B2B Companies Struggle with Outdated E-Commerce Software

A new survey reveals the majority of B2B companies are using outdated digital commerce software.

A total of 65 percent of companies are using software that’s more than two years old. As software-as-a-service becomes more prevalent, the data shows outdated software is hindering marketing and sales efforts.

In the CloudCraze survey, titled “2017 B2B Digital Commerce Imperative,” nearly one-third (31 percent) of B2B respondents reported they’ve missed out on more than $2 million in sales due to shortfalls within their CRM e-commerce software.

The most significant pain points for B2B businesses selling online include cost efficiency (37 percent) and the inability to provide a seamless, omnichannel customer experience (35 percent). From a customer point of view, the biggest pain points are limited payment options (37 percent) and lack of order replenishment capabilities (30 percent).

The complexity of B2B sales means these organizations have different priorities for a digital commerce platform than their B2C counterparts, including customized pricing (44 percent), advanced payment features (50 percent), and quick connection to sales representatives (38 percent).

The cost of new technology implementation is preventing 54 percent of B2B organizations from addressing these customer obstacles. Nearly half (44 percent) face an uphill battle in getting their company on board with new approaches to digital commerce.

“Businesses with inflexible, outdated commerce systems are unable to meet the complex needs of their buyers, putting them behind the digital curve,” said Ray Grady, EVP at CloudCraze.

On the positive side, B2B organizations are using the data collected by the CRM to improve the user experience (67 percent), support sales team initiatives (61 percent) and gain market insight (53 percent).

The data shows manufacturing companies are doing better than other industries with providing a good customer experience; 54 percent of manufacturers say their customers find their online experience very satisfactory, compared to 44 percent across industries.

Leveraging Marketing Technology is Top Priority

A report by Black Ink published in March 2016 found marketing technology will play a key role as marketers aim to create more robust infrastructure and analytics capabilities.

The data showed marketers’ top priorities are a customer-centric focus (79 percent) and brand management (70 percent). Other priorities named are the means to achieve the top two – reporting and insight (61 percent), marketing technology (56 percent) and omnichannel/cross-channel promotions (50 percent).

“We have a successful online business, and wanted to take the next step. We approached KoMarketing with the notion of leveraging its expertise in building better search rankings. Both in our defined critical areas and across the board, KoMarketing has helped us grow our presence. They were hired to expand our visibility, but took extra steps to provide many useful recommendations for other areas of our online presence that have had positive impacts. Derek and his staff work hard and take extra steps to ensure you succeed. They are an outstanding partner.”

Scott Stone — Scott Stone, Advertising & E-Business Manager, Cisco Eagle

Get the latest b2b digital marketing information: