Online purchases are becoming more common among young B2B procurers, per research released last year, and a majority of vendors in the US and Europe agree that B2B commerce is shifting from offline to online and self-service, primarily to meet customer demand. In fact, according to a newly-released survey [download page] commissioned by EPiServer and conducted by Forrester Consulting among 100 US firms that have implemented B2B e-commerce solutions in the last 7 years, 31% of the revenue their e-commerce system books is believed to be incremental.
Not surprisingly, given that result, respondents are enthusiastic about the e-commerce solutions they’ve implemented. Virtually all feel that their solution is important to growing revenue, and roughly 9 in 10 believe it to be important for attracting new customers, improving customer retention/satisfaction, lowering costs, and gaining a competitive market advantage.
Of those, growing revenue (79%) and attracting new customers (70%) are the most popular goals of selling to businesses online, with fewer execs seeking to reduce costs (53%) or gain a competitive advantage (37%).
The study finds that respondents most commonly deployed offsite software-as-a-service/platform-as-a-service solutions, with 42% doing so, followed by hybrid (started SaaS, plan to transition to on-premises) solutions (24%).
Asked to rank the top 3 of 8 identified factors most critical to the successful implementation of their core e-commerce solution, respondents first pointed to successfully defining goals and objectives (56% ranking as a top-3 factor), followed by involving users throughout the process to ensure the solution would meet end user needs (46%) and engaging a knowledgeable system integrator/e-commerce consultant (also 46%).
Interested in B2B marketing? A new MarketingCharts Debrief [download page] analyzes the demographics and media habits of B2B buyers and decision-makers.
About the Data: Between March and April 2014, Forrester Consulting fielded an online survey to 100 US firms that have implemented B2B e-commerce solutions in the last seven years and conducted interviews with a select set of the same respondents.