For any businesses doing commerce with other businesses, 2014 is the year to get fully engaged – at least, that’s according to Basware Corp., a company providing software to organizations that want to track their invoices and spending.
Basware has looked into the e-commerce crystal ball and made a few predictions, based on where it believes the space is headed this year. From seeing more businesses take advantage of social media, mobile devices, and cloud computing, to more companies jumping into data analytics, Basware says e-commerce between businesses is poised to keep growing and changing.
1) Business users expect to do more with their social, mobile, and cloud-based environment in 2014.
If you’re in the e-commerce space, you probably already know what this is all about – business users want to be able to access their data and process tasks in seconds or minutes, rather than have to wait. That means we’re going to see a rise in the number of e-invoicing, e-ordering, and e-payment services out there. What will differentiate the good services from the less compelling is the kind of digital experience they offer, as well as how easy they are for users to pick up.
For example, companies might link to e-commerce networks, allowing their employees to get easy access to customers, suppliers, and partners to drive sales.
2) Smart buyers and suppliers will make sure they free up their cash flow.
In North America, e-payments typically apply to retailers serving consumers. However, Basware affirms there will be a greater demand for B2B e-commerce this year as more solutions start to crop up.
As things currently stand, large companies often extend payment terms with their suppliers so they can free up cash for their own organizations. That can be difficult for suppliers, especially smaller ones. However, this year, we’ll likely see more e-payment solutions that will speed up slow invoice processing to make sure suppliers get paid quickly, while still extending terms for buyers, Basware says.
3) Businesses will rely even more heavily on analytics to make decisions.
While companies in many industries are already embracing data analytics, Basware predicts this will only become more import in the e-commerce space. This year, companies will need to capitalize more on their data, not just during the purchase-to-pay process, but also across their network of buyers and suppliers.
Using that data will make it easier for B2B e-commerce companies to know where they can save money on the bottom line, and where they can do better in terms of sales.