B2B Payments

Is B2B eCommerce Becoming Too Easy?

The B2B ecosystem has been slowly pressing toward digitization, and procurement and B2B commerce is no exception. Innovators and service providers want to reduce the friction between corporate buyers and sellers, and buyers are demanding ways to shop for the businesses the same way their shop for themselves: through online marketplaces.

New research from Forrester, however, warns that B2B eCommerce strategies could be making it too easy for rogue buyers to spend their businesses’ money without the proper clearance.

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“The growing imperative for CPOs to guarantee compliance with various external laws and internal policies is driving a much tougher stance on so-called rogue buying,” said Forrester principal analyst Duncan James, according to reports in Channelnomics published yesterday (Sept. 14).

Analysts found that chief procurement officers are growing increasingly worried about employees making purchases straight from supplier websites, and warned that suppliers and wholesalers need to make a greater effort to secure approval from the necessary personnel.

“What this means for online B2B sellers is that [suppliers] will have to convince customers’ SPOs to agree to let you be a ‘punch-out’ supplier, or face increasing barriers to eCommerce sales,” said James. “Customer traffic from search engines … is likely to be rogue traffic, and relying on selling only to rogue buyers is not a good long-term strategy.”

The expert also noted that procurement officials’ chief concerns are no longer just about securing the lowest cost for the products they need. Now, however, buyer-side businesses need to implement digital procurement platforms and services that not only find the lowest prices, but mitigate supplier risk.

“Issues such as corporate social responsibility, corrupt practices, data security, and so on, are forcing CPOs to be much tougher in preventing purchases from unapproved suppliers,” James said.

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Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out the February 2019 PYMNTS Financial Invisibles Report

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