Filling the B2B eCommerce Gap

The field of B2B eCommerce vendors has evolved into two camps: the "big three" vendors who focus almost exclusively on the largest enterprises, and a host of much smaller B2C players trying to fit in with B2B commerce. This has created a gap of options for manufacturers and distributors who need multi-site capabilities, enterprise scalability, speed to market, and efficient costs. Read the white paper to find out how an eCommerce solution built especially for the unique and complex needs of B2B organizations fills this gap and is the best choice when choosing a vendor.

FILLING THE B2B ECOMMERCE GAP 110 North 5th Street, 8th Floor Minneapolis, MN 55403 1.866.746.0377 612.367.8600 INSITE SOFTWARE: ECOMMERCE STRATEGY CONSULTING COPYRIGHT © 2013 INSITE SOFTWARE / P 866.747.0377 / WWW.INSITESOFT.COM2 INTRODUCTION First, the good news: eCommerce continues to enjoy double-digit compound annual growth worldwide, according to a recent Forrester Research survey. (See Commerce Technology Continues Its Bull Run, a Forrester blog post by Peter Sheldon.) Those businesses are so bullish that two out of three executives surveyed plan to increase their investment in eCommerce technology in 2014. Although B2C eCommerce typically gets the spotlight, it’s actually small potatoes compared to B2B. According to Forrester, B2B eCommerce is on track to hit $559 billion by the end of 2013 in the U.S. alone — which is more than double the size of the U.S. B2C market. (See U.S. B2B eCommerce Sales To Reach $559 Billion By The End Of 2013, a Forrester blog post by Andy Hoar.) Now the bad news: If your business isn’t among the select few largest global enterprises (an example would be Grainger, which has annual sales of $8.9 billion and will invest $40 million over the next four years on a new eCommerce platform), then there is, at best, only a slim menu of B2B eCommerce solutions that might be able to meet your unique needs. More bad news: Nearly all eCommerce vendors, regardless of size, have their roots in B2C. To their credit, they recognize the burgeoning B2B opportunity, which is why so many of them continue to parachute into the B2B market. But that doesn’t mean they or their products have what it takes to make their customers successful in B2B. MIND THE GAP The field of B2B eCommerce vendors has evolved into two camps: the big three vendors (IBM, Oracle and hybris/SAP) and a host of much smaller players. This has created a gap of options for manufacturers and distributors who need multi-site and enterprise scalability, speed to market at an efficient and tolerable cost. (See the graphic on page 3 for a visual representation of this gap.) The big three eCommerce vendors focus almost exclusively on the largest of enterprises for their customers. Mainly because those big three vendors are large themselves — they need each contract to be in the millions or tens of millions to support their largesse. That’s reflected in their R&D, too, which focuses on creating solutions that have to be highly customized (through development and custom code) for each customer. That, of course, drives up implementation time and cost. Also, those solutions are difficult (or simply cost prohibitive) to scale down to fit the budgets of many enterprises. Meanwhile, the bottom end of the B2B eCommerce vendor spectrum is crowded with startups and other small companies. Like the big three, these smaller vendors are focused almost exclusively on customers that look like they do. Their products often lack the features that many enterprises need to be successful. One example is deep integration with critical business systems — such as ERP, CRM, and order management and fulfillment. The smaller B2B eCommerce vendors simply don’t have experience integrating with such systems. Many smaller vendors also lack the internal resources necessary to support the complex needs and requirements of customers that need to iterate to improve on the customer experience they want to deliver. So it’s no surprise that their product features, sales efforts, and R&D all continue to focus on small businesses. Another problem with the big three and their smaller counterparts is their mindset. Most of them have their roots, whether in part or entirely, in the B2C world. That legacy, perspective and setup creates a variety of challenges for their customers. For example, besides the software itself, their customers also frequently have to buy ongoing professional services and development contracts to modify B2C-centric software to work in B2B environments. Even a professional services contract doesn’t guarantee that B2C-centric software can adapt. For instance, B2C shopping carts are fine for consumers who need an order shipped to one address or, at most, spread across a couple others, such as for gift giving during the holiday COPYRIGHT © 2013 INSITE SOFTWARE / P 866.747.0377 / WWW.INSITESOFT.COM3 season. But good luck enabling that shopping cart to support dozens or hundreds of different addresses for a single order, such as when a business needs laptops shipped to all of its telecommuting employees or when a hardware franchisee needs plumbing fixtures shipped to its hundreds of stores. B2C-centric shopping carts also rarely can support … • Multiple purchase-approval requirements and hierarchies • Custom or white labeling • Customer-specific inventory, pricing and promotions • Customer-specific budget and purchase management • PunchOut: Direct connection of a product catalog to the customer’s e-procurement system • Tight integration with the customer’s ERP, CRM and WCM systems THE INSITE DIFFERENCE: OUR B2B DNA All of this illustrates two important points: 1. Options: The majority of enterprises lack eCommerce platform options that fit their unique needs and budgets. 2. B2C is not B2B: B2B eCommerce warrants its own sophisticated approach, not a modified B2C approach. Insite Software is the remedy for both problems. But before we illustrate why, consider first what Forrester said in its landmark (Q4 2013) B2B Commerce Suites Wave: • “Insite Software has a unique position in the market, in that it is solely focused on B2B eCommerce. This alone pushes its market presence score in the Forrester Wave up to match much bigger players — focus is always a good thing.” CAPTION In recent years, the landscape of B2B eCommerce vendors has evolved into two significantly different camps. On the lower left, you have a variety of vendors who tend to focus their product features, sales efforts, and R&D on relatively small firms. In other words, those vendors might be less expensive than their competition, but they also offer more limited platforms. In the upper right, you have the “big three,” which have grown to the point where only the largest of the large enterprises can afford the cost and time to implement their expensive, complex offerings. This evolution of the eCommerce vendor landscape has left a distinct gap in the middle, with little to no options for manufacturers and distributors that need speed to market and multi-site and enterprise scalability at an efficient and tolerable cost. Until now, that is – Insite Software is ideal to fill this gap given its affordability, scalability, speed to market, and extensive and exclusive experience in B2B eCommerce. Manufacturers and distributors now can address their complex eCommerce business challenges and needs via a solution that won’t blow up their budgets or take an exhaustive amount of time to customize and implement. COPYRIGHT © 2013 INSITE SOFTWARE / P 866.747.0377 / WWW.INSITESOFT.COM4 This allows our customers to hit the ground running faster. Instead of needing custom code created from the ground up, our customers need to only configure and personalize the last 20 to 30 percent of their pages. In short, within the time it takes Insite to get a site up and running, the big three vendors would still be deciding who will present during the selection process. As Forrester put it “Without a doubt, Insite is a credible contender on the Forrester Wave and a viable alternative to the ‘big three.’” (See “The Forrester Wave: B2B Commerce Suites, Q4 2013.”) Many businesses have tried to make do with the vendors on either side of the gap before turning to Insite. One example is AmeriPride Services, which switched to Insite in 2012. “Insite understood new concepts like ‘omni-channel’ long before the B2C retailers realized the tremendous value of a multi-channel commerce experience,” says Joe Jansen, Director Information Services. “B2B is core to Insite’s DNA. That said, their B2B commerce thought leadership is proving far more valuable to us as we navigate the uncharted B2B digital waters.” Indeed, B2B eCommerce is new territory for many organizations. That’s why we’re providing a navigational aid: Forrester’s B2B Commerce Suites Wave, which is a crash course in the products, vendors, challenges and considerations that everyone in the enterprise mid- market needs to know. To download it now for free, click here. • “Insite has an impressive customer install base and has been recently competing with and, in some cases, winning deals against larger competitors.” (See “The Forrester Wave: B2B Commerce Suites, Q4 2013.”) Insite has specialized in the commerce needs of manufacturers and distributors for nearly a decade, so it’s in our DNA. We are 100% focused on the unique and complex eCommerce needs of B2B and B2B2C organizations. And Insite provides manufacturers, distributors, and other businesses with a competitive edge — a platform that can be implemented quickly, integrated tightly, and doesn’t require extensive costs for custom coding. The Insite advantages are … • No overpaying for more than you need. • No worrying whether a vendor has the scale to support an organization your size, especially as you grow. • Many Insite customers are up and running in 90 to 120 days and for a fraction of what they would pay for a solution from the big three. • Our configuration (not customization) allows for personalization and is flexible enough so customers can make changes themselves as their business needs evolve. • Insite’s solution integrates with inventory, supply chain, and other back office systems. But don’t take just our word for it. Our customer base speaks for itself: Great Northern Corp., Merial Corp., AmeriPride Services, Carnival Cruises, Mitsubishi Electric, the Natori Co., and Riedell Skate Co., among many others. There is no doubt that any B2B eCommerce project is complex. But, as described earlier, the level of customization required (time and effort) when installing a platform from the big three simply isn’t feasible or warranted for enterprises outside of the largest of the large. Insite addresses the complexity of manufacturer and distributor business processes via our library of best practice web pages. These hundreds of web page options are already configured with robust requirements and lessons learned from nearly 10 years of B2B eCommerce execution. COPYRIGHT © 2013 INSITE SOFTWARE / P 866.747.0377 / WWW.INSITESOFT.COM5 ABOUT INSITE SOFTWARE Insite Software is the leading eCommerce and shipping platform provider for manufacturers and distributors requiring B2B, B2C, and mobile solutions. Approaching 1,000 customers globally, InsiteCommerce™ is used by many leading companies for end-to-end eCommerce across their dealers, franchisers, stores, contractors, consumers, and others. Many of Insite’s customers also leverage InsiteShip™, which is an internationally enabled supply chain shipping solution to gain efficiencies in shipping and delivery of products. Both enterprise offerings are fully integrated with the leading ERP, content management and many other cloud platforms. Learn more at and connect with us via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.