Microsoft GP, NAV and AX; Sage MAS 200,400 and 500; Epicor and SAP Users First to Benefit from B2B Integrated Mobile Ecommerce
As we approach the holiday season of 2013 we can expect to see the usual trove of reports and analyses for retail online shopping. There is a deeply ingrained bias toward thinking of the internet primarily as an advertising and transaction channel for retail consumer interaction. There is some logic behind this trend. Consumers shop during their free time and have both the means and appetite for shopping online instead of running out to the mall. In the B2B sector, usage of the internet for conducting business has been more subtle, more erratic and less standardized. B2B commerce differs from B2C commerce in many ways, but one particular characteristic is that much of B2B commerce takes place in the field, in the warehouse or on the shop floor. The bulk of business in the B2B sector involves replenishment.
According to Forrester Research, “although some eBusiness and channel strategy professionals are very mature in their understanding and execution of business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce, most organizations are still in the early stages of building their B2B eCommerce operations. They’re in their infancy with regard to effectively targeting B2B buyers online, developing an industrial-strength B2B eCommerce infrastructure, and achieving an acceptable B2C-like customer experience standard.” And Gartner has noted that “seizing mobile business opportunities is a top priority for CIOs, but building a winning strategy is a challenge.”
As mobile web access becomes ubiquitous the opportunity to extend order entry systems to the end point of the supply chain will become more significant. Companies are rapidly developing BYOD (Brind Your Own Device) policies in recognition of how important mobile communications have become in business. This emerging capability will further increase opportunities and eventually, expectations, for order entry systems to become accessible from the end point of the supply chain. Manufacturers, distributors and suppliers who recognize this extension in technological capability and seize it as an opportunity to increase customer service capability and reduce friction in order entry processes will obtain advantages in the marketplace.
Mobile web ecommerce enablement on the front-end, coupled with ERP and payment settlement integration on the back-end provides a complete, end-to-end solution for supply chain transactions. Microsoft GP, NAV and AX; Sage MAS 200,400 and 500; Epicor and SAP users should be the first to benefit given that the technology for both ecommerce integration and mobile web access is readily available. Numerous integrated ERP and ecommerce integrations for B2C commerce are already deployed and the advantages of adopting integrated ERP ecommerce solutions in the B2B sector have been demonstrated. B2B ecommerce sales are already twice that of B2C and are expected to reach $559 billion in 2013. A recent survey by Oracle noted that 28% of the B2B respondents reported more than 50% of their revenues coming in via ecommerce channels. And 26% of the respondents reported mobile web access as having a dominant effect on online revenue generation.
B2B Mobile ecommerce is now marching over the horizon creating yet one more compelling reason to develop fully integrated, web enabled order entry and processing systems. For first hand accounts of how end-to-end back-office to mobile ecommerce systems are impacting business read the case study for W.W. Grangier at Internet Retailer or Delta Airlines recent announcement on the deployment of the Nokia Lumina 820 for in-flight order processing.