Posted by Ranga Bodla, Industry Lead, Wholesale Distribution, NetSuite

As midmarket B2B sellers move toward ecommerce, those deploying single-stack solutions are experiencing far greater success than their peers using best-of-breed software, according to a new Forrester Consulting Report.

While enabling B2B ecommerce improved metrics such as upsell, profitability and new customer acquisition across the board, midmarket companies running a single platform for ecommerce with other systems such as ERP, CRM, and inventory and order management reported improvements at a much greater rate. For instance, when it came to new customer acquisition, nearly 70 percent of single-stack users reported significant improvements, while only half of those using best-of-breed software did, according to the report.

“Companies using single-stack solutions have had more benefit from ecommerce than companies using best-of-breed,” said Forrester’s Andy Hoar, the principal analyst behind the first-of-its-kind midmarket B2B research, commissioned by NetSuite, “Tomorrow’s Midmarket B2B eCommerce Will Take Place in the Cloud.” Hoar presented the research on a recent webinar.

Midmarket business sellers plan to invest in single-stack cloud software 

As consumer behavior pushes midmarket B2B sellers online (42 percent of the 352 decision-makers surveyed expect half of their customers to buy online within the next three years), more midmarket B2B merchants expect to make investments in software to that end. Almost 70 percent indicated that they will upgrade or change their platform within the next 12 to 18 months, seeking to deepen customer engagement by automating a great part of the buying journey.

The vast majority of those planning to make investments will buy single-stack solutions – 62 percent versus 36 percent. And for the former segment, cloud-based solutions are increasingly appealing for their ease of innovation, integration, scalability and quick time-to-value, all with minimal IT overhead.

“Midmarket companies want simplicity,” Hoar said. “They don’t want the hassle of trying to integrate a whole bunch of systems. They want one system, one set of protocols, and a more easily managed environment.”

7-Nation empowers growth with NetSuite

One of those companies leveraging NetSuite’s single, unified platform for greater B2B efficiencies is 7-Nation, the parent company for outdoor sports brands Slingshot Sports, Moonshine Mfg. and Ride Engine. Its decision to move off Sage Peachtree and onto NetSuite for unified financials, operations and ecommerce was “the most important decision we made,” in the expansion of its successful business, 7-Nation Sales and Marketing Director Greg Kish said on the webinar.

One huge benefit of NetSuite’s B2B platform is in empowering dealers, Kish said. Weekend-reliant businesses like rental operators can place orders for items during off hours and be confident the product will be in stock and delivered on time.

“We consider a single-stack solution to be a single source of truth,” Kish said. “Our single stack B2B platform with NetSuite gave us a competitive advantage. It gives us the ability to easily launch and manage new sales channels, while reducing overhead. It empowers our employees and lowers overall IT cost.”

Learn More:

For a complete look at the benefits companies are realizing from B2B ecommerce, download a full copy of the report, “Tomorrow’s Midmarket B2B eCommerce Will Take Place in the Cloud,” here.