In B2B, the world revolves around the products or services of a manufacturer who sells these to other companies. Accordingly, it is a matter of offering its business customers complete information about its products: the products themselves, spare parts, product documents, possibly downloadable software, configuration options, and even services in such a way that your customer leaves your brand world with enthusiasm. A comprehensive customer portal is therefore a “must” in B2B. A world in which all the customer’s needs are satisfied.
The ECC Cologne’s B2BEST Barometer, which has been monitoring developments in B2B quarterly in its study since 2021, confirms this: In Q2, the study examined Customer Experience (CX). According to all respondents, it is the most important aspect of the B2B business relationship even ahead of the product offerings, price, or service quality.
What sounds simple in practice actually requires targeted work and merging of the right systems. The SAP Commerce Cloud (SAP CC) is the central tool in the wide SAP B2B world. It is a Java-based development framework and brings with it both standardized B2B solutions and a corresponding integration capability. Above all, as a development framework, the SAP CC offers the necessary flexibility not only to create your own user design, but above all to integrate all functions and tools centrally and deliver them in a stable and high-performance manner. In addition to the already integrated typical B2B processes such as the release of shopping carts or the ability to display customized prices, other systems such as the SAP Service Cloud, the SAP Marketing Cloud, the SAP Sales Cloud (CRM) or also non-SAP systems such as content management (CMS) and product information management (PIM) can also be connected. The possibilities are nearly unlimited, but of course the more systems that are involved, the greater the complexity.
Digital distribution systems do not compete with traditional sales but can be used skillfully to support and inspire them. While the role of the classic sales employee is increasingly changing from salesperson to consultant, it is also increasingly important that your customers can access all products and (self-)services online.
In the study “The State of Self-Service Content Experiences”, Frost and Sullivan found that 81% of respondents prefer to get answers in portals instead of contacting a service employee. Furthermore, 99% of the respondents indicated that they regard technical documentation to be the most important or second most important criterion in their decision-making process.
This means that providing good product content is critical — in addition to making it easy for people to use services online and be able to make inquiries. Thus the target image is finally clear: A customer portal for your business customers, where they can find all products, information, and services conveniently. From a technical point of view, this would be very easy to achieve by using the SAP Commerce Cloud, a PIM system, or by connecting the SAP Service Cloud.
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