As business evolves, manufacturers and distributors are going digital. Today’s B2B buyers want more self-service eCommerce, and B2B companies are responding. Human Element’s managing partner, Jason Magee, was interviewed by DC360 and weighed in on the importance of prioritizing digital transformation for B2B business. To read the full report, click here.

The one-on-one customer–sales representative relationship has been the backbone of B2B companies’ success for years. But as customers’ demands for digital shopping experiences grow, so does the need for B2B companies to prioritize providing eCommerce capabilities. However, with other pressing needs, many B2B companies haven’t given eCommerce the attention it warrants. To discuss why a digital transformation and ongoing digital maintenance is essential for the future success of any B2B business, Digital Commerce 360 B2B spoke with Jason Magee, managing partner at Human Element.

To stay competitive, what eCommerce technologies do B2B companies need to prioritize?

To optimize eCommerce capabilities, B2B businesses should focus on ERP integration for real-time pricing and inventory updates, along with customer-specific pricing and product catalogs. Implementing features like discounts and sales, as well as re-order options and control over shipping choices, enhances the baseline commerce experience.

Additionally, as Google Analytics 4 replaces historical data, B2B companies need to take control of their own data by establishing a data warehouse to ensure they can mine and utilize their historical data effectively to stay competitive with larger players in the market.

What challenges do they face upgrading their existing eCommerce technologies to more modern capabilities?

B2B companies that want to launch or improve their digital storefront often face internal pushback and resistance to change. And these projects are never finished; they involve continuous iterations rather than a defined completion point. So limited experience with software projects and the dynamic nature of these projects can hinder progress.

Additionally, a lack of internal resources dedicated to the project and issues related to managing and utilizing data internally often pose additional obstacles.

What does a successful digital transformation project look like?

Successful digital transformation projects rely on setting attainable project goals and technology objectives. B2B companies need a practical strategy to get their storefront up-and-running — but they must also understand that customer acquisition may take time.

They also need to acknowledge what they don’t know and be open to change. Setting realistic expectations for the launch — including resource allocation, cost and ongoing maintenance — is absolutely necessary for success. And, if possible, they should dedicate the right amount of resources to the project and be prepared for potential adjustments throughout the entire journey.

How can B2B companies put these strategies into place?

They can partner with a technology provider that can guide them on their digital transformation journey. Human Element, for example, evaluates the current stage of a company’s digital transformation and assists in creating practical requirements, budgets and timelines. There is no instant solution; success comes from making incremental improvements over time.

B2B buyers all use modern technology and companies need to be able to provide a familiar experience. The online B2B channel is your face to the world. Don’t ignore it or treat is as a secondary channel. It should be primary.

To read the full report, click here.