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Austin Whitehead

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Seller Solutions



Is Your Company’s E-Commerce Approach Aggressive?

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 most advanced, or Aggressive, level of development—along with tips on driving truly best-in-class results.


How Aggressive Companies Stack Up

  1. In the joint Ariba/Selling Power survey, 11 percent of respondents classified their company as Aggressive.

  3. Organizations that fell into the Aggressive category reported the following results and characteristics from their e-commerce initiatives:
    • 27.5 percent have gained an increase in revenue from new accounts
    • 29.3 percent have realized an increase in revenue from existing accounts
    • 34.1 percent have achieved an increase in customer retention

  5. Aggressive sellers tend to have deployed the following technologies, but have expressed a higher degree of impact/satisfaction than Proactives (with a 6.8 – 5.5 mean for satisfaction out of 10):
    • Basic catalog/rich content catalog
    • Web storefront
    • Online configuration/product customization
    • Customer questions/answers
    • Upsell recommendations
    • Customer community/social networking
    • Customer reviews
    • B2B integration capabilities

  7. Aggressive sellers tend to be more “delighted” with their overall e-commerce results. While the overall percentage of impact to their new and existing revenue streams may be slightly lower than for other maturity levels, it appears that Aggressive companies have learned to set realistic expectations for their e-commerce initiatives, so they are more satisfied with the benefits they deliver.




Quick Tips: Steps You Can Take to Evolve Beyond Aggressive

Reaching the Aggressive level of e-commerce maturity doesn’t necessarily mean you’re attaining the highest possible results. For example, best-in-class sellers reported the following levels of benefits—notably higher than what Aggressives obtained in the same categories:

  • 36.1 percent gained an increase in revenue from new accounts vs. 27.5 percent of Aggressives
  • 39.0 percent realized an increase in revenue from existing accounts vs. 29.3 percent of Aggressives
  • 48.3 percent achieved an increase in customer retention vs. 34.1 percent of Aggressives
  • 84.6 percent improved customer satisfaction somewhat or greatly (50 percent said greatly) vs. 60.7 percent of Aggressives


So even if you’re a mature organization with solid technical capabilities, you still have opportunities to increase your revenue, customer retention, and customer satisfaction through e-commerce. Key strategies used by best-in-class organizations provide a good place to start, including:

  • Change how you sell your products. 76.9 percent of best-in-class sellers reported that the online channel has changed the way they sell as opposed to only 44.4 percent of others. Spend a few minutes watching the webinar From e-Commerce to e-Excellence to learn how other leading sellers have transformed their businesses by turning e-Commerce into a collaborative channel.
  • Become a strategic partner with Ariba. Leverage your eCommerce investment and expertise to exponentially grow your business with the Ariba Ready Platinum program.  Gain exclusive access to Ariba buyers and take advantage of programs like Ariba® Express Content (Express Content), which maximizes visibility of your products and services by providing “ready-to-use” catalog content to Ariba eProcurement customers.
  • Change the skill set of your sales team. 65.4 percent of best-in-class sellers reported that e-commerce and online channels have changed the skill set they look for in a sales professional as opposed to only 46.2 percent of others.
  • Improve your customers’ eCommerce skills. To drive sales of complex, highly configured products and services, you need to work more closely with your customers to improve their online procurement, catalog management, and invoicing strategies. View this Business Commerce Expert series webcast on Best Practices for Executing Complex Goods and Services Procurement Online or the podcast on Five Practical Ideas to Maximize Revenues through Ariba.


Next: Expert Support to Help You Fulfill Your E-Commerce Goals


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