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Austin Whitehead

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Seller Solutions



Is Your Company’s E-Commerce Approach Reactive?

In Part I of this article, we explained the value of taking the Ariba e-commerce maturity quiz to assess your company’s e-commerce standing. Below are results and characteristics of companies at the least advanced, or Reactive, level of development—along with tips on how to move to the next stage.



How Reactive Organizations Stack Up

  1. In the joint Ariba/Selling Power survey, 19 percent of respondents classified their company as Reactive.
  2. Organizations that fell into the Reactive category reported the following results and characteristics from their e-commerce initiatives:

    • 48.2 percent have gained an increase in revenue from new accounts
    • 34.7 percent have realized an increase in revenue from existing accounts
    • 40.6 percent have achieved an increase in customer retention
  3. Reactive sellers tend to have deployed the following technologies, but express limited satisfaction regarding their business impact (with a 3.8 – 3.7 mean for satisfaction out of 10):
    • Basic catalog
    • Web storefront
    • Customer community/social networking
  4. Reactive sellers typically realize immediate results from their e-commerce efforts as a result of gaining new business from the requesting customers who initially drove them to react. However, this instant benefit can set up unrealistic expectations for rapid future growth, potentially causing these sellers to become disillusioned with e-commerce as they move into the Responsive category.




Quick Tips: Steps You Can Take to Move from Reactive to Responsive

    1. Learn more about eCommerce and the benefits of electronic networks in customer case studies.
    2. Start identifying specific people within your organization to formally assume responsibilities for various aspects of your e-commerce initiatives. This could include a catalog manager as well as a connectivity or an EDI specialist. Take a few minutes to Learn about the Nine Best Practices Strategies to Improve Your Online Catalog Results.
    3. Train your sales force to sell your e-commerce capabilities.
    4. Start to operationalize your ordering/invoicing methods as well as your product content. Ariba offers a variety of tutorials and webcasts on topics such as PunchOut, cXML and CIF catalog development that can help you as you develop your e-commerce initiatives.


Next: Is Your Company’s E-Commerce Approach Responsive?


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