For years, customers have asked Forrester to publish a Forrester Wave evaluation specific to B2B commerce solutions. Well, that day has finally arrived! Today, I’m pleased to announce the release of our very first Forrester Wave dedicated exclusively to B2B commerce suites.
In “The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Suites, Q4 2013,” we found that IBM, hybris (an SAP company), Oracle Commerce, and Intershop lead the pack. Additionally, we found that Insite Software and NetSuite offer competitive options. In a separate blog post, coauthor Peter Sheldon explains in more detail how we ranked the vendors.
What’s at stake overall for B2B companies is no less than a piece of the $559 billion US B2B eCommerce market. To earn a share, B2B eBusiness and channel strategy professionals at all levels of maturity require a world-class B2B commerce suite that:
- Offers a customer experience standard comparable to leading B2C sites. We frequently hear from our B2B clients that the technology should deliver an “Amazon-like experience.” Fortunately, several of the solutions we evaluated possess the functionality to deliver robust search and navigation, value-added recommendations and reviews, and 24x7x365 ordering and servicing — both online and on mobile devices. In addition, most come ready out of the box to integrate with back-office systems and complex order orchestration and fulfillment workflows.
- Addresses the growing influence that mobile is having in the workplace. Cisco estimates that mobile traffic will represent 26% of all business Internet traffic by 2016 — up from a mere 4% in 2011. As such, B2B companies can no longer stagger their online and mobile development; they must now implement online, tablet, and mobile strategies in parallel. As integrated suites with advanced functionality, the solutions we evaluated are tuned to deliver across all of the critical online and mobile channels.
- Makes the business case for sustained investment. In a recent survey of global B2B eCommerce executives, Forrester found that offline customers that companies have migrated online spend more money and cost less to support post-migration. Such ROI arguments serve as a driving force for continued necessary spending on world-class B2B commerce suites, such as those we evaluated in the Forrester Wave. For many B2B companies, eCommerce has become a way to transform a slow-growth offline business into a high-growth online and multichannel enterprise.
We’d like to hear from you. Feel free to share your thoughts here. You can also post a comment on Forrester’s community for eBusiness and Channel strategy professionals. Or, if you’d prefer, you can email us directly.