B2B customers today expect increased personalization, responsiveness, flexible product configuration, and engaging shopping experiences. While cloud e-commerce systems have been transforming the B2B landscape, siloed solutions for different departments result in disparate systems that fail to communicate with one another.
Supporting a business with on-premise or a single-tenant hosted commerce system is both time-consuming and expensive. Such systems cannot support multiple geographies or channels, obstructing company growth instead of supporting it. B2B players, therefore, need a unified solution that is adaptive and quick to support new sales on different channels.
E-commerce success demands a unified platform
B2B players are increasingly facing increased buyer expectations for a seamless and meaningful shopping experience. Smart e-commerce businesses focus on integrating teams, technologies, and tools to go to the market and organize an internal strategy. With a unified B2B e-commerce solution, businesses can effectively improve revenue by simplifying operations with a flexible workflow environment and supporting unified organizational processes that result in great customer experiences.
A unified e-commerce platform facilitates real-time data by unifying e-commerce, CRM, order management, and accounting into one system that records inventory, orders, and customer information. It offers buyers a consistent experience and a smooth, omnichannel buying journey, boosting brand loyalty and repeat purchases. Unified cloud platforms offer B2B-specific features like enhanced catalog management, payment gateways, streamlined stacks, and personalization. They help deliver an omnichannel experience to customers across devices. Let’s see how unified platforms ultimately result in B2B e-commerce success.
A unified commerce platform identifies the nuances of an audience’s shopping patterns, controlling their experience from a single interface. It allows businesses to customize offerings by enabling differentiated browsing and purchasing.
A unified e-commerce platform allows customization of a variety of B2B customer needs:
- Custom catalogs and price lists
- Multi-site management
- Customer segmentation and targeting for personalized product recommendations and promotions
- Merchandising and content management features to create optimized sites
With a unified solution, businesses can control which products are shown to shoppers, set different pricing structures for different customers groups, and customize banners, blocks, and widgets to refine the customer experience.
Seamless buying experience
B2B buyers expect an intuitive online buying experience, which often requires a platform with self-service capabilities. Creating compelling interactions at every step of the customer journey requires ongoing support from an integrated platform.
A unified platform allows customers to:
- Order and re-order quickly
- Browse through extensive product information
- Request a quote
- View credit balances, prior orders, and shipping information
- Pay invoices online
As the number of commerce platforms increase, the total cost of ownership goes up. A unified cloud platform provides a global view of all selling activity and eliminates the need for multiple systems. The result is lower costs and a streamlined commerce stack that can be easily modified with changing customer demands. Moreover, a unified platform also reduces education and training costs associated with integrating and maintaining a variety of platforms.
Smooth order management
When e-commerce systems are developed independently of existing order management systems, the possibility of order errors increases. With integrated order management, B2B businesses can achieve synchronization across channels and deliver improved customer experience. Such order management systems can also scale to support quick availability, automated replenishment, and customized, complex purchasing workflows.
Simplified staffing and operations
A single e-commerce platform that integrates with back-end systems reduces organization complexity by simplifying staffing needs and reducing external partnership requirements. Businesses no longer need to hire separate teams or work with multiple partners for multiple platforms. A centralized platform reduces administrative and management responsibilities so businesses can focus on personalizing and enhancing customer experience.
Unified e-commerce platforms are the future of B2B. They are easily configurable, support multi-tenancy, and can scale to support new business models. Unified commerce ensures a smooth, consistent, and personalized shopping experience across all selling channels. Businesses that fail to invest in a platform that provides a cohesive view of customers, orders, and inventory will certainly be at a competitive disadvantage.