Less than a month into the New Year and the e-retailer and marketplace announces plans for three additional U.S. fulfillment centers.
The Supreme Court is surely going to find this question right back on their doorstep next year.”
Target and Toys R Us posted overall sales declines during the holidays.
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A: The opportunity depends on your customers' buying preferences; the tools on your goals.
Sizing up the potential selling opportunity for a B2B eBusiness is both art and science. The science is the easier part. Most estimates are that B2B e-commerce is roughly twice the size of B2C eCommerce and surveys show that savvy B2B buyers (both corporate purchasing managers and corporate end users) increasingly prefer the 24/7/365 convenience and assisted selling sophistication of buying online. The art revolves around defining the market opportunity specific to your medical equipment B2B eBusiness. For that, you'll need to understand the channel preferences within your existing and prospective customer base. You can apply some science to that (e.g. perform qualitative and quantitative market research to ascertain), but the exercise will consist of equal parts assumptive market strategy and segmentation work.
With regard to tools needed to support an eCommerce business, you'll need various layers of platform and infrastructure software and services. Ultimately it will depend upon your goals in the space and the sophistication of your existing system (capabilities, performance, scalability, etc.). But at a minimum, you can count on needing product content management (known as PCM), merchandising tools (for product presentation/comparison, promotions, personalization, cross-sell/upsell), a web content management system (known as WCM), order management and transaction capability, analytics, security, and customer care (live help, email, chat, etc.). In addition, you'll need to be able to offer customer-interactive tools such as effective site search, user-generated ratings/reviews capability, and mobile/tablet shopping ability. These tools come in the form of on-site/licensed installs, hosted/managed platforms, and Saas (software-as-a-service) that can be mixed and matched according to your specific needs and budget.
Senior Analyst, Forrester Research