These days, it seems like every B2B organization out there has a website where customers can order online — and for good reason.Digital transformation isn’t something that businesses can afford to ignore. Of course, hopping on the digital transformation bandwagon isn’t as simple as getting a website and putting up a few products. It’s about changing the way you attract and sell to customers, and a lot of times that can seem a little daunting. That’s why we’ve compiled 6 basic questions and answers for anyone considering starting their journey with B2B e-commerce and digital transformation.
1. What’s an ERP?
One thing you might notice in the world of B2B e-commerce is that there are a lot of acronyms. They make life easier, to be sure — why say ‘Customer Relationship Management’ when you could just say CRM and be done with it? But it can get a little confusing at times, especially when you start mixing up CSC and CSS.
One of the most common B2B e-commerce-related acronyms we use here at Sana Commerce is ERP — a term that might not be familiar to all. Simply put, ERP stands for enterprise resource planning, which is a business management software that stores the information of a business’s operating process. It’s often a company’s single source of truth: the hub for planning and purchasing information, customer details, sales and marketing data, and more. Our web store software integrates with a number of ERPs, including Microsoft Dynamics and SAP.
2. What are the advantages of B2B e-commerce?
The benefits of B2B e-commerce and bringing your business online are endless:
- Tap into more business opportunities
- Improve your B2B e-commerce sales
- Lower your costs
- Reach new markets
- And many more benefits
And launching a web store that’s integrated with your ERP is an even more future-proof approach, with major payoff. In fact, we surveyed over 100 global Sana Commerce customers to find out what that impact really looks like. Findings from our survey tell us that an integrated web store helped B2B businesses achieve many of their top e-commerce goals:
Benefits of ERP-integrated B2B e-commerce in numbers:
- 21% jump in e-commerce conversion rates
- 11% increase in return/repeat customers
- Nearly 10% jump in revenue
- More efficient sales and online catalog management processes
Check out more findings from the survey in our Benefits of Integrated E-Commerce factsheet.
3. What does going digital mean for your business?
Going digital means happier clients, for one. Web stores are easy and convenient, and they mean your customers never have to worry about pesky details like closing hours or limited products in store.
Web stores empower you and your customers. They keep your business processes up to date and ensure you’re always on top of important information that might make or break your success.
4. What type of industries can B2B e-commerce be applied to?
B2B e-commerce isn’t exclusive anymore. Anything can be sold online, so long as there’s a demand for it and there’s a suitable platform to support it.
Here at Sana Commerce, we’ve worked with clients from a wide range of industries. To give you a general idea, here are some of the biggest industries that are already benefiting from e-commerce:
- Construction and industrial materials: By 2030, construction output is expected to grow by 85% and global construction will be worth $15.5 trillion. Demand is growing faster than ever — and digital transformation seems to be the right answer.
- Food and beverage: E-commerce is helping food and beverage businesses around the world decrease order processing errors and increase efficiency. Learn more about digital transformation trends in the food and beverage industry.
- Fashion and apparel: You want an online sales channel that works perfectly for your seasonal items, ensures your clients always have quick access to NOOS essentials, and looks incredible at all times. Whether your focus is B2C or B2B, integrated e-commerce is the solution.
5. How can data be secured in a web store?
Hacking attempts are the stuff nightmares are made of, especially if you work in the digital world. What if your customers’ payment details are stolen? What if the information stored on your ERP is revealed? Make sure that your web store provider has you covered with the following security safeguards:
- Firewalls, IP Restriction, and DMZ: You can use a firewall to secure your web store and ERP system. However, you can go even further by also setting up an IP restriction or even a Demilitarized Zone.
- SSL/TLS: Web stores implemented by Sana, for example, always make use of SSL or TLS protocols. These provide security for the data traffic between web servers and browsers.
- Data Redundancy: If you choose to host your web store with Sana, rest assured that your data is safe, thanks to our highly redundant data storage setups.
Those are only 3 of the many ways in which your data can be protected from hackers and other potential security breaches. For more information, take a look at our security factsheet or go to our security guide for more details.
6. How is Sana different from other companies?
Deciding on a B2B e-commerce software provider can be difficult, especially when it seems like there are a million companies offering the same product — don’t worry, you’re not alone. We understand that there are many e-commerce companies out there, and we want to make your choice easier by telling you exactly why Sana Commerce is different.
- We’re not fans of redundancy
The approach that most B2B e-commerce solutions adopt is one that builds the system from the ground up, without ERP integration. When it comes to Sana, that’s not the case.
Your ERP’s already up and running, and it works great, so why fix what’s not broken? We use your ERP as the foundation for our software and integrate our solution into it. If your ERP is already doing it, we don’t develop it again. So you can rest assured that there’s less opportunity for errors and more room for efficiency and profit for your business.
- We make B2B and B2C e-commerce easy
With Sana Commerce, there’s only one database — your ERP. This simplifies the process of setting up and running the system, as well as maintaining it. When you have a single hub for all of your activities, you spend less money, time, and effort on ensuring everything’s going smoothly.
- We help improve your customer experience
With an integrated B2B e-commerce solution, your customers will have access to all the information stored in their order histories as well as the ERP system. The possibilities for this are endless. Imagine how easy it is for you to help them make a repeat purchase, or predict their buying preference. It’s all so much easier and more efficient when you have a single source of truth: your ERP.
B2B e-commerce success: What it means and how to achieve it
Now that you’ve got the basics out of the way, you’re ready for the really good stuff! Download our Benefits of Integrated E-Commerce factsheet for more insights, or read our 2019 B2B Buying Process Report for a more comprehensive overview of the state of B2B buying behavior today.