The Forrester Wave™: Commerce Solutions For B2B, Q2 2024, reveals that public clouds help vendors refocus on their markets by narrowing what used to be a chasm between being feature-rich or being architected for today. Now, B2B businesses can find a commerce solution provider that gives them the best of both:

  • Architecture alliances let commerce solution providers refocus on their B2B customers’ needs. Commerce solution vendors’ partnerships with Amazon Web Services, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform are more than just hosting and reselling arrangements: They’re architecture alliances. This means that your commerce solution vendor isn’t on its own in figuring out how to be cloud-native — the vendor works side by side with architects from the cloud provider. This partnership also means that the commerce solution vendor can refocus on the practical needs of its ideal clients — and in B2B, there’s a wide variety of needs.
  • B2B commerce providers support buying patterns specific to your business model and place in the value chain. Not all commerce solutions are designed for the needs of your particular customer accounts. For example, you won’t need a configurator to sell finished t-shirts for resale. You will need to provide an e-commerce site if you’re selling those t-shirts directly to boutique retail partners — but your big retail partners will use EDI for replenishment. You will need an e-procurement integration if you sell safety gear to large customers that closely govern their tail spend. The long list of scenarios goes on.

Use this model to help you determine where both you and your customers exist in the value chain. Share this model with the commerce solution vendors on your shortlist. Ask them to connect you to speak with comparable reference clients. Doing so will help you understand how much of the vendor’s capabilities you can use out of the box and how much you will have to build out. Map the needs of your digital strategy to the capabilities (and expertise) that the vendor brings to the table.

If you need help understanding how your business nuances match up with options for your next commerce solution for B2B, let’s talk.

Schedule an inquiry or guidance session with me to discuss how you can use the insights from this Forrester Wave evaluation to drive how you select your B2B commerce provider that aligns with your strategic commitment to pursue continuously improving business results through technology.

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