Forrester surveyed 100 companies in the U.S. to evaluate their experiences and best practices in implementing B2B e-commerce systems and key revenue metrics around those systems.
Some of the key findings included:
• B2B e-commerce solutions contribute significantly to key selling metrics and incremental revenue. Such solutions lead to increases in company revenue, profitability per order, average order value, and decreases in cost per order. In addition, respondents estimate that, on average, 31 percent of the revenue their e-commerce system books is incremental revenue.
• SaaS/PaaS B2B e-commerce solutions have the potential to save time and money in implementation. According to the study, 39 percent of SaaS implementations cost less than $1m, compared to only 10 percent of on-premise implementations. Additionally, more respondents said that a SaaS/PaaS solution took less time than expected compared to those who implemented on-premises.
• Best practices can ensure “on time” and “on budget” implementation. In order to implement e-commerce efficiently and in a customer-centric fashion, the study stated that B2B companies should carefully define project goals and objectives upfront. In addition, B2B companies are wise to involve users throughout the implementation process and engage with knowledgeable experts, both internally and externally.
According to the study, until recently, arguments were made against selling through online channels for B2B corporations. The technology was mostly made in-house and was ill-equipped to deal with the complexity of selling online. Additionally, the results of e-commerce systems were mainly unproven for B2B, and the process of implementing these systems was considered complex and costly. However, reality has moved beyond this outdated view and B2B e-commerce solutions have transformed to offer an experience that connected consumers have come to expect, equaling that offered by digital leaders in B2C markets, according to the study.
We believe these findings highlight the evolution B2B e-commerce has experienced. Commercially available technologies help businesses solve daily challenges of attracting and retaining customers, driving sales and lowering average costs per order,” said Bob Egner, vice president of product management at EPiServer.