Customer experience is king in B2B ecommerce

Published: 24/June/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

Key Takeaways

⇨ B2B ecommerce platforms are valuing customer experience more than ever, and is driven by business instead of IT, according to DXC’s Erik Burton

⇨ DXC worked with customers like Jemena to improve their B2B ecommerce platforms with SAP

⇨ SAP is leveraging AI to provide CX similar to B2C platforms

Business transformation has placed the chief marketing officer (CMO) and chief experience officer (CXO) in the driver’s seat of business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce portals as customer experience becomes a differentiator for organisations, according to DXC Digital Practice Manager Erik Burton. 

“Business-to-consumer (B2C) online digital channels have traditionally been driven by business, whereas B2B ecommerce portals are traditionally driven by IT,” Burton said. “They are IT led projects focused on increasing sales revenue with great features but lack customer needs and experience at the centre of decision making.”

“But that has shifted now to business transformation projects that put the customer lens front and centre, as well as marketing teams and CXOs,” he added. “It’s all about experience now.”

DXC’s customer experience work is largely focused on B2B, working with industry leading customers in the automotive, energy, public sector, utilities, consumer goods and many other industry sectors.

“Potential B2B customers today are not just looking at what features the service can provide but more importantly how well the persona is understood and the experience to deliver on what is needed to get the job done,” Burton told Mastering SAP.

“It’s a cross-channel experience – whether SAP products play a part in that or not, the customer doesn’t know, and they also frankly don’t care. It’s really about what experience a brand or business has to offer to keep customers loyal or onboard customers.” 

How DXC has worked with customers on CX 

Burton spoke at SAP CX Connect in Melbourne last week alongside Jemena to discuss the energy services company’s CX journey with DXC. 

Jemena had been dealing with manual forms complicating customer interactions and fragmented data spread across multiple systems impacting customer service. 

The company pivoted to become more customer-centric to cater for customers looking to transition between alternative energy sources and those opting for new solutions like solar generation and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  

Jemena embarked on a transformation project to make that pivot, starting with a customer experience program called CX Uplift. The company turned to DXC to implement SAP Service Cloud to create a consolidated source of truth for customers, staff and service data.  

After the project, Jemena removed manual processes in its digital support service and brought together the management of individual customers, account customers and contacts into one system to streamline customer interactions. The centralised data now also allows Jemena to perform more sophisticated reporting and data analysis to further improve customer support. 

The fast lane for automative parts 

A global automotive services firm worked with DXC to develop a digital parts platform aimed to streamline the sale of automotive parts. 

Built on SAP Commerce, the platform was trialled in Australia throughout 2023, seeing an increase in sales of genuine parts, while also reducing operating costs for the organisation’s partners. 

“That’s a great example of businesses creating CX platforms and offering them as a service to their customers,” Burton said. 

“It’s actually a sales differentiator, and [the company] has even taken its platform to big roadshows to showcase it. It’s all about that experience being front and centre.” 

SAP using AI for CX 

SAP’s main CX offerings include SAP Commerce, SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C), marketing platform Emarsys and Customer Data Cloud (CDC) for identity access and preference management. 

With SAP cornering the market for B2B ecommerce software, according to Burton, the company is now leading the way in leveraging powerful AI technology deep into the B2B ecosystem to reshape the customer experience.

“AI in the consumer world has been around for a long time, but in the B2B world, SAP has been making a lot of investments in the technology to meet the growing demand,” he said. 

“When I say AI, that’s not put AI front and centre where the customer can see it – it’s the customer’s perspective of ‘Have AI improve my experience and make my experience relevant to me’. They don’t want to see the AI, they just want to know it is there.” 

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