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Fall is typically “budgeting season” for many organizations. It’s a time when executive focus turns to next year’s spending and investments that maximize ROI. Year after year, the challenge is the same: prioritize limited budgets and achieve more with less in an increasingly demanding business landscape.
Investment in automation helps organizations achieve their sales effectiveness goals and integration with customer systems plays a key role. In 2024, B2B businesses can further optimize order-to-cash processes by investing in commerce integration solutions that enable their eCommerce platforms to connect with their buyers’ eProcurement and ERP systems.
Along with improved sales effectiveness, B2B commerce integration delivers an essential platform for eliminating friction within transactions. In today’s hybrid, omnichannel sales environment, it is critical for companies to budget for solutions that deliver meaningful ROI and improve customer engagement throughout the ordering process.
eCommerce will continue to gain foothold as a key B2B sales channel
The B2B eCommerce landscape has grown exponentially and it won’t slow down any time soon. Grandview Research reports a global B2B eCommerce market size of almost $8 trillion in 2022, with a projected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20.2% from 2023 to 2030.
B2B sales organizations have embraced digital capabilities as a core element of omnichannel sales strategies that were developed in part in response to the COVID pandemic, McKinsey reports.
“As of December 2021, more than 90 percent of B2B sales organizations viewed today’s B2B omnichannel reality as equally or more effective in reaching and serving customers than it was before COVID-19.”
Today, an effective eCommerce platform has become almost a prerequisite for successful B2B trading relationships – and integration between buyer and supplier systems is heading in the same direction.
Integration capabilities provide a competitive edge
A recent Forrester contribution to Forbes magazine pinpoints a key challenge for 2024 B2B spend:
“B2B markets have always been complex, and they’re only growing more so. In the face of disruptive technological as well as economic and social change, there’s at least one B2B constant: Organizational growth hinges on the ability of companies to help customers realize value.”
As companies expand their networks and conduct business with a wider variety of suppliers, the importance of efficiency in purchasing processes becomes increasingly apparent. Simply offering an eCommerce store is no longer enough. Buyers want to purchase from suppliers who integrate with their existing eProcurement systems to streamline the shopping and purchasing process. Often, it’s a critical factor that distinguishes good suppliers from great suppliers, and can be the determining factor of which vendor captures more wallet share.
In a recent TradeCentric report, which focused on supplier B2B eCommerce maturity, 61% of supplier respondents reported that almost a quarter of their customers (or more) are actively requesting integration with their eProcurement solutions. While there’s clearly demand from customers, only 35% of supplier respondents stated that they are actively investing in supporting purchasing via eProcurement.
The opportunity cost of not having an integrated platform will grow, as vendors without it become less attractive to buyers. Suppliers who offer integration solve their customers’ most pressing purchasing challenges, such as rekeying data into procurement systems or manually matching up purchase orders and invoices for reconciliation. In return, these suppliers are rewarded with additional business.
B2B commerce integration offers a clear and meaningful ROI
A study by Hobson & Company found that, in three years, customers generated an average ROI of 762% by investing in TradeCentric’s B2B connected commerce solutions.
TradeCentric acts as a bridge between supplier eCommerce systems and buyer eProcurement solutions to automate B2B trade at scale.
B2B commerce integration streamlines operations by:
- Reducing IT time to set up and manage eProcurement integrations with a single integration platform that replaces individual bespoke links.
- Minimizing time spent answering phone calls and emails from customers related to product pricing, inventory levels or order status by providing customers with real-time information and automatically routing documents to and from eProcurement systems.
Additionally, B2B commerce integration drives growth by:
- Increasing revenue from existing buyers by offering a faster and easier purchasing experience. Further, integrated suppliers are typically featured on the eProcurement homepage, which increases brand visibility.
- Attracting new buyers and breaking into a new customer base by meeting integration requirements.
- Improving cash management by reducing days in Accounts Receivable via automated invoice matching, which enables buyers to process invoices and get payment out the door faster.
Unlock growth and enhance competitive advantage with B2B commerce integration
B2B Commerce integration should be a 2024 investment priority for businesses looking to streamline their B2B operations, drive growth and stay competitive.