B2B E-Commerce: Ready to Ride the Digital Tsunami?

January 24, 2017

How prepared is your company to ride the digital tsunami with respect to B2B e-commerce? According to Frank Sportolari, managing director of UPS Germany, “Today’s digitally savvy customers have constant access to price and availability information and can easily compare and contrast offers across sellers and among their peers. In a world of constant connectivity, ignoring evolving customer expectations spells disaster.”

Absolutely! We are hearing the same thing from our industrial B2B customers that are going omni-channel, as Sportolari recommends in his five tips to ride the digital tsunami. What we’re learning at Zilliant is that it’s critical to ensure your customers’ buying experience is consistent on all channels with regard to both price and product recommendations. To that point, here are some questions to consider as you stand up digital selling channels:

  • If you post prices online for new customers, can you guarantee that new customers won’t get better prices than existing customers?
  • If your goal is to offer an online channel for customers only, how will you ensure that the price they see online is consistent with the price they’re quoted when talking to sales reps?
  • What’s the ideal cross-channel pricing strategy for different segments of users? How will we price known users? How will we price anonymous users?
  • Can you enable Amazon-like product recommendations based on what customers are likely to purchase? Can you keep products top-of-mind when customers start buying less of those products?

These are just a few, of many, questions to consider as you go digital. To Sportolari’s point, getting it right upfront is essential, “Industrial manufacturers and distributors are no exception. Commercial buyers want the same agility available to online retail consumers. In fact, Frost & Sullivan expects the B2B online retail market to double the size of the B2C online market, generating revenues of $6.7 trillion by 2020.”

Speak Your Mind: What strategies do you have in place to break old-school business rules and ride the digital tsunami?

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