Report: Customer Experience Gains Prominence Among B2B eCommerce Projects

Framingham, MA – IDC Manufacturing Insights has announced a new report, “Supporting the Customer Lifecycle for Manufacturing Value Chains,” (Document#MI249914).  In the new report, IDC Manufacturing Insights looks at the subject of supporting the customer lifecycle in manufacturing value chains with software applications and processes. The new research considers the variances in core business processes for attract-sell-serve among manufacturing value chains and includes a selection of vendors that provide these capabilities to the manufacturing industry.  Vendors featured include Epicor, hybris (an SAP company), IBM, NetSuite, Oracle, and ShopVisible.

Customer experience is reaching a prominent place in manufacturers' B2B eCommerce projects and their budgets, across manufacturing segments, as predicted in the 2014 Manufacturing Commerce Strategies Top 10 Predictions (IDC Manufacturing Insights #MI245067, December 2013). This new report takes a closer look at the customer life cycle across manufacturing value chains and includes a selection of vendors that provide applications to manage the multitude of eCommerce related business processes associated with the customer lifecycle. Manufacturers can use this evaluation to understand how vendors are offering functionality that addresses the needs of their value chain. Each vendor that participated in this research provided IDC Manufacturing Insights with a completed information profile, a vendor briefing, and two manufacturing end-user references. Based on the information compiled, IDC Manufacturing Insights finds the following:

  • The purpose of this vendor landscape is to help manufacturers understand the spectrum of capabilities for enhancing the customer lifecycle with sell-side B2B eCommerce and to differentiate capability and experience so that manufacturers can more readily define a "short list" of candidates.
  • IDC Manufacturing believes that the application of B2B eCommerce and customer experience technology differs by value chain, and manufacturers need to understand the most common tools that will support the unique attract-sell-serve lifecycle within their value chain.
  • The vendors noted in this landscape each bring robust capability and referenceable customers. There are some variations in alignment between the offerings and the specific approach to the customer life cycle for each of the IDC manufacturing value chains. It is helpful for manufacturers to understand this in relation to optimizing and enhancing their current attract-sell-serve process with technologies.
  • IDC Manufacturing Insights expects to continue to see IT Vendors creating additional industry-specific capabilities in their core B2B eCommerce platforms, as manufacturers begin to push the envelope for marketing and selling their products through eCommerce.

In the companion report on this subject that recently published, Preparing Manufacturing Organizations for New Customer Expectations  (MI#249558), IDC Manufacturing Insights offer a closer look at the how the rise of B2B ecommerce and the changing engagement expectations of business users impacts manufacturers' existing go to market strategies, and how the approach varies by manufacturing value chain. In the report, we provide a more detailed look at the attract, sell, and serve phases of the customer lifecycle and identify how manufacturers in the different Value Chains are using different tools to accomplish their customer-related goals.

According to Heather Ashton, research manager, Manufacturing Commerce Strategies for IDC Manufacturing Insights, "The purpose of this vendor landscape for B2B eCommerce is to identify those vendors that are currently offering tools to assist manufacturers in optimizing their business processes around the customer lifecycle.  Manufacturers can take the information in this report and use it to formulate a strategy around B2B eCommerce and more easily define a 'short list' of vendors that have offerings in this market."

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