross-selling and up-selling) are not just a feature of B2C anymore, they are becoming crucial for B2B buyers as well.
As more companies are moving towards online ordering for their customers and self-service models than ever before, organizations are looking to shrink or eliminate call centers, reduce costs of processing orders, and provide more account-specific information to their customers. The trick with a well-designed B2B platform is not to go overboard on B2C features and still be able to meet the complex requirements of an efficient B2B e-business, all while providing the buyer with a new and modern B2C look and feel. In the end, a B2B buyer mainly wants to re-order or expand on their existing products, so the focus is simple ordering and checkout. Focusing on using your order history with your customer and learning about what your customer likes and wants (via click-stream analytics) to streamline that process for your customer, will pay off in spades.
A lot is riding on the success of enterprise SAP e-commerce projects as the big gains in terms of customer experience, cost control and revenue growth are well understood. In the world of B2B e-commerce, the requirements are far more complex and involved – make sure your next e-commerce platform doesn’t add more complexity to your revenue growth.
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