Today I had a look at the most recent Forrester Wave™ for B2B Commerce Suites. I loved that Forrester is making a distinction between the B2C and B2B commerce space, as they both require a different approach. Although as The Wave points out, B2B companies are often just getting started with eCommerce, B2B online revenue is expanding

Today I had a look at the most recent Forrester Wave™ for B2B Commerce Suites.  I loved that Forrester is making a distinction between the B2C and B2B commerce space, as they both require a different approach. Although as The Wave points out, B2B companies are often just getting started with eCommerce, B2B online revenue is expanding. Based on forecasted revenue in 2013,   B2B online revenue in the US will dwarf that of B2C. The Wave points to IBM, Hybris and Oracle (the “Big Three”) as industry leaders—with Intershop as another B2B leader, and Demandware a strong contender in B2C.1

Considering the similarities of B2B and B2C commerce, I noticed that customers in both categories currently face the challenge of transforming their business from selling products to assisting customers across a buyer’s journey. Forrester points out,

We frequently hear from our B2B clients that they want their eCommerce suites to deliver  the gold-standard “Amazon experience.” To deliver on that, today’s B2B eCommerce suites  must include front-office content, community, and commerce features that meet customer expectations for 24x7x365 ordering, real-time customer service, and expedited shipping —  both online and on mobile devices. 2

Hippo CMS eCommerce 

Creating engaging customer experiences is no longer just a B2C challenge—B2B eCommerce cannot afford to be left in the dust, stuck in an era of digital checkout counters. Neither B2B nor B2C can afford to ignore their customers’ demands for a relevant experience across all channels. As the report notes,

Another common trend for B2C and B2B ecommerce is the the growing influence that  mobile devices are having in the workplace. Cisco estimates that by 2016, mobile traffic will  represent 26% of all business Internet traffic — up from a mere 4% in 2011.3  (http://ciscovni.com/forecast-widget/index.html)3 

Finally, I was struck by   the emphasis on WCM placed by Forrester in its B2B evaluation criteria. When evaluating B2B commerce suites, Forrester considered web content management (WCM), which it sees as 

needed to manage large volumes of unstructured marketing content that augment and often completely eclipse the transactional part of an enterprise website, although in some cases clients will purchase and integrate with a third-party best-of-breed WCM.4  

As covered in the whitepaper CMS - A Critical Solution for Today's eCommerce, managing content isn’t a new requirement for eCommerce systems. But fact is that most eCommerce systems were not designed to handle content management across multiple channels. Nor are they built to optimize digital consumer experiences. Here at Hippo, we recognize that creating a great digital shopping experience—across all channels—is a challenge faced by both B2B and B2C. That’s why we’re hosting a webinar with Digital Clarity Group Senior Analyst Robert Rose and Hippo VP Marketing Sonja Wraith to discuss how to harmonize your online retail ecosystem to support the needs of the digital marketing team and how to empower your digital marketing team to create customer loyalty that drives conversion. I’d love if you joined us—you can sign up here. 

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1) Peter Sheldon, Andy Hoar with Zia Daniell Wigder, Lily Varon. "The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Suites, Q4 2013. The "Big Three" Lead The Pack, But Several Emerging Players Trail Closely Behind."October 7, 2013. [http://www.forrester.com/The+Forrester+Wave+B2B+Commerce+Suites+Q4+2013/fulltext/-/E-RES90821] Tables 1.1 and 1.2. 

2) The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Suites, Q4 2013. The "Big Three" Lead The Pack, But Several Emerging Players Trail Closely Behind." 

3) The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Suites, Q4 2013. The "Big Three" Lead The Pack, But Several Emerging Players Trail Closely Behind. 

4) The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Suites, Q4 2013. The "Big Three" Lead The Pack, But Several Emerging Players Trail Closely Behind.