How to choose the right eCommerce platform for B2C and B2B customers
Back in 2013 Salmon helped DFS, Britain's biggest, most well-known sofa retailer, implement a new multichannel platform and relaunch www.dfs.co.uk. Last week DFS and Curtis Furniture launched their first B2B website www.dfscontract.co.uk. The site was developed relatively easily and quickly by building it as an extended site on the same WebSphere Commerce-based platform.
What's great is that DFS have been able to target a different kind of customer with a customised website while sharing data assets such as catalogue information between the two sites, resulting in business efficiencies in site management effort and a reduction in data management issues.
Russell Harte, Head of Multichannel Development & Delivery at DFS said: "Our investment in the last 18 months with Salmon, in replatforming our website to support dfs.co.uk and now launching dfscontract.co.uk is paying dividends. We are really pleased with the progress we have made with online unique visitors growing by 36% in the last year and some great trading results; we hope DFS Contract will follow in its footsteps." More here.
In research last year, 62% of B2B companies said that finding the right technology to support eCommerce was a key issue.
So what should you look for in an eCommerce platform to support both B2B and B2C customers?
- A solution that is sophisticated and yet flexible
- Supports multiple channels, web, mobile, tablet, social and stores/branches
- Has the ability to run multiple sites from a single infrastructure and team
- Supports your business and your partners' business globally
- Allows you to launch additional eCommerce sites for new brands, countries or business models quickly
- Allows you to manage the site operations with one set of tools
- Supports various B2B business models, different buying behaviours and management authorisation levels
- Supports multiple pricing requirements i.e. customer specific, partner specific pricing
- Has the ability to manage orders, pricing, and quotes online
- Has strong order management capability to manage selling through to fulfilment between customers, suppliers and partners
- Has sophisticated marketing and merchandising tools