B2B companies are racing to implement the digital commerce strategies and solutions that their B2C counterparts have embraced throughout the last decade. Why? Well, as we’ve discussed before, B2B ecommerce represents a multi trillion-dollar opportunity for the select industries and companies that can get it right.
Regardless of industry, the obstacles preventing companies from providing an optimal commerce offering deal with complexity – the levels of customization, configuration, and cost involved with selling B2B products and services. However, and it may go without saying, specific challenges are unique to specific industries, and the quintessential state of ecommerce bliss for companies in one particular vertical will look completely different for those in another.
For example, take a look at companies making up the energy and natural resources industry. What challenges hamper their digital transformation journey? How must they overcome them?
Here, we’ll discuss what an effective, modern approach to digital commerce should look like for energy and natural resources companies, what their respective groups of buyers and sellers have come to expect, and how leading Configure Price Quote (CPQ) applications can enable their commerce offering to fully meet those expectations.
What’s Driving Digital Transformation for Energy/Natural Resources Companies?
Companies making up energy and natural resources industries include oil and natural gas mining, electricity providers, chemical manufacturers, mill products, metals, and glass.
The common thread running through these businesses is that they operate complex and repetitive sales processes in markets that are heavily influenced by supply and demand. Pricing for their services can be cyclical in nature and are increasingly impacted by regulatory restrictions.
These industries are also going through disruptive changes brought about by real-time data analytics provided by the Internet of Things (IoT) – a relatively untapped reservoir of data-driven insight that will transform the way energy is priced and distributed.
Finally, companies in this space are evolving as green energy and sustainability initiatives push them into new markets and adjust pre-existing business models. Compound these challenges and new opportunities with the rising expectations of modern buyers and their demand for a customer-centric buying experience, and we see an industry set for rapid transformation.
Earlier this year, Energy Digital Magazine published an article describing how energy industries are being influenced by the need for digital transformation. The author writes:
The disruptive changes of digital transformation are currently sweeping through the energy industry. Increased use of renewables, resiliency issues and sustainability concerns are just a few of the drivers behind the industry’s need to transform – and digitization is the single biggest enabler of that change.
So, it’s clear that today’s energy providers are poised for significant change in regard to how their products and services are bought and sold. But what should these companies strive for? What does a successful approach to B2B ecommerce look like?
What Does an Ideal ecommerce Strategy Look Like for Energy/Natural Resources Companies?
To succeed in a shifting business landscape and to appease modern buyers, today’s energy and natural resources companies must ensure any potential ecommerce offering provides:
- A simple way for suppliers and customers to accurately configure, quote, and order products or service plans online.
- Technology that incorporates real-time data from IoT devices to make prescribed solution recommendations.
- A personalized buying experience that leverages customer data and transaction history.
- Full self-service for contract renewals and maintenance requests.
- Guided buying functionality to direct both partner sellers and direct customers to optimal solutions and identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
By embracing a modern digital commerce strategy and by implementing the right solution, energy and natural resources companies can better adapt to changes in the market, establish better supply chain forecasting, and decrease overhead costs while increasing revenue.
Configure Price Quote Enables B2B ecommerce
Modern CPQ solutions are an integral part of a strong B2B ecommerce strategy for energy and natural resources companies. With CPQ, companies overcome the challenges of selling complex, highly-configurable products and services via digital self-service channels.
CPQ’s unique ability to source data sets from disparate sources enables energy providers to personalize their ecommerce offerings based on customer data and transaction history as well as leverage insights from the IoT. CPQ also incorporates established pricing rules and automates approval workflows to ensure accuracy on orders and renewals and reduce drawn-out purchasing cycles.
With CPQ powering ecommerce, energy and natural resources businesses have the solution in place to deliver the digital buying and selling experience their customers and sales partners expect.
To learn more about CPQ and how it powers successful ecommerce strategies for B2B companies in the energy and natural resources space, subscribe to our blog or reach out to us by filling out our online contact form.