Price agreements in the ERP system
In the past, all prices in the B2B market were documented in the ERP system. However, with the arrival of digital commerce, the functionality has shifted to the front end. Customers want to place orders easily and quickly, but they can only do that if they can see the right price instantly. To make the price structures from the ERP system available to the customer, organizations often try to reconstruct the logical rules from the ERP system into an e-commerce system. However, this can be challenging in practice, as most ERP systems are not equipped to feed massive volumes of price calculations into an e-commerce system or calculate prices in real-time.
Lack of speed and transparency
Organizations can document price agreements and make them available in the digital commerce environment, in addition to the existing ERP system. However, this means that prices are now documented and calculations are implemented in (at least) two different places in the organization. This has a significant impact on the customer experience since it leads to inconsistent pricing in practice. The customer may prepare an order based on the prices provided in the e-commerce system, place it, and then receive a different price due to a recalculation by the ERP system. Organizations using multiple systems for the same purpose will never succeed in creating transparency for the customer.
Business risk factors due to lack of insight
B2B organizations that do not take steps to centralize price information and make it uniformly available are sure to suffer negative effects in practice. If there is no single source of truth:
- It will have a negative effect on conversion on the digital channel. Customers will get different prices for the same order. This will lead to a breach of trust with the customer, increasing the chance that the digital channel will no longer be used for self-service.
- Chances will increase that the customer will switch to a competitor that is actually able to provide the right price information online when the customer wants it.
- Organizations will spend an unnecessary amount of time and money on order rectifications and communication regarding price differences.
- Any investment in digital commerce will lose its value. Customers and dealers often choose the path of least resistance - in this case, the offline channels. As soon as better prices can be offered by contacting sales representatives, customers will choose that route instead of the digital channel.
B2B organizations that want to get a return on their investment in digital commerce must make choices. The ERP system is deeply rooted in most organizations, so it's challenging to replace it completely. However, the system can be improved by investing in an e-commerce platform that can connect to the ERP system and provide real-time pricing. This ensures that there is only one source of truth for price information, which reduces the risk of errors and inconsistencies.
In conclusion, centralizing price information and making it uniformly available is essential to successful digital commerce. This allows organizations to maintain optimal customer service, prevent customers from being offered different prices through different channels, and ensure transparency, which is crucial for successful digital commerce.
From Complexity to Clarity: Integrating pricing transparency in E-commerce
To optimize data flow into an e-commerce system, organizations must first have a clear understanding of their pricing structure and all related interconnections. Achieving transparency in price agreements, structures, and discount rules is the first step towards a simplified and transparent pricing policy. To accurately manage pricing complexity, B2B organizations need an e-commerce system specifically developed for this market, such as SAP E-commerce, which can ensure that all digital channels display the right price information in real time. By integrating the e-commerce system with the ERP system, organizations can use existing prices and rules while providing better service to their customers. Real-time pricing is crucial for digital commerce success, and it's important to give it serious attention in your digital commerce strategy to create transparency and the user experience your customers expect.
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