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Multichannel e-commerce best practices

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Technology is changing the marketplace from both a channel and an opportunity perspective. Markets that used to be limited by geography and distinct global economic classes are now increasingly available and growing worldwide. Now the Internet provides a low-cost visual communication system that, combined with the growth of the middle classes in emerging economies, has increased the need for goods and services exponentially.

While GDP growth in the U.S. has slowed, it has increased in other countries, notably China, Russia, Brazil and India. This means real opportunities for those businesses to overcome borders and logistical challenges to reach their customers. For large b-to-b enterprises, e-commerce is integrated into all links of their supply chain, which not only reduces purchase and sales costs, but also promotes synergy with all business partners.

Targeting online b-to-b buyers of goods and services has evolved to an almost one-to-one experience and companies are embracing technologies that increase productivity, use social and other online media channels more effectively, and provide engaging and informative content to potential clients. Some of the best practices to accomplish your goals include:

Provide your customers and prospects with multiple ways to engage with your company—from contacting an area sales representative via email or phone to offering users a specific landing page for information about specific products and services.

Make your content relevant and concise. No one has time (unless they want to dive into a white paper) to spend wading through a lot of corporate-speak sales talk about your products’ features and benefits. Provide a quick overview of how and why your company is the right solution for their business, followed by a clear call to action.

Divide your online information by audience needs to allow streamlined navigation and ease of use. This will provide measurable analytic information to allow you to monitor which channels, landing pages and messages are garnering the most traffic and best results. So go ahead and make the most of multichannel e-commerce. It’s a big world out there with b-to-b opportunities in markets you might not have considered in the past. For more information, check out Oracle’s white paper, "2012 B2B E-Commerce Survey: Results and Trends".

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