E-commerce pros to ramp up focus on customer experience: Oracle

  • Finding integrated, omni-channel customer experiences increasingly valuable
  • B2C organisations are more advanced at delivering customer-centric commerce
E-commerce pros to ramp up focus on customer experience: Oracle

ACCORDING to new Oracle studies, B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) commerce professionals find integrated, omni-channel customer experiences increasingly valuable to their organisations, and are continuing to invest in technologies and digital content strategies to facilitate them.
 
The studies – one for B2B and one for B2C – surveyed e-commerce professionals in business and technology departments from around the world, Oracle said in a statement.
 
Respondents said that growing market share and enhancing customer experience were top investment areas.
 
The studies also reflected that B2C organisations are more advanced at delivering customer-centric commerce. They are moving beyond acquisition and working hard to build loyalty and retention among their key customer segments, Oracle said.
 
B2C advancements have spurred similar goals on the B2B side, the company added. B2B companies are looking to graduate from online order-taking to extending the existing relationships they have offline to the online channel.
 
In the B2B survey, 77% of respondents said that customer expectations have been raised due to B2C practices.
 
B2C findings:

  • In 2014, B2C commerce is all about knowing the customer and building loyalty. Key performance indicators are changing to become increasingly customer-centric.
  • Nearly half of respondents (49%) said customer retention is their most important metric for success, after revenue.
  • The majority of respondents (59%) said they are investing in rich digital content to enhance the overall customer experience, in addition to increasing purchase confidence, overcoming competitive sites, and helping with SEO (search engine optimisation) efforts.
  • The omni-channel experience is critical to success, but difficult to manage and measure. Moreover, organisations appear to embrace omni-channel and its positive impact on their bottomline but struggle to connect the various customer touchpoints to provide improved experiences.

B2B findings:

  • Customer expectations are changing to match B2C retail experiences. B2C practices such as search engine marketing, personalisation, social and mobile are increasingly being used to encourage repeat business and drive revenue.
  • Only 8% of respondents said customer loyalty and retention was their top area of focus in 2013, but 45% said it was going to be one of their top priorities in 2014. Also, 28% of respondents said they now consider customer loyalty as a key measure of success.
  • 40% of respondents said that mobile is a key capability B2B buyers need, but only 2% said mobile is driving significant revenue.
  • Online channel revenue is expected to increase in 2014. The study found that 70% of businesses saw more than 10% growth in online revenue over the past 24 months, and 39% saw 20% or more of their revenue coming from online.

“Consumer expectations continue to change the way both B2B and B2C businesses sell online,” said John Andrews, vice president of Product Management at Oracle.
 
“In B2C there is a renewed focus on increasing loyalty as competition grows at a fever pitch. Meanwhile, B2B organisations are still under increasing pressure to adopt B2C commerce best practices.
 
Developing customer-centric approaches and investing in omni-channel initiatives will be key to online revenue growth for both B2B and B2C organisations in 2014,” he added.
 
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