COVID-19 rapidly accelerated e-commerce, with 10 years of e-commerce adoption compressed into a three month period. With more customers than ever relying on digital purchasing, B2B organizations are now confronting increased pressure on their existing systems for order management and inventory visibility. And while the digital approach for B2B purchasing started during the pandemic as a crisis response, it’s here to stay. Only about 20% of B2B buyers hope to return to in-person sales, meaning that B2B organizations need to lay a modern digital foundation for the new normal. B2B customers also increasingly expect the same personalized, frictionless buying experience that they experience in B2C markets, with visibility into their orders and real-time fulfillment options.
The majority of B2B organizations still rely on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems alone, which function in siloed environments, and regard inventory, orders, and fulfillment as separate units instead of one connected workflow or view of data. With this approach, B2B organizations often face slower production, delivery, and service, leading to inefficiencies and increased costs.