Integrated or Interfaced?
An integrated eCommerce software solution is installed inside the enterprise resource planning back-end system. The information on the back-end system is automatically leveraged without being copied and is displayed for the customer. An interfaced solution requires acknowledgement of the back-end system by the supplier. It is not an automatic logical solution synchronised with real-time analytics, which can lead to errors.
There are some things that are essential to the workings of your B2B eCommerce platform.
If your B2B also services B2C customers, you might need a system that can restrict access to pricing, such as wholesale and retail, access to product availability or geographic restrictions.
- User Experience
Your platform needs to be accessible. Converting sales, even for B2Bs can be a problem if your site isn’t intuitive, multichannel accessible and branded. Your cart should be a major focus of your UX development, not only for sales conversion but for security and compliance reasons.
- Your Use
Apart from what you want to offer your customers, considering how your platform works for your business operations is important. The interface, its coding requirements and bandwidth should all be considered. SaaS platforms can take time to configure correctly, while custom software can be expensive.
The important thing to consider when choosing your eCommerce platform is how it is to be used.
- Do you know the regulations in your region?
- Do you know how to customise the software to meet your needs and the laws of the markets you are supplying?
- Is the software an omnichannel solution?
- Is the dashboard easy to access and does it provide the data you need?
- Can the software be integrated with your business software or only interfaced?
- What are your business goals for the next three years?
If you consider these questions, you are likely to be better able to narrow down what you need, if that is a SaaS solution or a tailored solution.
It is important to consider the efficiency of the solution you want. While an integrated solution is often offered, it is important to investigate to be certain that the software is actually installed in the ERP back-end system so that you are leveraging your data.
However, most SaaS is actually interfaced even though it claims to be integrated. It is worth taking the time to investigate and have your IT expert determine which system is on offer before committing to a solution that could cost you more in time and resources than a tailored solution which can be scaled with your growth.
Know Your Market
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