Attention B2B Companies: 4 Signs of E-Commerce Readiness

High-ROI enterprise technology investments require a collaborative effort, and the tax function is a valuable member of the team. This holds true across a range of systems and companies, including business-to-business (B2B) organizations investing in e-commerce technology.

Vertex recently teamed up with Magento, an Adobe company that provides cloud commerce innovation to business-to-consumer (B2C) and B2B companies, and Guidance, a digital commerce service provider and systems integration company, to publish an eBook that helps B2B decision-makers assess their company’s e-commerce readiness and then work collaboratively to optimize the selection and implementation of a B2B e-commerce system. In this guest post, Magento Senior Product Marketing Manager Shannon Hane discusses e-commerce readiness.

B2B companies tend to reach an inflection point when their leaders need to answer an important question: Are we ready to launch, or significantly upgrade, an e-commerce capability? While there are numerous reasons B2B decision-makers face this question, the following drivers are relatively common – and they typically signal it is time to invest in a more sophisticated e-commerce capability:

  1. Competitive pressure: A local – or, increasingly, national or even global – competitor that has invested heavily in e-commerce capabilities begins siphoning away business and customers.
  2. Customer demand: In many cases, B2B customers express an interest for a more convenient way to purchase products or services. As is the case across all industries, most B2B customers have been delighted by the speed, ease and service they experience while buying from leading B2C companies. These experiences greatly increase their expectations concerning other types of transactions, including B2B purchases.
  3. Internal goals and constraints: Many B2B companies invest in e-commerce as a means of reaching new customers as they strive to meet growth targets. Other organizations turn to e-commerce as a way to conduct sales (and services) more efficiently in the face of resource constraints.
  4. Aging 1.0 e-commerce technology: B2B companies that set up homegrown e-commerce systems or invested in early-generation technology years ago often reach a point where those applications no longer satisfy customer needs and/or the upgrades, customizations and ongoing maintenance of those applications becomes more costly than investing in a state-of-the-art system.

Once you know it is time to upgrade your current e-commerce capabilities, the next step is to select the right provider to help you implement, which my colleague from Guidance will cover in a later blog.

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Shannon Hane

Magento Senior Product Marketing Manager

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Shannon Hane is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Magento, where she focuses on go-to-market strategies and sales enablement for the Magento Digital Commerce product line and B2B market segment. Prior to joining Magento, Shannon managed product marketing for Yahoo! Small Business. Shannon is a graduate of UCLA Anderson School of Management and holds a BA in public policy from Stanford University.

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