As companies drive toward a more customer-centric approach, many are struggling with site improvements. New research by CloudCraze indicates flexibility (49 percent), scalability (45 percent) and getting a holistic view of the customer (40 percent) are the three most common challenges being faced by brands with e-commerce platforms today.
The study found nearly a third of brands spent more than $2 million for their current e-commerce platform and 42 percent spent more than a year on implementation.
At larger companies – more than $25 billion in revenue – these issues are even more significant. Three out of four companies took longer than a year to implement their site and one-third paid more than $3 million to build them.
Despite the high costs of implementation, only half of those surveyed (53 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that their current commerce system enables them to be as profitable as possible. The necessity of real-time analytics is apparent in the survey responses – 86 percent say it is either extremely important or important to their business.
“Flexible, user-friendly platforms solve a variety of problems and allow B2B organizations to break into new channels faster and reach customers you may not have sold to historically. This gives you the ability to grow revenue at a significantly faster pace,” says Ray Grady, executive vice president at CloudCraze.
For manufacturers, bringing transparency to the supply chain is a particular struggle; the data found three out of four manufacturers rated their systems only somewhat transparent and 90 percent say that increasing the level of engagement with customers would benefit their companies.
The study, State of Digital E-commerce 2016, included 340 marketing and IT professionals from both B2B and B2C companies.
B2B E-commerce Industry to Reach $6.7 Trillion by 2020
Significant and fast-paced growth in the B2B e-commerce industry is anticipated by 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan research. The April 2015 study predicted a $6.7 trillion industry, with China and the U.S leading the way over the next five years.
Researchers recommended B2B companies begin focusing on their e-commerce strategy, if they hadn’t already, in order to capitalize on the growing marketplace.