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Companies’ digitalisation priorities revealed

Jochen Wiechen, CEO, Intershop, believes customisation and customers' after sales expectations are the dominant forces.

Delivering breakthrough customer experiences depends on providing a seamless and unified experience across multiple touch points.

With online and mobile sales channels growing rapidly, this increasingly means end-to-end digitalisation across the enterprise. In a new research report, ‘Taking the fast track into the digital future of B2B commerce’, we evaluate the progress of organisations right across Europe.

The survey findings reveal how most businesses have firmly grasped the potential of online digital commerce. So much so that a growing number of organisations say they’ve stepped up their investment in mobile channels in a bid to further boost customer loyalty, sentiment and engagement.

Supporting Systems

Yet organisations acknowledge that when it comes to achieving a truly synaptic commerce landscape, they still have a long way to go to. Indeed, a sizeable number of respondents confirm they are yet to fully realise the benefits that will arise from integrating B2B commerce and digital experience platforms with their enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and product information management (PIM) systems.

So what holds the most appeal for customers? When it comes to e-commerce system characteristics, respondents confirmed the following features were in high demand:

  •  Flexible payment options such as PayPal/credit card/debit card (47%)
  • Customised content/personalisation (42%)
  • After sales care (40%)
  • Search functionality (29%) and comparison functionality (36%)
  • Device optimisation and integration (32%)
  • Social features – including the ability to share on social media  (28%)

Customer Interactions

Excellence in one channel is no longer enough. Today’s B2B customers expect a frictionless experience, no matter what channel they use. As a consequence, organisations are striving to improve connectivity between multiple ecosystems within and beyond the enterprise.

Today’s buyers increasingly prefer to transact and interact via online channels rather than electronic data interface (EDI) and will use multiple devices – including mobile – to get the job done. Organisations confirmed they’re experiencing a ‘mobile first’ shift from buyers and are cognisant of the need to adapt.

Little wonder then that 98% of respondents have integrated at least one IT system to set up their B2B commerce landscape, with order management systems (58%) and CRM systems (54%) topping the list.

Clearly, organisations are prioritising their system integration strategy around delivering against the customisation and after sales expectations of customers. It also explains why 43% have integrated procurement systems to enable the delivery of flexible payment options.

Against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving competitive landscape, selling cost-effectively is no longer enough. Providing a compelling user experience and optimising e-commerce collaboration across the supply chain depends on achieving a synaptic commerce landscape in which processes and IT systems within and between companies simply work.

Benefits

Indeed, respondents confirm digitalisation has conferred wider benefits for their organisation – 44% say they are able to get new products to market faster; 46% confirm their sector is more global than ever before; 43% are selling to customers who would not buy from them before. These statistics are perhaps an important barometer of the evolving role of technology in the customer experience landscape.

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