Why Digital Commerce Enables Better Customer Experience


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When it comes to creating positive customer experiences and giving exceptional customer service, companies are prioritizing online tools and resources to support remote buying. Digital commerce has quickly become a dominant force in the B2B marketplace, a trend that is only going to accelerate in the coming years.

To stay competitive and thrive in a digital-dominated marketplace, B2B businesses will need to emulate their B2C counterparts and make the path to purchase simple and painless. Companies, especially in the B2B space, are already doing away with difficult-to-follow web pages and complicated or inefficient search tools in favor of implementing more seamless buying experiences that require only a few clicks to make it to the final purchase. Even as we attempt some return to ‘normalcy,’ the intuitive and straightforward path to purchase on e-commerce platforms will remain an integral part of what customers expect out of their experience and service. Here’s why:

B2B Buyers Are Emulating B2C… And That Isn’t Going to Stop
Recently, I shared my thoughts on the shifting behaviors of customers in this article. The mentality and overall approach B2B buyers are taking have changed dramatically in the last few years. Behind every B2B customer lies a very real human being with their own unique consumer habits, independent of their working environment. However, the consumer mentality has made its way into the B2B space as buyers increasingly expect a level of customer service that keeps pace with the ease and straightforward layouts of the most popular consumer e-commerce organizations.

With even more focus on experience after the events of the last year, companies cannot afford to skimp on their digital experience. This is a fact that rings even more true now as so many businesses have had to take their operations into primarily online settings. And just like the consumer side, success largely depends on being able to separate from the pack and create a truly unique experience.

An Effective Digital Experience IS Table Stakes … So, Pull Up a Chair
To build successful customer experiences in a digital setting, businesses are rethinking what the overall path to purchase needs to look like for their customers. Web pages that are difficult-to-follow, portray products unclearly, or require a lot of manual searching, risk creating a negative experience and losing the interest of potential buyers along the way.

To avoid these missteps, businesses must build their digital experience through a lens of maximizing simplicity and efficiency, while also boosting their customers’ confidence in each product. Incorporating tools like intuitive, consolidated search functions, product trials, and easy access to trusted partner products all in one place give users the right resources to make well-informed purchasing decisions.

In addition to these aspects, customers want critical information to be readily apparent and presented up-front. Particularly when it comes to the price of services and products, buyers want the same level of transparency that you might find on the consumer side where you have a fairly good idea of the overall costs of a given purchase – from price of the product to tax to shipping fees. This is especially important as many businesses continue to be highly budget conscious. A perceived lack of transparency could be enough for a prospective buyer to leave in search of services somewhere else.

The Future of CX Is Digital
A positive customer experience is the most visible differentiator for businesses regardless of their markets. At a time when the world is continuing widespread hybrid and remote work, companies are prioritizing digital tools to overhaul their customer experience. Tools like intuitive search, easy to navigate web pages, effective customer support, and easily accessible partner offerings are a must to find success in the digital-first landscape. To be successful, businesses need to tap into their consumer side and view digital operations through a lens of simplicity – creating a seamless path to purchase that more effectively rounds out the customer journey.

Sharon Ruddock
Sharon serves as head of SAP Digital Commerce, providing customers one seamless experience across all digital channels. She oversees digital customer strategy for SAP across sales, customer success, support and marketing, and has enabled and exemplified the digital transformation of SAP. Previously, Sharon was responsible for all learning in the Global Customer Operations organization within SAP and served as Chief Operating Officer, Mobility.


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