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B2B Engagement

87% of B2B organisations globally say that e-commerce solutions must be able to personalise the customer buying experience – prioritising it ahead of the system’s ability to deliver new revenues. In a survey of 300 global companies, 88% also said that the customer experience is vital to their business growth strategy.

The survey, produced by market research company Sapio on behalf of Sana Commerce, found that customer demand has driven the growth of e-commerce in B2B markets. 75% of B2B businesses have had customers demand to buy online. As a result, the majority of B2B organisations (76%) will upgrade their web stores in the next two years, indicating that first generation e-commerce solutions lack the features needed to deliver a strong and competitive customer experience.

Half of the respondents favour their own web store as a principle route to market, but 72% will sell solely online in the future, highlighting a strong need for e-commerce solutions to deliver features and functions demanded by customers.

Organisations are embracing future technology as part of customer experience strategies. Over two thirds will use Machine to Machine (M2M) technology to enable predictive ordering; 68% will see sales completed using mobiles; 67% will use virtual reality to personalise the buying experience; a quarter will employ the Internet of Things (IoT) to introduce automation; and 61% will use driverless cars and drones for delivery.

According to Michiel Schipperus, CEO of Sana Commerce, there is an e-commerce revolution underway. “With so many companies upgrading their e-commerce solutions to second generation versions – and integrating these systems within the infrastructure – it’s clear that there is a growing focus at putting web stores at the heart of future business growth. Companies need fully featured and integrated solutions, capable of drawing on existing business data to deliver strong customer experiences. Without the ability to personalise, companies will face increasing competitive threats at home and from abroad.”

While traditionally B2B organisations have been late in adopting new technology, the survey found that they have caught up. Mobile apps shows biggest growth as a route to market – from 17% today to 26% of organisations using them in the next two years. Social media is also increasingly being adopted – with 19% using it two years ago to over a quarter expecting it to be part of sales mix within two years.

For companies adopting e-commerce solutions, over two thirds achieve a return on their investment within just 12 months. And ROI is delivered across the business: 22% see an increase in revenue, 21% an increase in profitability and 91% saw improvements to sales order process efficiency.

The survey of 300 B2B organisations in Europe, US and ANZ was undertaken by independent market research company Sapio, on behalf on Sana Commerce. The survey sample covered senior executives in leadership, IT, operations, sales, finance and marketing in the electronics, construction, automotive, food & beverage, and medical supplies industries.

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