Digital Commerce 360’s latest B2B eCommerce strategy report, Technology Trends: B2B eCommerce Connections, covers how companies ranging from regional distributors like Fairmount Tired & Rubber to global manufacturers like Konica Minolta are expanding their eCommerce horizons. Human Element’s technical solution architect, Paul Briscoe, weighed in with his insights regarding B2B eCommerce technology. To read the full report, click here.

As eCommerce competition heats up, more B2B buyers are going online to shop. Their expectations for a convenient digital shopping experience are high, and B2B companies are scrambling to keep up. Digital Commerce 360 B2B recently spoke with Paul Briscoe, technical solution architect at Human Element, about how staying competitive means B2B companies should invest in shoring up their internal systems and data so they can streamline their integrations into online commerce platforms.

What eCommerce technologies are critical for B2B companies to compete today?

Some of the technologies critical to a B2B company’s growth and maintenance are:

• A solid ERP that can handle inventory and pricing across multiple warehouses and geographies.
• A customer relationship management (CRM) system for managing leads.
• A flexible search engine that returns the best and most relevant results.
• A product information management (PIM) system that can house product data.
• Internal tooling that allows these systems to communicate.
• Email marketing service providers that can handle sending purchase series emails.
Data from analytics or some other business intelligence tooling.
• And finally, a web tech stack that brings all of this data together and displays it concisely for their customers.

What challenges do they face with regard to adopting more advanced eCommerce strategies?

Cost and time are always the biggest challenges for B2B companies to get to market and stay sharp selling online. The cost challenge is usually because their data internally needs work and their systems become difficult to manage. There are a lot of logistics to consider, while they ensure their customers are happy and they aren’t disrupting businesses. These challenges are often the results of technical or business process debt that will eventually need to be paid.

How should they overcome these challenges?

One method is to make sure they have buy-in from leadership in the organization when they’re considering a change. That way, the organization deals with less red tape and aligns its management with adopting new technology that may result in new or changed internal processes.

Additionally, B2B eCommerce managers should work with well-vetted solutions partners so they can lean on their expertise to suggest work-arounds to some common problems.

What steps should B2B companies take to leverage eCommerce technology to better compete?

eCommerce managers should be prepared for their businesses to undergo a lot of challenges when implementing new eCommerce frameworks and features, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Find and work with good vendors, such as Human Element, and be prepared to invest in growth for the future.

Incrementally, B2B companies should make changes based on data from their business intelligence. They should always try to keep the shopping experience as simple as possible for their customers and, when possible, hide the backend complexity from them.

Human Element implements a variety of ERPs, PIMs, CRMs and search engines into Adobe Commerce. B2B companies can streamline their eCommerce operations by taking advantage of the framework and features that Adobe provides — letting them focus more on their business and less on commerce feature development.

To read the full report, click here.