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B2B ecommerce ‘needs to deliver personalisation’

A personalised commerce offering would persuade a third of b2b buyers to buy from a specific vendor, with half of those polled also asking for customer specific pricing as part of the buying experience.

Research undertaken by Sapio on behalf of Sana Commerce polled 560 B2B buyers worldwide, finding that a further 38 per cent of respondents felt tailored offers, and shipping options would make the purchasing process more personalised, while an additional 36 per cent also want personalised payment methods.

The survey, which identified what B2B buyers want, found that when it comes to how B2B buyers evaluate vendors price is still king. 33 per cent evaluate offerings on price, just under a third evaluate on payment terms, with delivery and stock availability coming in third and fourth.

B2B ecommerce sellers have however closed the gap on their B2C counterparts, and in some cases even overtaken them in terms of delivering a good customer experience. Respondents felt that the use of new technology, such as online portals and web chat functionality was better in a B2B environment.

Buying through new sales channels, such as social selling, voice ordering, mobile commerce, predictive ordering and easy checkouts however were still considered slightly better in B2C ecommerce.

Automation is also increasingly important for B2B buyers, the research found. Automated payments and purchases has already had an impact on the buying role in the past five years, and will continue to grow in importance with a buyers listing them as the top two factors that will have the biggest impact on their role in five years time.

Michiel Schipperus, CEO and Managing Partner at Sana Commerce, said: “Understanding buyer preferences is vital if organisations are going to successfully compete in such a volatile marketplace. Our research found that the list of B2B buying requirements is long and businesses need to ensure that they’re able to meet buyers’ KPIs through ecommerce to help drive efficiencies and deliver the best experience. 

“Ensuring that you’re systems are integrated with your ERP system so that you can offer your customers accurate stock levels, personalised pricing, and even complex buying scenarios will help brands stand apart.”

The survey revealed that the top three wish list for B2B buyers are great service (39 per cent), low prices (37 per cent).

The survey also revealed that majority of buyers want to buy online. 85 per cent of respondents buy half of all purchases via ecommerce, with 57per cent buying three quarters of all purchases online. 

However, you shouldn’t get rid of your sales teams just yet though, according to respondents. Being able to make a purchase offline is still crucial within the B2B marketplace.

Over half (57per cent) of respondents still want their quotes delivered by email, a third (34 per cent) would like someone to call them with a price and another third (36 per cent) would prefer access to quotes online. Email is considered to be one the most important B2B channel for buyers (41 per cent) closely followed by ecommerce (28 per cent) and phone (25 per cent).

Delivering a personalised omnichannel experience is more important than ever if suppliers want to retain customer loyalty.

Cost savings is a key aspect for B2B buyers, with the majority saying it was their main business target, while increasing efficiency of the purchase process was a KPI for over a third.

The survey sample covered food and beverage, electronics, building materials, medical supplies and automotive parts. For more insights download the report here.

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Half of global wholesalers feel threatened by manufacturers selling direct

More than half of global wholesalers have witnessed manufacturers sell directly to end customers, driving the disintermediation of the traditional supply chain model and increasing competitiveness between traditional partners, according to new research.

47% of global manufacturers operate e-commerce web stores to allow them to sell directly to end customers while 24% intend to implement an e-commerce solution as an additional revenue stream in the future.

The survey of 559 global B2B organisations found that 41% are using e-commerce to change their business model while 43% are creating a new revenue stream in a bid to move away from selling across channels.

The survey of B2B organisations in Europe, US and ANZ was undertaken by independent market research company Sapio on behalf on Sana Commerce. The survey sample covered food and beverage, automotive, construction, healthcare/medical supplies, electronics, fashion and apparel, home goods and furnishing, machinery and supplies or packaging industries.

An increasing number of organisations are putting e-commerce at the front of their businesses to remain competitive, increase the volume of sales and improve the customer experience.

However, following the implementation of an e-commerce solution over a quarter of businesses failed to meet these objectives due to increased competition and more aggressive marketplaces.

The research found that 33% of organisations felt that manufacturers, wholesalers and distributorsselling direct to customers was driving down the price of products, threatening business profitability and longevity. The research also found that 63% of distributors saw wholesalers as their biggest threat within the market, highlighting the possibility of the supply chain seeing a mass consolidation as organisations purchase rivals in a bid to remain competitive.

Implementing an e-commerce solution as part of a digital transformation strategy has allowed more than half of companies to target new markets and three quarters of global manufacturers want to sell more online.

While 79% of organisations are planning to upgrade their e-commerce solution in the next two years, other companies are already using advanced technology within the sales strategy. 39% of businesses are currently using virtual reality to personalise the buying experience and 39% plan to adopt fully automated ordering using the internet of things.

Michiel Schipperus, CEO and Managing Partner at Sana Commerce, said: “E-commerce sits at the heart of organisations’ digital transformation strategies and continues to drive change throughout the supply chain. Businesses are feeling increasing amounts of pressure from online competitors as they enter new markets. To remain competitive businesses will need to utilise their e-commerce systems for more than just to generate sales. With constant changes with the marketplace businesses need to consider integrating their e-commerce solutions with their internal systems, such as the ERP system to allow them to keep up with competitors.”

For more insight into download the report here.