We’ve just published “The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Suites, Q3 2018,” and B2B companies, you’re in luck — you now have a viable list of options with a focus on B2B. We battle-tested the 12 most significant vendors — Apttus, Episerver, Handshake, IBM, Insite Software, Intershop, Magento, Oracle, Salesforce, Sana Commerce, SAP, and Unilog — and evaluated them across 33 criteria. The findings: B2B commerce suites are now squarely up to the task of supporting the complex needs of B2B businesses. They’ve proven this support by providing:
- Flexible management of access and permissions. B2B commerce experiences, unlike their B2C counterparts, tend to be more app-like. The user base is broader, spanning (many flavors of) customers, channel partners, sales reps, and customer service reps. These suites support these personas by powering different experiences, providing different levels of access to information, and managing different tiers of authority to tailor both buying and selling experiences.
- Customizable buying and selling workflows. For everything but mundane reorders and replenishments, ad hoc processes often are the norm. Embedded in this irony is a strong requirement for B2B commerce suites to emulate traditional offline processes (e.g., request for quote, discounting, purchase approvals, etc.). Delivering on these requirements allows relationship-centric businesses to blur the lines between offline and online experiences.
- Personalization tools that matter for B2B. B2B businesses benefit from a wealth of explicit data — something many B2C companies are starving for. Just because B2B businesses have historically had good data doesn’t mean they’ve always had the tools to put it to use. Now businesses can leverage these deep relationships to personalize the entire B2B digital buying experience, from content and product recommendations to search, promotions, and coupons. B2B firms can now deliver B2C-like shopping experiences.
How do you get the most value out of the Wave?
So I invite you to check out “The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Suites, Q3 2018” (and its counterpart, “The Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2018“). Don’t just scan the graphic; read the analysis, download the Excel spreadsheet, and tailor our weightings to your requirements. But most importantly, let’s talk through your needs and help you find the best-fit solution. Forrester clients can schedule an inquiry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Non-clients can connect with me here or on Twitter (@john_bruno). I’d love to field your questions and help you on your digital transformation journeys.