Although digital commerce has increased explosively, there are industries where the transition is delayed. B2B commerce has certainly taken big steps forward, but it still has a long way to go before it matches the development in B2C. - It has been difficult to figure out where complex, specialized products belong in digital commerce, but that is starting to change, says Seyamak Arkannia, Litium.
More and more B2B players, wholesalers and manufacturing companies, see the possibilities of digital sales channels and collaboration platforms that can complement classic sales and business development. However, there are still many misconceptions about digital B2B commerce, not least when it comes to fitting digital sales channels into one's own organization.
- For example, some have had difficulty understanding or reaching a consensus regarding how digital solutions can be combined with existing business models, while others have worried about profitability or have simply been anxious about change, says Seyamak Arkannia, who is a specialist in digital commerce and digitization at Litium.
However, as omnichannel solutions become more common, many mature B2B companies have begun to see opportunities instead of challenges. The digital development is seen as a puzzle piece in a larger whole, where digital channels are used as a complement to traditional sales meetings and relationship building.
- Many people think that digital commerce is about adding a buy button, but it is rather a way to provide extended and better service to their customers and thereby add value to both new and existing relationships. This can include everything from ordering spare parts and booking maintenance to checking the stock balance or getting a smooth contact interface with sellers or customer service.
It's about competitiveness
Seyamak states that some companies are still shying away from making the investment required for a digital transformation, but emphasizes that in the end it is all about competitiveness.
- For every communication and service area you remove from your offer, you are less equipped to compete with your competitors. Seeing digital as part of customer service gives you another tool in the toolbox, something that can be downright critical now that we seem to be heading into a recession.
Take one step at a time
In the long run, Seyamak believes that it is about a fundamental shift in the way you meet your customers. Via digital surfaces, it is easier to show off your offer and open up to dialogue, which in turn makes it easier to acquire new customers on a global basis.
- However, you don't have to have all the answers at once; the best thing is to take it one step at a time. For example, you can start by reviewing the customer journey that customers take – at what stages can you use digital tools or channels to improve service, relationships and buying experiences or generate new leads?
Important to set aside time
There is something to be aware of before starting your digital transformation. Seyamak has many years of experience as a consultant and has long understood the importance of all parties working in the same direction. As a leader, you must engage the employees and have enough time set aside to anchor the new way of working within the organization.
- It really is A and O; therefore, Litium works particularly hard to assist customers early in the process. We support in the strategic review, identify suitable KPIs and contribute to driving the work on a technical level, so that each customer actually gets a suit that fits. Customers who take the step to run these projects also often find it both fun and rewarding and that the result is well worth the effort!