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Austin Whitehead

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Seller Solutions



Is Your Company’s E-Commerce Approach Proactive?

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 third-tier, or Proactive, level of development—along with tips on how to move to the next stage.


How Proactive Companies Stack Up

  1. In the joint Ariba/Selling Power survey, 20 percent of respondents classified their company as Proactive.

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

  5. Proactive sellers tend to have deployed the following technologies, but have expressed a higher degree of impact/satisfaction than Responsives (with a 6.0 – 5.1 mean for satisfaction out of 10):
    • Basic catalog/rich content catalog
    • Web storefront
    • Customer questions/answers
    • Shopping cart
    • Upsell recommendations
    • Customer community/social networking
    • Customer reviews

  7. As sellers reach the Proactive level, they again start to realize significant gains in new and existing account revenue as well as customer retention. These companies have now begun to understand the impact of having a comprehensive e-commerce strategy and are making strides to implement the technologies and engage customers.




Quick Tips: Steps You Can Take to Move from Proactive to Aggressive

    1. Expand the collaborative commerce channel with your customers and position yourself be a market leader/market maker for growth. Take a look at our case studies and see how one of our customer’s was able to gain 35% more prospects. In addition, you will want to take advantage of our Ariba Ready commerce validation and marketing programs designed to help you differentiate and further promote your business on the Ariba Network.
    2. Develop e-commerce capabilities that personalize your customers’ experience. Take advantage of the wide range of seller forums on Ariba Exchange to collaborate about the benefits and practical implementation strategies for e-Commerce or view some of our past Business Commerce Expert series webcasts.
    3. Drive adoption of e-commerce products/services into your customer base and proactively market and sell your newly acquired competitive differentiation. Get some tips by watching the webinar: Trust and the Million Dollar Order and see how one Ariba seller was able to secure a million dollar order through eCommerce.
    4. Continually improve your storefront experience with new ideas and technologies. Take a look at our Ariba Exchange forums and online courses for tried and tested tips from our customers, or check out this article on How to Stamp Out Catalog Management Costs, Drive Sales: A Guide to PunchOut.
    5. Improve eCommerce efficiencies such as shrinking DSO (Days Sales Outstanding), boosting your productivity and cutting errors with the innovative CXML strategies found in this article.
    6. Make the most of networking opportunities, through buyer-seller events such as Ariba LIVE and the Ariba Commerce Summits which offer a host of virtual and in-person opportunities to share with peers, customers, and prospects, your experience and implementation strategies for achieving eCommerce excellence. Think about marketing your products and services with our community of sought-after buyers and sellers through Ariba LIVE sponsorships and Supply Lines ad banners and Ariba Discovery premium packages.



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


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