B2B trends in the year ahead


This year is expected to be an interesting one as businesses continue to utilize innovative technologies that improve ecommerce, B2B integration and other soon-to-be-necessary functions.

Based on research, news, industry trends and discussions with customers, a new report predicted the directions that organizations will take, regardless of industry, technology sector or geographical locations.

1. Cloud B2B integration platforms to be used more often

There is no doubt that the cloud is coming of age and being used more by organizations across industries.

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The market has need for integration solutions that support secure file transfers and information exchanges, both of which will become more prevalent throughout the year, according to the report.

2. Retail purchases completed through multi-channels

The world of retail is changing. As consumers continue to adopt mobile devices and social networks, purchasing trends will eventually shift to these platforms. As a result, retailers are reengineering their supply chains to incorporate these technologies into the processes, the report noted.

In fact, the report stated that 2012 will be the year that retail organizations lead the change of integrating B2B ecommerce standards to incorporate the growing multi-channel models.

3. Next Best Offer comes more into play

These technologies analyze what marketing offers are the most enticing to certain customers in a matter of seconds. Supply chains will need to have the ability to transfer promotions and costs in real time in order for the next best offer to be delivered effectively.

4. Freemium offers become more prevalent

Freemium models, which allow companies to utilize a number of services for free and pay for additional, more advantageous solutions, will also gain traction in the B2B industry. These will be seen among B2B integration solutions as well as secure file transfer services, the news source said.

5. Risk management incorporated into supply chains

According to the report, at least three major brands will suffer some sort of data breach or public relations disaster in 2012. These incidents will involve information about environmental impact, human rights or product quality and will require organizations to align risk and supply chain management.

Many analysts agree that supply chain risk management will be a major concern for many organizations across a number of industries, according to a Forbes report.
In order for organizations to be successful in the coming year, they will need to address these trends and prepare for them in 2012.