One size does not fit all and when it comes to Commerce Suites, midsize organizations want a full spectrum of selling capabilities, packaged with out of the box templates delivered via cloud services. Today we released Forrester’s Commerce Suites Wave, written by Andy Hoar. This research focuses on the unique needs of midsize organizations (i.e. those with total revenue of between $50 million and $500 million) that sell directly to peer businesses. This Forrester Wave dives deep into 11 solutions, and evaluates the 35 criteria that matter most to B2B midsized businesses.
As part of this evaluation, I interviewed distributors and branded manufacturers across numerous industries to hear the challenges and successes they have experienced while implementing the B2B solutions that you may be considering. What has changed for midsized B2B organizations?
- For starters, they’re now investing in digital capabilities. What struck me during this research is that B2B businesses are replatforming digital stores that originally were little more than ERP pluggins. By tapping digital channels, they are redeploying sales reps to be order makers, and leaving order taking to self service platforms that give B2B buyers mobile interfaces and 7×24 access.
- Time-to-market (TTM) and total cost of ownership (TCO) are top priorities – so cloud offerings dominate. By contrast, enterprise-size companies often must overcome significant hurdles to migrate to and adopt cloud services. Midsize businesses also are willing to work with smaller vendors and startups, because they value the service that these responsive entrepreneurial upstarts provide.
So what are midsize businesses looking for in a commerce suite? Top of mind: Supported integration to the ERP platform. Typical B2B organizations do not have a deep bench of IT specialists to maintain custom coded ERP connections. As such, they’re looking for vendors that deliver out of the box integrations and end to end solutions, supported by a service agreement from a trusted business partner.