As eCommerce continues to gain importance and influence, companies must quickly solve supply chain challenges to ensure they capture the business value available. Jason Simon, an expert in the eCommerce space, took on the task of finding out the main keys to the evolution of companies engaging in this type of commerce.
A survey of 900 decision-makers in B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to commerce) companies around the world found out how their eCommerce efforts are progressing and where they are directing their efforts. B2B caught up to B2C in eCommerce. Although B2C companies have been operating in eCommerce longer than B2B companies, the latter is moving more quickly into this sales channel by leveraging the right technology, people, processes, and partners.
In terms of offerings and execution, 38% of B2B companies feel they have fully implemented their eCommerce strategy, while for B2C companies, this percentage is 32%. The study advises companies to be aware of the importance of having accurate information on product availability, shipping, and inventory count. These elements will become the most strategic in driving bottom-line success and establishing customer loyalty.
“Customer expectations are the key to change,” Simon points out. “Customers expect same-day delivery. They demand instant gratification. Consumers base their purchasing decisions on how well companies meet their needs.” As a result, more than 50% of all companies surveyed consider customer experience to be extremely important.
No single eCommerce distribution method is dominant. Fulfillment of eCommerce is complex and most companies use more than two distribution methods, while 47% outsource at least part of the deliveries to a 3PL (outsourced logistics services).
This happens because of supply chain expertise, optimization (of operations, costs, and/or services), delivery services designed to meet different customer service requirements, technological innovation and analytics, flexibility in the distribution network, peak capacity, or effective scalability.
eCommerce requires highly adaptable, agile, responsive, and cost-effective supply chains. What differentiates the winners from the losers is delivering outstanding service and generating profits.
“The relative maturity that eCommerce has reached in the consumer market is important to keep in mind,” Simon asserts. “In just a decade, eCommerce has gone from being a high-risk activity, where there was little guarantee of even receiving the product ordered, to being a real and prevalent alternative to traditional means in many sectors.”
There is still a long way to go to achieve high acceptance rates among the entire population. However, it is worth noting that customer satisfaction with, and trust in, online commerce services has risen significantly continues to grow.
Although in many aspects, the digital world enjoys more lax legislation than equivalent traditional businesses. The presence of greater vigilance and a better legal framework has put an end to a large number of abuses and bad practices that undermined the user’s confidence on the Internet as a means of making purchases.
Similarly, the players involved in eCommerce have largely become aware of the need to give users confidence. They have made great efforts to improve the transparency of their processes through the implementation of best-practice mechanisms or quality seals that attest to compliance with appropriate security mechanisms. The presence of the logo of a prestigious bank or the seal of adhesion to a self-regulation and mediation association that defends the consumer can be the factor that makes thousands of consumers decide to trust an eCommerce transaction.