The B2B commerce solutions market is no longer “a tale of two cities,” stuck between choosing either cloud architecture or robust features. Collectively, the vendors have closed the chasm: The new-school cloud-native vendors have invested in features — and the stalwarts have invested in modernized architecture. You can breathe a sigh of relief that in your next selection, you won’t have to make the choice of that painful trade-off.

But you’ll still have to make a choice of vendor that has built a feature set for your particular business model. Be mindful of your business model and what your digital strategy requires. Additionally, look for providers that:

  • Have a vision that matches your architectural reality. Don’t conflate a commerce replatforming with an enterprise modernization. Modernization requires a mindset change, and change requires coaching. That’s a tall order. Look for more on this topic in an upcoming report with my colleague Betsy Summers on how a move to MACH needs mentors and coaches.
  • Have recruited the right service partners for your sector. In B2B, there exists a wide variety of needs. The needs of a consumer product brand that sells finished goods to its boutique retail partners to keep hipsters looking cool are very different from the needs of a manufacturer of industrial equipment that sells service, maintenance, and spare parts to production plants to keep their shop floors running. Your next commerce solutions vendor should have the service partners that know your needs. Don’t just pick a low-cost contractor. Select a co-innovation partner with a blend of strategy, design, and implementation that gives you a competitive leg up.
  • Have the right ISV partners for the interactions that matter for your strategy. The vendors all have different philosophies and strategies about what capabilities to bundle into or leave out of their solution. You need to understand their vision of how enterprises like yours will architect the right platform to engage prospects, customers, and partners. If your digital strategy doesn’t demand a platform of best-of-breed capabilities, then don’t chose a vendor that requires a multitude of third-party solutions.

If you need help understanding how you’ll select your next commerce solution for B2B, let’s talk.

Schedule an inquiry or guidance session with me to talk about how you can use our latest Forrester Wave™ evaluation to drive your selection of your B2B commerce provider. I can help you and your teams make sense of this, as well as understand how to be adaptive as you (re-)align to your customers’ changing needs.

In the meantime, Forrester clients can read ​The Forrester Wave™: Commerce Solutions For B2B, Q2 2024.