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The H&M Problem: ecommerce vs. Retail

ecommerce vs retail

If big retailers don’t find their foothold in ecommerce, it could mean trouble for their bottom lines.

A recent Fortune article noted that in a January earnings report, H&M admitted to struggling to get a handle on ecommerce. Up to this point in time, the chain has relied on opening new retail stores in new markets and spent less effort focusing on robust ecommerce.

However, this strategy is now proving to be less and less successful, with store closings at a peak for the company in 20 years.

ecommerce h&m

Chart via Bloomberg

While the ratio between store closures and new store openings between 1999 and 2017 was 12%, it will balloon to 44% this year.

The Importance of ecommerce in the B2C Space

In short, H&M has more or less put off establishing a successful strategy for ecommerce, a decision that has led to a 33% drop in profits last quarter alone.

CEO Karl-Johan Persson admitted that the company’s performance was “clearly below our expectations” and that there is a “need to transform and re-think faster and faster.” The shift online comes after the company noticed “changes in customer behavior” including a reduction in footfall and “more sales online.”

So what can B2B companies learn from H&M’s misstep?

What This Means for B2B ecommerce

As we’re already seeing in the B2C space, ecommerce likely will rule the B2B landscape in the not-so-distant future. If you’re a B2B manufacturer, don’t wait until your sales suddenly start to plummet, the value of your company falls, and you feel pressure from stakeholders to realize a change needs to be made.

Companies need to take note of these changes in buyer behavior and adjust their strategies accordingly today. The writing is on the wall: Do well at ecommerce or suffer the consequences. For B2B companies, this means overcoming complexity to effectively sell their solutions online. But how can they accomplish this?

FPX CPQ Helps B2B Companies Take the Next Step

Today’s Configure Price Quote (CPQ) technology is robust, and can help B2B businesses take the next logical step for growth by providing a solution that:

  • Connects with disparate data sources
  • Can handle extremely complex configurations
  • Offers dynamic visualization
  • Allows for omnichannel co-creation of solutions
  • Delivers data-driven, guided buying

Ultimately, CPQ solutions help companies transform their sales strategies to deliver optimal self-service experiences to their end-customers. And this improved customer experience means higher margins and more overall revenue.

To learn more about how organizations can identify methods for attracting and retaining modern buyers, why ecommerce solutions must complement and extend existing sales and delivery channels, and which solutions and technologies can help businesses go from their current state to their optimal state, click on the button below.

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Jake Brown

Jake Brown

Jake is Digital Marketing Manager at FPX and works to establish FPX as a thought leader and enabler of experience-driven business strategies for B2B organizations.

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