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STUDY: One-Third of B2B Businesses Struggle to Provide a Seamless Omnichannel Experience

January 24, 2017

New study by CloudCraze identifies top customer pain points across B2B industries to demonstrate adverse effects of legacy commerce systems

An increasing number of B2B businesses have made the strategic decision to deploy digital commerce, and CloudCraze, the enterprise B2B commerce platform built natively on Salesforce, surveyed nearly 200 companies to delve into this shift. In the report, 2017 B2B Digital Commerce Imperative, less than half (44 percent) of the B2B companies surveyed report their customers find their online experience very satisfactory.

To better understand how the needs and expectations of digital B2B buyers differs across verticals, CloudCraze surveyed B2B companies with an online presence in the manufacturing, healthcare and life sciences, software and media technology, and B2B retail industries.

“Businesses with inflexible, outdated commerce systems are unable to meet the complex needs of their buyers, putting them behind the digital curve,” said Ray Grady, EVP at CloudCraze. “Despite their industry-specific challenges, businesses across verticals can equally benefit from a customer-centric digital commerce model to help simplify their complex buying processes.”

The survey found industries are at different stages of digital commerce maturity and each face a unique set of challenges based on the needs of their target buyers.

Overall, the manufacturing industry is accommodating the complex needs of its customers better than any other B2B industry. The study found that 54 percent of manufacturers say their customers find their online experience very satisfactory, compared to 44 percent across industries.

However, many manufacturers are still operating with inflexible, on-premise systems, causing inefficiencies when it comes to servicing their buyers across sales channels, especially with low-volume customers. As a result, manufacturers are more likely to experience cost inefficiencies than other industries (45 percent versus 37 percent).

Eighty percent of manufacturers have lost a business deal due to customer pain points compared to 37 percent on average across industries. This illustrates the detrimental impact that poor digital experiences can have on a business’s bottom line.

Healthcare and life sciences
B2B organizations in the healthcare and life sciences industry are least likely to say buyers require mobile access, quick access to sales representatives, advanced pricing or customized pricing of any industry. The highly complex nature of its products and customer relationships have been a major contributor to the slow development of digital capabilities and expectations.

Healthcare businesses are most likely to experience pain points when it comes to platform speed-to-market, often caused by the combination of outdated, inflexible systems and the industry’s strict regulatory procedures. Cloud-based solutions can expedite deployment and support sales teams working with complex customer needs, while meeting the complex regulatory and security requirements of this industry.

Software and media technology
While software and media technology sellers ranked themselves as average to above average in addressing their buyers’ needs, the survey found that they were the least able to accommodate complex pricing and ordering requirements of their customers across industries, attributable to the variable, complex nature of subscription-based models.

To solve for this, businesses of this field need agile commerce systems that can handle the industry’s diverse revenue models and can support flexible marketing, promotions and ongoing changes to those supporting models.

B2B in retail
Many retailers in B2B double as B2C stores, such as Staples or Grainger, and therefore allocate much of their resources to support development of consumer-facing commerce platforms. As a result, their platforms are ahead of the curve in offering customer-centric commerce features, such as mobile payment options. But these companies often don’t support the complex needs of B2B transactions.

The study found the B2B retail industry faces challenges providing a seamless, omnichannel customer experience (44 percent) and is most likely to report customers struggle with order replenishment capabilities (39 percent). As a result, retailers in B2B are turning to SaaS solutions to increase the flexibility of their commerce offerings.

“With digital-savvy consumers fast becoming the professionals in B2B buyer decision-making roles, every B2B industry must be optimized for digital commerce in the next five years,” said Chris Dalton, CEO at CloudCraze. “B2B companies are smart to get ahead of this digital transformation and prepare for the fully-digital world that awaits them.”

For more information, download the full study at https://cloudcraze.com/resource/the-b2b-digital-commerce-imperative/

About CloudCraze
CloudCraze delivers robust B2B Commerce native on Salesforce. With the power of Salesforce and agility of the cloud, CloudCraze allows businesses to generate online revenue fast and easily scale for growth. It delivers seamless interactions across commerce, sales, marketing and service channels for a 360-degree view of data that’s 100 percent connected to the customer. The powerful CloudCraze platform with its trusted Salesforce infrastructure and core capabilities provides infinite flexibility to extend functionality, add products and channels, and conduct billions of dollars in transactions anywhere. CloudCraze powers eCommerce for Coca-Cola, Avid, AB InBev, Barry-Callebaut, Ecolab, GE, L’Oreal, Kellogg’s, WABCO and more.

CloudCraze was one of 8 firms recognized in The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Suites, Q2 2015 and as a Visionary in the March 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce. CloudCraze is a Platinum Salesforce ISV Partner.

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