With XaaS solutions, B2B eCommerce businesses realize quicker results
In a recent study conducted by Forrester, 100 B2B companies in the United States were surveyed to evaluate best practices in implementing B2B eCommerce systems and the metrics that go hand in hand with those systems. In addition to revealing the competitive advantages that come from B2B eCommerce implementation, researchers identified SaaS and PaaS as popular for businesses looking to save time and money when deploying eCommerce solutions.
In fact, “get going now and produce results quickly,” was one of the takeaway recommendations from the Forrester study. Titled “B2B eCommerce Produces Results — Get On Board Now,” the study lauded the benefits of eCommerce despite the historical debate centered around whether the technology could handle the complexities that come inherent with B2B transactions and relationships.
Because of the successes that many B2B businesses have earned by implementing eCommerce, that debate, however, is losing fervor. In an article published by Practical eCommerce, not only is B2B eCommerce growing, but it’s growing at a faster pace than B2C. The editor of the article noted that “IRCE estimates 2014 U.S. B2B online revenues of between $600 billion to $1 trillion, dwarfing B2C estimates of $263 billion.”
Therefore, delaying an eCommerce implementation could cost a B2B business potential sales and depending on the timeframe and manner in which a business goes to market with eCommerce, the potential loss in sales could be significant. According to the findings of the Forrester study, SaaS and PaaS can speed up the process.
“Companies that wait risk falling exponentially farther behind and ceding ground to both pure-play B2B websites and encroaching B2C players,” Forrester explained. “According to our survey, 62% of B2B companies were able to implement eCommerce in less than 12 months. With mature SaaS and PaaS solutions available now, B2B companies can and should get up and running quickly and at a relatively low cost. It’s not necessary to build the perfect solution from day one. Results drive investment, so get to getting results as expeditiously as possible and backfill with the less critical pieces later.”
Based on the study's findings, companies are indeed using the SaaS/PaaS model to get up and running quickly and to the tune of 42 percent of survey respondents choosing to deploy their current eCommerce solution through the SaaS/PaaS model. But what about the trailblazers in B2B eCommerce who are already locked into an on-premise solution? Or, what about the B2B businesses that are already outgrowing their SaaS environment?
For these forward-thinking B2Bers, they will need to look beyond SaaS and PaaS to instead focus on the advanced skills and deep knowledge base that are necessary to maintain an on-premise solution. As their businesses grow, their IT teams will need to grow, as well. But when a business encounters hurdles trying to quickly put together (or find) a well-rounded, proven IT team, contracting an outside firm for professional eCommerce services can be an effective option. Today, there are many service firms that offer support on a subscription basis in a manner that is similar to other XaaS solutions.
The benefits to working with an outside firm, which can perform as an extension to existing staff, come in the form of around-the-clock access to experienced and certified IT individuals, better budgetary controls thanks to predictable and recurring costs, and access to outside advisors. These contracted teams are incredibly valuable as they also offer an outside perspective on business needs and directions. They also reduce the drain on internal teams by keeping them from having to constantly react to on-demand support calls.
To learn more about how Expertise-as-a-Service, or EaaS, could work for your B2B business, download the brochure below. Or, just call the team at NetSphere Strategies who have nearly 50 years of cumulative experience in the eCommerce industry.