If the march toward a digital future for B2B is a given, it is also true that the march is slow, unsteady and stumbling at times. That’s because the technology in place is sorely lacking in delivering a seamless experience up and down the supply chain. But plodding processes can lead to lost revenues.
CloudCraze found in its latest B2B Digital Commerce Imperative study that about 31 percent of B2B firms lose $2 million in sales due to systems that are less than optimal for the customer experience. The fact remains that many firms are at risk due to outdated platforms, which are more than a few years old.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Ray Grady, executive vice president of CloudCraze, said that firms are facing what he termed “technical debt,” where they customize their own processes to the point where technologies cannot be upgraded easily. The legacy platforms that are in place are harder to work with, and then, B2B processes must face an overhaul by necessity. Against that backdrop, the cloud-based solutions are easiest to work with. Cloud-based solutions should receive consideration as about a quarter of B2B firms are poised to spend $2 million on average to modernize technology, CloudCraze has estimated.
This investment is spurred, said Grady, by the consumer expectations that have been set where the individual engages with technology on a relatively more advanced level and where “then they come to work … and deal with multiple payments” with suppliers and types of transactions. According to the study, 55 percent of buyers in a B2B transaction expect mobile access to the seller’s platform, with payment options of their choice, and thus, omnichannel is lacking. They expect speedy quotes and flexibility with payments (such as off-cycle payments), said Grady. Yet, technology upgrades, said the study, prove elusive as the cost of new technologies serves as an obstacle to their very adoption, as does the fact that three-quarters of firms do not consider tech to be a top priority.