Digital Commerce is enhanced ecommerce. Automation is the value driver. Two real-life examples showcase this value.
Let’s imagine a day in the life of John, a construction manager, who spends most work hours in the car and on the job site. Sure, he may see a desktop or laptop before or after work, but his typical mode is “on-the-go” mode. For John, mobile-first ordering (via his cell phone) is essential.
Under a B2B ecommerce system, John may place a mobile order and pick up the product at a B2B retail store on his way to the job site. He might even have it directly delivered to his job site. His company can also electronically manage inventory and replenish for other jobs. This integrated system flowing in and out of the Enterprise Resource Planning System (or ERP) works well for most companies. Electronic ordering – via B2B ecommerce systems – is usually efficient and effective.
But what happens if John needs an approved quote before purchasing his products? And what if that process is currently manual, and Olivia, the Operations Manager, is on a much-needed vacation?
Here’s where B2B Digital Commerce enhances standard B2B ecommerce. An automated quote process might make John’s quoting easier. When John sets his preferences in the system for product and geographies, and there is an automated approval process in place, John’s ordering is more likely to be seamless with less interruptions. And this is likely to happen each time John requests a quote. Digital commerce helps match queries to solutions, optimizing the results. And with fewer manual interventions, there are also fewer human errors.
In a different scenario, John’s construction jobs may need some typical products. While there will always be exceptions – adds or deletes – a “typical job” could be set up in the system. In B2B ecommerce, John reviews a standard bill of materials (BOM) for that kind of job and selects the products that match his specifications. He places the order in an Order Management System (OMS) and the product is shipped. Again, the standard B2B ecommerce system works fairly effectively.
But what if the smart system knows that the BOM for that type of job has changed over time? What if, due to new regulations, buyers like John are regularly adding 5 new products above and beyond the BOM?
An intelligent automation system, perhaps using Artificial Intelligence (AI), might be able to predict new BOMs that are more accurate. These systems harness insights across data sources and might be able to create a better BOM, thus helping John save time ordering and helping Olivia better manage inventory.
In short, B2B digital commerce elevates B2B ecommerce. It offers more automation, and in some cases anticipates how buyers use the system. The Xngage Digital Commerce Success™ framework reviews people, product, and processes to see where ecommerce experiences can be enhanced for the best ROI. Great digital commerce outcomes ensure that John gets his new buildings completed on time and Olivia saves the company money through better demand planning. And that’s the power of digital commerce.