Today’s buyers are voting with their feet, using e-commerce in greater numbers than ever before. And as this flood tide continues to swell, taking action is no longer a luxury for sellers, but a necessity. The good news is that adopting a strategic approach and proactively retooling your practices to meet these changing demands will protect your market share while enabling you to:

  • Get your products and services in front of more active buyers
  • Significantly accelerate the sales cycle
  • Collaborate more closely with customers and improve retention
  • Track invoice progress and get paid faster



Even if you’re excited about the potential rewards of e-commerce, misperceptions can derail your efforts. So in this three-part series titled “Don’t Be Fooled,” I’m exploring common myths to avoid when planning your e-commerce approach:





I’ll explore myth #2 today.


2.jpgMyth #2: “E-commerce will disintermediate me from my customer.”

With the increasing commoditization of products and services in today’s market, many sellers view their personal relationships with customers as the main asset distinguishing them from competitors—and fear that e-commerce could distance or separate them from those relationships.


The truth is that e-commerce doesn’t end the discussions you have with customers; it simply changes them. And while some aspects of your interaction may go away when you implement e-commerce, other more valuable components take their place. Rather than clinging to old ways of doing business, you can use e-commerce to become a stronger partner and collaborate better with customers to cut costs and work together more effectively. Instead of feature-function-benefit conversations about what you sell, you can discuss strategic concerns that tie your products and services to how your customers do business—making your relationships more sustainable, not less.


Next week we will look at the final myth, Myth #3: “My e-commerce process is complete when I can deliver information and take orders online.”

Ariba offers extensive resources to help simplify and streamline your path to e-commerce success, whether you’re just starting out or have a well-developed solution in place. Contact to find out more.

This article was first published in the Supply Lines group. You can subscribe to the Supply Lines newsletter here.