The Importance of Business Agility to Stay Relevant in B2B E-Commerce
Meeting customer needs and building the omnichannel customer experience they expect and appreciate requires your organization to step up regularly by coping with change in a rapidly digitizing world. Business agility is what provides your B2B company with future-proof relevance.
Acceleration is required
COVID-19 provided the catalyst for accelerating digital transformation across all industries. With many restrictions on physical business put in place by governments, embracing e-commerce has been the lifeline for many companies. The B2B companies that were more digitally mature took point and thrived amidst the global push for online business. While those lagging behind had to learn to swim or sink in a short timeframe. The speed at which digital fundamentally changes business has dramatically increased, McKinsey reported one year into the pandemic. The frequency of core business practices went from monthly to weekly or even faster. For 2023, most companies need to build new digital businesses to stay economically viable, McKinsey states.
But there is a thing as going too fast. A lack of essential skills and employee buy-in can trip up your digital efforts. Change management across the organization is required to enable a smooth transition towards a future-proof business. From vision and strategy, changing the infrastructure and re-skilling the workforce to creating customer data insights and building optimal customer experiences, the organization has to be able to keep up with the changes required. This starts with the simple realization that there is no going back to before.
Business has changed
The massive growth in e-commerce started as a crisis response and has become the next normal. But even after revenue recovered to pre-corona levels and operations are rebuilt, there is simply no going back to business as usual. Across industries, buyer behaviors have changed for good into preferring digital self-service and remote human interactions. According to McKinsey, B2B buyers are now willing to spend bigger orders using remote or self-service. 15% are even willing to spend orders over 1 million dollars via these channels. Traditional in-person channels have been swapped for digital interactions with the sales representative, with videoconferencing and online chat taking the lion’s share. To deal with this new reality, B2B companies have to set a faster pace of embracing change.
Overcoming the 4 Key Challenges to your B2B E-Commerce Success
Identify and address the bottlenecks preventing your organization from reaping the maximal benefits of B2B e-commerce.
Don't underestimate the impact on the organization
Starting a B2B e-commerce project can be a daunting endeavor.
“Most B2B companies struggle with changing their organization, finding the right people, and addressing the right priorities. That’s why change management and program management are essential for delivering a successful B2B e-commerce project. I’ve been helping B2C and B2B companies with implementing e-commerce for more than 22 years now, and one of the key factors for success is adopting the agile approach and finding the right balance between flexibility and predictability. Adopting agile processes unquestionably helps your organization adapt to digital and achieve a faster time-to-market.”
Mark Blockhuys, Managing Director at SQLI Netherlands
Other key factors are establishing close collaboration between business, UX and Development, as well as creating a proper mandate for the team and stakeholder management.
“Stakeholders need to stay informed and involved where needed. A good example of the importance of collaboration is a recent implementation we did at an international fashion brand, where we worked on-site with the customer. After putting the right people together in one location, the project really accelerated.”
This is the last blog of our article series on B2B e-commerce. Click here for the first article.
Curious to learn more?
Get in touch to discuss how we can drive your B2B E-commerce success.Contact Us