Over the last few years I was involved in many e-commerce projects. itelligence recently listed over 60 e-commerce projects within the past 4 years and more than 90% of them were integrated with SAP ERP.
Do you practice B2B e-commerce and are about to choose a new application? Of course you want to grow your (online) business, increase market share, engage with your customers and optimize commerce processes to lower costs. This should go hand-in-hand with known IT topics like: risk management, performance and reliability. Therefore I have collected five important and pragmatic questions you should consider when choosing your investment, because they have a high impact on the future of your business.
1. What is your ‘touch point strategy’?
Successful companies consider the customer journey as corner stone of their commerce strategy. Customer journey can be defined as the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your company and brand. Instead of looking at just one part of a transaction or experience, the customer journey documents the full experience of being a customer. Touch points could be email, phone, catalog, store, web shop, field engineer on-site, sales agent or mobile application. The catalog is a good example one might not think about when considering a new e-commerce platform. Mainly due to the fact of high costs, catalogs are only published once every year or every two years. If you want to be more flexible and send segmented product offers to your customers and prospects, you should look for a platform that provides a catalog solution.
So the question is not only whether your web shop is organized to deliver an optimized experience, personalization and B2C best practice scenario’s to increase sales. It is also about how “easy” it is to be your customer. For example: Are your customers able to order products 24/7 on any device? Like scanning a barcode with a mobile device to re-order the product.
I strongly advice companies to analyze the customer journey as main element in the commerce strategy. A new platform approach could be the answer to optimize every touch point.
2. Is it possible to save costs on product information management while reduce time to market?
In recent years I witnessed many different applications for managing commercial product information. If your company acts internationally, you know that managing the translation, business aspects and cultural differences are adding extra dimensions that cause challenges. The application you will select, should offer great features for your team to collaborate effectively on maintaining product information and also deliver consistency in all different touch points. Time to market and saving costs should go hand-in-hand.
3. Is your analytics optimized?
Nowadays technology provides you with many possibilities to add intelligence to your customer interactions. What products should you offer? What prospects are potentially the best to approach? I can recommend to develop customer profiles and offer smart intelligence to your sales agents and platforms. Besides that it can be an eye opener to take a look at social media listening tools. You will learn a lot and will be able to engage quickly with your customers.
4. Is your platform delivering the performance that is satisfying your customers?
Choose a platform that performs in all circumstances. Probably like yourself, also your customers don’t like to wait. Performance can be analyzed upfront. Make sure to ask for proof that the platform is fast even when the volumes increases.
5. Have you taken the Total Cost of Ownership in consideration?
Probably you have analyzed the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). But did you also consider the costs and time to add new functionality to the platform as your business will grow and customers will address more needs? What about the touch points and the customer journey? How fast and to what costs can you keep your e-commerce platform in a period of 3-5 years up-to-date? I am advising you to take a close look at the topic “release management”. What will be offered as new functionality and to what costs can this be added to your platform while keeping the same performance and reliability?
Customers are digitally connected, have high expectations on service (24/7 any device) and competitors are just one click away (even when they are physically in china). Take the customer journey as starting point of your strategy. Discover in which area you can improve, design a plan and then start your journey! Learn and improve. I recommend to take a close look at hybris as omni-channel platform; probably a platform approach will be the most effective answer to your business – and IT requirements.
Hopefully you picked up some learnings from this post. I wish you all wisdom to make a good choice on a new platform.
– by Marc van den Berk
SAP customers have asked for screens that look more like current internet applications, and to filter out input fields they do not need for their business roles. This is the main reason the focus has shifted to SAP Fiori. This collection of apps delivers a highly attractive web user experience for smartphones, tablets, and desktops – but you can also enhance the user experience for native SAP GUI users with NetWeaver® Business Client (NWBC). Read more…
The development of adapters for SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (SAP NW PI) or SAP NetWeaver Process Orchestration (SAP NW PO) has a long tradition at itelligence.
Based on this solid experience, we have developed another adapter: the Salesforce.com adapter (SFDC adapter).
Many companies run SAP as their ERP system and use Salesforce, a cloud-based CRM solution. With the new adapter, they now have the option to connect both worlds effectively. Such integration solutions are currently very scarce on the market, which means that the adapter will surely be very attractive to many SAP and Salesforce.com users.
The adapter is also certified by SAP and thus meets SAP standards. The SFDC adapter has also been developed for direct integration into the SAP adapter framework and thus can make optimal use of the extensive Monitoring & Alerting functionality of the central process integration platform.
For more information about the adapter, please see the link below. You can also request a quote there.
Salesforce.com adapter (SFDC adapter)
If you have any questions about SFDC adapters, please do not hesitate to send them to:
by Jürgen Fülster
In the air one can smell cinnamon, vanilla, marzipan and nuts … an unmistakable aroma which could not be any more wonderful! What are the most important ingredients for Christmas baking? Love and the desire to create something special and unique. A tasty analogy to our industry solutions … but above all an atmospheric introduction to the best time of the year.
We wish you and your family the time to bake cookies and enjoy them, a merry christmas and a very happy and successful new year!
We would like to thank everyone who was reading our posts in 2014! We look forward to seeing you again in 2015, with more stories, background information and knowledge from itelligence.
Your blog editor´s team
First concentrate on Big facts and get rid of Big Myths!
What is your opinion on Big Data? Is it a huge opportunity to help businesses get better insights for decision making? Is it more of a challenge and too big for most companies to manage? Or in terms of privacy, should Big Data even be considered a threat? Read more…
Implementing an e-commerce or an omni-channel strategy will dramatically change the way supply chains are operating for a company.
In this white paper we analyze the business impacts of omni-channel solutions on supply chains. Important questions will be: What are the challenges for a warehouse management system? Read more…
Every year with around 4000 attendees, SAP Forum 2014 Istanbul is the most comprehensive annual IT event of Turkey. With this year’s theme of “Innovation Through Simplification”, the event took place on 31st of October in Haliç Congress Centre. itelligence Turkey was the platinum sponsor of the event.