Selecting a B2B eCommerce Platform for your B2B organization can be a rather difficult task. If this is your first time on this site, read the companion article “Why your b2b e-commerce rfp might be broken.” I also understand that RFPs are a common business practice, so I want to help you get through it as fast as possible. To help you, here are a few best practices for selecting a B2B ecommerce platform — as well as a free template for creating B2B eCommerce RFPs of your own.
–And, don’t forget to download the free B2B e-commerce RFP template and get a head start on your RFP process.=
6 Best Practices for Selecting Your B2B eCommerce Platform
- Start with writing a business case. Your business case should include a return on investment based on hard data like site traffic, conversion and average order value and soft data like reduced operational cost and cost per customer call. Use your Business Case to prioritize what you do first and to measure the effectiveness of your decisions.
- Understand the components of an e-commerce system: Educate yourself on every aspect of an e-commerce platform. Leave the B2B part out for now. Learn how to create customer experiences, merchandising, promotions and what out of the box (OOTB) means. You will find standard features that span across platforms – things like the product information, shopping cart, and orders. That’s a lot of work I know, so do not do this with 12 vendors.
- Get IT and the Business on the same page: To select a platform that is right for your organization, you must balance what you need to deliver with how to construct it. Come together with joint use cases, requirements, and business case. This should include experience management, merchandising tools (product relationships), and architecture.
To the IT team: Figure out what your business counterparts need, why they need it, and the tools they require. The customer experience does matter, no matter how much of a geek you are.
To the Business team: Regardless of what is out of the box, IT has a lot of work to do to get ready for this type of project on your internal systems.
Help each other out – advocate for each other, and maybe even work to understand each other. I promise it will go a long way.