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Austin Whitehead

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Seller Solutions



Is Your Company’s E-Commerce Approach Responsive?

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


How Responsive Companies Stack Up

  1. In the joint Ariba/Selling Power survey, 46 percent of respondents classified their company as Responsive.

  3. Organizations that fell into the Responsive category reported the following results and characteristics from their e-commerce initiatives:
    • 25.5 percent have gained an increase in revenue from new accounts
    • 25.4 percent have realized an increase in revenue from existing accounts
    • 32.9 percent have experienced an increase in customer retention

  5. Responsive sellers tend to have deployed the following technologies, but have expressed a higher degree of impact/satisfaction than Reactives (with a 4.4 – 4.1 mean for satisfaction out of 10):
    • Basic catalog
    • Web storefront
    • Customer community/social networking
    • Customer reviews

  7. Companies often get “stuck” in the Responsive stage. There are many reasons for this. For example, organizations reaching this level typically see a decrease in the overall revenue and customer retention results that drove them to use e-commerce in the first place. They also tend to feel they have “completed” their e-commerce process and initiatives because they can deliver information and take orders electronically; however, this is still just an enablement stage. Now the company is in a “me too” position with many of its competitors, yet lacks a defined strategy to use e-commerce to create competitive differentiation.




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

    1. Develop an overarching e-commerce initiative to deliver creative and innovative services to your markets. To help you avoid some common pitfalls, read about the Nine Common e-Commerce Mistakes.
    2. Optimize your organizational processes and personnel to make e-commerce not just a part of your business, but the core of your business. Always ask, “How can we achieve this with e-commerce?” Stay abreast of the tips and suggestions offered on our seller forums by accessing the Ariba blog.
    3. Talk to your customers and get them to partner with you on your e-commerce initiatives (you can’t have e-commerce with yourself). Hear more about what successful sellers have learned and shared in the Ariba Business Commerce Expert webcast series. Or, attend buyer-seller events such as Ariba LIVE and the Ariba Commerce Summits that offer a variety of virtual and in-person opportunities to collaborate with peers, customers, and experts about the benefits and practical implementation strategies for eCommerce.
    4. Invest in technical and data infrastructure to deliver faster, more impactful services, such as business intelligence.
    5. Consider implementing advanced web catalog technologies that will help improve your existing customer relationships and increase share-of-wallet. Ariba offers a variety of tutorials and webcasts on topics such as PunchOut, cXML and CIF catalog development that can assist you in improving product availability, pricing to responses on special terms or requests, or customized catalog offerings.


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


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