startup business plan

Document Sample
startup business plan Powered By Docstoc
					FOR: eBusiness &             Evaluating Your B2B eCommerce
Channel strategy
Professionals                Development
                             by Andy hoar, June 21, 2012


                             key TakeaWays

                             Leverage Rigorous self-assessment To drive your B2B eCommerce
                             Growth plans
                             B2B eCommerce growth plans are tied to levels of human and technology
                             infrastructure development. But companies know it’s easy to get bogged down at
                             any point and stagnate. So at each stage of development, companies should already
                             envision and plan for the next stage.

                             hire experienced Leadership even if you have To pay For The
                             privilege
                             Skilled and successful B2C eCommerce professionals are being heavily recruited
                             and well compensated in the current market. So today’s B2B eCommerce
                             organizations must either steal from B2C talent pools or poach from the limited
                             ranks of B2B eCommerce. Neither is easy or inexpensive but compromising on
                             talent, especially early on, is ill-advised.

                             invest in platforms That are nimble and scalable
                             With smartphone and tablet use on the rise, B2B eCommerce faces new challenges
                             keeping up with customers’ shopping habits. As customers increasingly demand
                             buying experiences that mirror best-of-breed B2C buying experiences delivered via
                             digital touchpoints, B2B eCommerce professionals must invest in platforms that are
                             both flexible and easily expandable.




                   Forrester Research, Inc., 60 Acorn Park Drive, Cambridge, mA 02140 UsA
                      Tel: +1 617.613.6000 | Fax: +1 617.613.5000 | www.forrester.com
FOR EBUsInEss & ChAnnEl sTRATEgy PROFEssIOnAls                                                                                           JUnE 21, 2012



                      evaluating your B2B eCommerce development
                      Assessment: The B2B eCommerce Playbook
                      by Andy hoar
                      with Patti Freeman Evans, martin gill, and Douglas Roberge



Why Read This RepoRT
Because very little third-party benchmarking data exists for B2B eCommerce sites, B2B eCommerce
professionals can’t easily determine industry best practices or effectively compare themselves to peers. As
a result, many companies cannot identify what stage of B2B eCommerce development they are in, and
hence struggle to make informed operational program budget and investment decisions. This report
outlines a general framework with relative milestones that B2B eCommerce professionals can use to gauge
how they are developing with respect to a similarly situated peer group in terms of human capital, business
processes, and technology infrastructure. This report is designed to help companies assess their B2B
eCommerce maturity.


Table Of Contents                                                                notes & Resources
2 The Four stages of B2B eCommerce                                               Forrester interviewed 11 companies
  Maturity                                                                       including Analog Devices, Briggs and
                                                                                 stratton, Digital River, grainger steelcase,
3 Role Models are still Largely an ideal Versus
                                                                                 IBm, newegg, Officemax, Owens-minor,
  a Reality
                                                                                 staplesAdvantage, Whirlpool, and xpedx (a
4 practitioners are Building out scalable                                        division of International Paper).
  organizations and platforms
7 apprentices are deciding how Much and                                          Related Research Documents
  how Quickly To invest                                                          B2B eCommerce: going From surviving To
8 Greenhorns are Focused on Getting The                                          Thriving By Adopting Proven B2C Principles
  eCommerce Basics Right                                                         may 1, 2012
                                                                                 how B2B Firms Improve Customer And
  WhAT IT mEAns                                                                  Partner Experience
9 Rigorous self-assessment should drive your                                     march 14, 2012
  Growth plans
                                                                                 Deciding To Implement B2B Ratings And
  hOW FORREsTER CAn hElP                                                         Reviews
10 Forrester Can assess your B2B eCommerce                                       October 20, 2011
   strategy and progress
11 supplemental Material




                  © 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available
                  resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester®, Technographics®, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar,
                  and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. To
                  purchase reprints of this document, please email clientsupport@forrester.com. For additional information, go to www.forrester.com.
FOR EBUsInEss & ChAnnEl sTRATEgy PROFEssIOnAls
Evaluating your B2B eCommerce Development                                                                  2




The FoUR sTaGes oF B2B eCoMMeRCe MaTURiTy
Forrester’s B2C eBusiness maturity model provides a helpful framework for executives to determine
the state of their B2C eCommerce evolution.1 Similarly, a modified version of the model can be
used to assess the state of a company’s B2B eCommerce maturity (see Figure 1). While we have not
applied Forrester’s full maturity model methodology in this scenario, we can draw several parallels
between B2C maturity model stages and B2B eCommerce evolution — specifically with regard to
people, organization, and technology. In future research we will focus in more detail on channel
integration, measurement, and metrics. For this report we interviewed a broad assortment of B2B
eCommerce executives from a variety of different product sectors. Based on our assessment of the
current B2B eCommerce landscape, Forrester has concluded that:

  ■ B2B eCommerce “Role Models” are aspirational at this point. Forrester found no examples
     of companies that are more than 10 years into a B2B eCommerce execution, employ a full team
     of specialists, have fully integrated all of the critical modules available to them within their
     dynamic eCommerce platform, and consistently use advanced key performance indicators
     (KPIs) such as customer lifetime value to define success. As such, “Role Models” are effectively
     an aspiration in B2B eCommerce today, not a reality.

  ■ Today’s leading-edge companies engaged in B2B eCommerce are “Practitioners.” These
     companies were early entrants into the eCommerce space in general. They are currently
     executing against a multiyear B2B eCommerce strategic vision and have the necessary
     technology infrastructure in place to grow out a dynamic and competitive eCommerce offering.
     In addition, they generally have at least a small team of eCommerce specialists in place (e.g.,
     SEM experts, data analysts, etc.), and have achieved at least a détente with their direct sales
     force. In addition, they have activated and use several eCommerce platform modules and own
     relationships with both corporate purchasing managers and company end users.

  ■ Many companies engaged in B2B eCommerce are still “Apprentices.” These companies have
     functional, transactional B2B websites but are neither fueled by nor operating within a larger
     partner ecosystem (e.g., sharing syndicated customer ratings and reviews with manufacturers
     and suppliers). They’re using mostly homegrown systems that are ready to be re-platformed or
     replaced by best-of-breed third-party offerings from companies such as hybris, IBM, Oracle,
     and SAP.2 Apprentice B2B eBusiness leaders are still seeking the buy-in of the direct sales
     force and in many cases the customer service teams as well. They also still spend an inordinate
     amount of time having to evangelize the value of B2B eCommerce within their respective
     organizations. Apprentice companies are just launching multiyear B2B eCommerce strategies
     and are still in the process of building a core in-house eCommerce team.

  ■ The vast majority of B2B eCommerce companies are still “Greenhorns.” Greenhorns are early
     into the process of persuading the direct sales force that they do not represent an existential threat
     and are still building the B2B eCommerce business case. They are also equally early into the
     process of securing the support of the broader membership of the customer service organization,
     many of whom have sales-like direct relationships with customers and fear being downsized or

© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited                                        June 21, 2012
FOR EBUsInEss & ChAnnEl sTRATEgy PROFEssIOnAls
Evaluating your B2B eCommerce Development                                                                                  3




     automated. Greenhorn B2B eCommerce strategies often grew out of internal B2B eCommerce task
     forces, are run by a non-dedicated team of cross-organizational and cross-functional members
     operating within a matrixed organization, and have established few formal KPIs. They frequently
     use homegrown systems repurposed from other internal uses (e.g., EDI portals) and because they
     likely do not have dedicated budgets, they must petition shared services for IT resources.

Figure 1 The Stages Of B2B eCommerce Maturity

                                    Apprentices are deciding how
                                    much and how quickly to invest
                                         in B2B eCommerce


                               Greenhorns are
                               just starting out
                                                                 Practitioners are building out
                                                                  scalable organizations and
                                                                           platforms
         Volume of companies




                                                                                       Role Models are rare and mostly
            in this category




                                                                                          aspirational in today’s B2B
                                                                                          eCommerce environment




 B2B eCommerce                 Greenhorns          Apprentices         Practitioners        Role Models
    maturity

    Time online                  <2 years           2–5 years           5-10 years           10 years +

                                                            Maturity

75761                                                                                        Source: Forrester Research, Inc.




RoLe ModeLs aRe sTiLL LaRGeLy an ideaL VeRsUs a ReaLiTy
For a B2B eCommerce company to serve as a “Role Model,” that company must qualify as a Role
Model across all four of Forrester’s maturity model dimensions: 1) people, organization, and culture;
2) business and technology processes; 3) channel integration; and 4) measurement and metrics.
While not exhaustive of the broad and diverse B2B community, our research did not find a single
company that qualified as a Role Model in all four areas. However, we did discover a few companies
that qualify as Role Models in one or two of the following areas:



© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited                                                       June 21, 2012
FOR EBUsInEss & ChAnnEl sTRATEgy PROFEssIOnAls
Evaluating your B2B eCommerce Development                                                             4




  ■ Technology infrastructure. These are companies that have relatively new and robust
     eCommerce tools and/or platforms and have implemented a key facet of the platform in an
     exemplary way. For example, in the realm of search, CDW has successfully implemented not
     only advanced search capabilities but also custom navigation for more than 1,000 custom
     catalogs. In addition, Dell has used its platform to launch 100,000 customizable B2B “stores”
     worldwide that now account for 80% of its revenue.

  ■ Partnership with sales and customer service. Forrester’s research did uncover a few examples
     of B2B eCommerce organizations that have developed Role Model-like relationships with
     their sales and customer service teams. For example, xpedx (a division of International Paper)
     decided early on that converting customers from more traditional sales and support channels
     to an electronic one would require securing the combined support of the sales and customer
     service teams — otherwise clients would largely refuse to transition to the Web. Hence, the
     company included sales and customer service at the beginning of the design and development
     process, and as a result those two groups became advocates and supporters of the project. Today,
     xpedx’s sales and customer service groups actively use the B2B eCommerce site to research
     products, confirm item availability, and place and manage customer orders.


pRaCTiTioneRs aRe BUiLdinG oUT sCaLaBLe oRGanizaTions and
pLaTFoRMs
Practitioners are executing against multiyear strategic B2B eCommerce plans, working with stable
and flexible technology platforms, and using well-established KPIs such as sophisticated average
order value calculations and detailed buyer conversion metrics. They generally have champions
at the most senior levels of the organization who understand the mission-critical nature of B2B
eCommerce and the long-term value of it to the organization (see Figure 2). These companies are
rare and are characterized by the fact that they:

  ■ Were early adopters of eCommerce. Most mature B2B eCommerce companies launched their
     eCommerce operations seven to 10 years ago (see Figure 3). They followed closely behind the
     wave of B2C websites that arose immediately following the dot-com boom and in many cases
     modeled their online selling strategies after the leading B2C websites of the time. But unlike
     B2C sites of the time, many early B2B sites skipped the slow-loading flashy graphics and opted
     instead for image-light merchandising and just the most critical features and functions (e.g.,
     basic shopping carts, simple product lists).

  ■ Use a relatively robust and scalable technology platform. While not perhaps always best-
    of-breed, their technology platforms are solid from an underlying infrastructure perspective.
    Their platforms possess the ability to deliver on the most important features and functions such
    as content management and merchandising, site search, transactional capability, promotions
    management, social media, and mobile access. Grainger and StaplesAdvantage are examples of
    B2B eCommerce practitioners that can roll out key modules within seasonal life cycles rather
    than on annual or biannual release cadences.


© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited                                   June 21, 2012
FOR EBUsInEss & ChAnnEl sTRATEgy PROFEssIOnAls
Evaluating your B2B eCommerce Development                                                                      5




  ■ Maintain relationships with both corporate buyers and end users. Companies early into
     B2B eCommerce engage primarily with corporate purchasing managers. More advanced
     companies recognize that B2B eCommerce is often a two-tiered value proposition that requires
     forming direct relationships with corporate end users as well. Practitioners such as Keurig
     have embraced the notion of listening to both sets of customers and established “user groups”
     to solicit feedback on and test reaction to end user-specific features and functions such as
     personalization, order management, and customer care.

  ■ Have a basic working relationship with the direct sales force and customer service.
     Practitioners have made peace with the direct sales force and customer service groups at a
     minimum — a few have even recruited some measure of cooperation from these respective
     groups. For example, B2B organization US Foods recently gave its internal sales force mobile
     applications for inventory lookup and remote ordering. The purpose of those deployments was to
     improve the sales force’s productivity and test the technology before releasing it directly to clients.

  ■ Have a well-developed team of eCommerce specialists in house. Practitioners have moved
     beyond a single leader managing a team of eCommerce generalists and are actively building out
     a team of experts. Much like more mature B2C eCommerce companies, they employ specialists
     who manage merchandising, marketing, customer experience, IT platforms and relationships,
     product and project management, customer service, and website and database analytics.3

Figure 2 B2B eCommerce Practitioner Quotes

     “Whereas before we had a
     tough relationship with sales,                               “With companies increasingly
     we work cooperatively with                                   delegating power to end users, we feel
     them now.” (Director of                                      well-positioned to capture those
     eBusiness, multichannel                                      customers since we talk to end users
     company)                                                     too.” (Director of eBusiness,
                                                                  multichannel company)




75761                                                                            Source: Forrester Research, Inc.




© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited                                           June 21, 2012
FOR EBUsInEss & ChAnnEl sTRATEgy PROFEssIOnAls
Evaluating your B2B eCommerce Development                                                                     6




Figure 3 Autodesk Was Selling Online In 2002

                                  Autodesk’s B2B eCommerce site: then and now




                                                           2002




                                                           2012
Source: Digital River website and Autodesk website
75761                                                                           Source: Forrester Research, Inc.




© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited                                          June 21, 2012
FOR EBUsInEss & ChAnnEl sTRATEgy PROFEssIOnAls
Evaluating your B2B eCommerce Development                                                                7




appRenTiCes aRe deCidinG hoW MUCh and hoW QUiCkLy To inVesT
“Apprentices” are companies that are right at the cusp of making a major investment of time, money,
 and resources in their B2B eCommerce operations. Some of these companies are fairly new to selling
 online and are still proving the ROI. Others have been online for up to five years or more and are
 using some basic KPIs to measure success. But for the most part, Apprentices are still fairly “young”
 by B2B eCommerce standards (see Figure 4). Apprentices share the following traits in that they are:

  ■ Just beginning a multiyear B2B eCommerce strategy. While most Apprentices have a strategy,
     they are generally only a few years into B2B eCommerce selling and are largely still in the early
     phase of the human capital and technology infrastructure development process. Apprentices
     may have detailed plans in place for ramping up online selling, but for the most part they are
     years away from being able to deliver on those aspirations.

  ■ Using mostly homegrown systems or have only recently adopted a third-party platform.
    Apprentices are experiencing growing pains with their technology platforms. In many cases,
    they’ve taken their homegrown system or a starter version or a third-party system about as far
    as it can go short of a re-platforming. They need to incorporate better catalog management,
    search functionality, merchandising capability, and so on to take the eCommerce website and
    mobile offering to the next level of customer expectation. UK food distributor Brakes is a great
    example of a company sitting right at the proverbial crossroads of this dilemma. Brakes has a
    platform that can carry it forward, but the company must make a decision about how far the
    current platform can realistically take it.

  ■ Still evangelizing the value of B2B eCommerce internally. Unlike Practitioners who have
     secured at least a semblance of broad organizational cooperation for a B2B eCommerce value
     proposition, Apprentices are still recruiting and banking such buy-in — especially from the
     direct sales force and customer service teams. They likely have tacit cooperation on a trial or
     proof-of-concept from key constituents within the organization, but such a level of support will
     not be good enough to ramp the operation or keep pace with the competition (both direct B2B
     competition and a recent higher B2C customer experience standard).4

  ■ Building the core B2B eCommerce team. Companies tell Forrester that the most critical and
     costly part of investing in a B2B eCommerce operation in the Apprentice phase is in building
     out the core B2B eCommerce team. Doing so will likely require both transitioning internal
     hires into effective eCommerce team members as well as hiring specialists from the outside.
     Most Apprentices have just a small team, comprised mostly of generalists, in place. Like the
     other components of a broader B2B eCommerce program, a hiring strategy should be part of a
     disciplined, multiyear B2B eCommerce strategy.




© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited                                    June 21, 2012
FOR EBUsInEss & ChAnnEl sTRATEgy PROFEssIOnAls
Evaluating your B2B eCommerce Development                                                                    8




Figure 4 B2B eCommerce Apprentice Quotes

    “It’s hard to find experienced                             “When we achieve some measurable
    B2B eCommerce folks . . . we’re                           sales success we take that upstairs
    having to steal talent from B2C.”                         ASAP to justify more investment.”
    (VP, multichannel company)                                (Sr. Director, multichannel company)




75761                                                                          Source: Forrester Research, Inc.




GReenhoRns aRe FoCUsed on GeTTinG The eCoMMeRCe BasiCs RiGhT
Greenhorns constitute the lion’s share of companies we interviewed that are engaged in B2B
eCommerce in the US today. They are still in their infancy with regard to selling online and are
early into the process of transitioning some percentage of direct offline sales into direct online sales
(see Figure 5). These B2B eCommerce teams are still ramping up initial operations and share the
following characteristics in that:

  ■ They’re perceived to be competing with the interests of the direct sales force. Faced with
     both internal skepticism and resistance from entrenched interests, Greenhorns regularly
     find themselves placating those within the direct sales force and customer service groups
     who fear possible obsolescence. In addition, they often face a powerful company culture that
     refuses to acknowledge that many customers prefer to buy online, especially for reorders and
     replenishment items, and will seek that functionality elsewhere if it’s not offered.

  ■ They’re building the B2B eCommerce business case. Greenhorns are still justifying their
     value proposition in the context of limited resources and with little early proof of ROI. B2B
     eCommerce peers who “have been there and done that” report that Greenhorns must make
     those who fear them early allies, quantitatively measure and test everything to show cost savings
     and profitability improvements, and execute quickly on small scale proof-of-concept trials. They
     need to use these hard test results to drive the argument for greater resources, faster growth, and
     the additive value of B2B eCommerce.

  ■ They’re trying to figure out a leadership structure and hiring plan. Many Greenhorns are
     using B2B eCommerce teams that started as a cross-functional internal task force the company
     established to take a look at the viability of B2B eCommerce. Robust, modern B2B eCommerce
     operations require a clear leader, a qualified and experienced team of specialists, a dedicated
     budget, and formal KPIs. But for most Greenhorns, implementing these requirements is still
     over the horizon.

© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited                                         June 21, 2012
FOR EBUsInEss & ChAnnEl sTRATEgy PROFEssIOnAls
Evaluating your B2B eCommerce Development                                                                      9




  ■ They need a platform that allows them to start small but scale eventually. As they are still
     proving the business case and can’t justify a substantial outlay for a best-in-class technology
     platform, they need an eCommerce platform that will allow them to start small, manage
     early cost expenditures, and grow sequentially. While many Greenhorns have traditionally
     used repurposed internal platforms provided to them by IT, a better solution might be to try
     software-as-a-service (SaaS) options that will cost little to start using and can be replaced later,
     and rather easily, with a more fully-functional and robust solution.5

Figure 5 B2B eCommerce Greenhorns Quotes

           “We’re just now moving beyond                        “We’re still convincing people in our
           brochureware.”                                       own company about the value of
           (Director of business strategy,                      selling online.”
           distributor)                                         (Director of eBusiness, distributor)




75761                                                                            Source: Forrester Research, Inc.




w h at i t m e a n s
RiGoRoUs seLF-assessMenT shoULd dRiVe yoUR GRoWTh pLans
B2B eCommerce executives interviewed for this research indicated that the key to formulating an
effective eCommerce growth plan was an accurate self-diagnosis of your existing B2B eCommerce
development — both in terms of human and technology infrastructure. They also stressed that because
the world of B2B eCommerce is changing rapidly, B2B eCommerce professionals should be guided by
the following tenets:

   ■ There is less allowable margin for error today. B2B eCommerce executives are expected to
      have internalized the key lessons learned from the B2C eCommerce community and begin from
      a more advanced starting point. For example, according to our interviews, B2B customers now
      largely expect that customer ratings and reviews functionality is embedded in version one of the
      website, not version two or three because such functionality is ubiquitous in the B2C world they
      already shop in as consumers. This puts special pressure on B2B eCommerce professionals to
     “get it right” much earlier in the process than they would have had to just a few years ago — but
      also offers them the bonus of poaching best practices already established.




© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited                                           June 21, 2012
FOR EBUsInEss & ChAnnEl sTRATEgy PROFEssIOnAls
Evaluating your B2B eCommerce Development                                                                  10




   ■ Technology infrastructure must necessarily be nimble and scalable. With smartphone and
      tablet use on the rise in almost all companies, B2B eCommerce will face new challenges keeping
      up with customers who will increasingly demand buying experiences that mirror best-of-breed
      B2C buying experiences delivered via digital touchpoints by the likes of Amazon and Apple. In
      addition, instant and persistent connections to corporate networks will force leading companies
      engaged in B2B eCommerce to offer secure remote logins and interoperability with corporate
      order management systems.

   ■ Putting together a world-class B2B eCommerce team today is a big challenge. Skilled and
      successful B2C eCommerce professionals are being heavily recruited and well compensated
      in the current market.6 B2B executives we spoke with for this report indicated that the market
      for B2B eCommerce talent is thin and is especially difficult because it’s competitive with B2C
      eCommerce hiring for specialists in particular. As one B2B executive put it, “B2C is sexier and
      paying exceptionally well these days, which makes it doubly hard for us to find good people.”7

   ■ Inertia is not an option. Getting bogged down in one of the stages is a prescription for
      stagnation. Greenhorns must be honest with themselves about whether their plan is well
      developed enough and whether their team is sufficiently staffed and resourced to take them to
      the next level. Similarly, Apprentices must decide whether their existing technology platform
      is worth investing in versus replacing and whether they have enough organizational buy-in
      to permanently move beyond proof-of-concept and ramp up eCommerce operations. Lastly,
      Practitioners must thoroughly vet their technology platform to determine whether it’s sufficiently
      scalable in its current form and whether the team they have in place has the proper mix of talent
      to achieve Role Model status.



hOw FORResteR Can heLP
FoRResTeR Can assess yoUR B2B eCoMMeRCe sTRaTeGy and pRoGRess
Organizations often look to third-party consultants for best practices and expertise in assessing their
B2B eCommerce strategy and progress. Forrester can support these activities in the following ways:

   ■ B2B eCommerce strategy assessment. Forrester can help you optimize your B2B eCommerce
      opportunities and align an appropriate and effective strategy with your key business goals and
      the changing needs of your customers. Forrester can provide a perspective grounded in research
      and experience in supporting road map development, business cases, and eCommerce and
      multichannel solution strategy.

   ■ B2B eCommerce benchmarking. Before you can formulate a detailed plan and lay out a road
      map, you must first honestly appraise where your B2B eCommerce front-, middle-, and back-
      end operations stand. Forrester can apply a rigorous quantitative methodology with a formal
      scoring system to help you identify key next steps and critical long-term priorities in your B2B
      eCommerce development.


© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited                                        June 21, 2012
FOR EBUsInEss & ChAnnEl sTRATEgy PROFEssIOnAls
Evaluating your B2B eCommerce Development                                                                         11




sUppLeMenTaL MaTeRiaL

Companies interviewed For This Report
Analog Devices                                              OfficeMax
Briggs and Stratton                                         Owens-Minor
Digital River                                               StaplesAdvantage
Grainger                                                    Steelcase
IBM                                                         Whirlpool
Newegg                                                      xpedx (division of International Paper)

endnoTes
1
    Forrester’s broad scale maturity model is based on a four-part, 35-question self-diagnostic first originally
    completed by more than 50 online retailers in 2008. The four-part self-assessment survey focuses on
    the four core eBusiness disciplines of 1) people, organization, and culture; 2) business and technology
    processes; 3) channel integration; 4) measurement and metrics. See the August 21, 2008, “Is Your eBusiness
    Team Ready For Prime Time?” report.
2
    For more information on B2B eCommerce platforms and selecting the right platform for your business,
    please see the December 7, 2009, “Market Overview: B2B eCommerce Platforms” report.
3
    eBusiness and channel strategy professionals face a counterintuitive problem — hiring. Only 17% of
    eBusiness professionals said they have proper staff in place, and only 32% said they had the financial
    resources they needed to achieve their goals. They struggle to fill customer experience, IT, and business
    analyst roles. Plus, eBusiness leaders are in short supply. See the January 9, 2012, “Trends 2011: Staffing
    And Hiring For eBusiness” report.
4
    Early winners in the B2B space have successfully incorporated proven B2C features and functions into their
    B2B eCommerce shopping experiences. The key B2C best practices that B2B eCommerce professionals should
    be eyeing are built on personalization, interactivity, and advanced search capability. See the May 1, 2012, “B2B
    eCommerce: Going From Surviving To Thriving By Adopting Proven B2C Principles” report.
5
    Firms almost always consider software-as-a-service (SaaS) as a cost-advantage over on-premise in the short
    run due to its quick implementation time and pay-as-you-go pricing. But many firms question the long-term
    value of SaaS, wondering if the rent-versus-own model necessarily has a cost crossover point and if so, when?
    As SaaS continues to move into a broader range of applications and into larger, more strategic deployments,
    Forrester examined client decisions across a range of SaaS solution areas and found that firms obtain long-
    term value with SaaS solutions. See the July 13, 2009, “The ROI Of Software-As-A-Service” report.
6
    Source: Dana Mattioli, “Wanted: Chief, E-Commerce,” The Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2011 (http://
    online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203503204577038203963981724.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_
    business).
7
    Forrester interview with B2B eCommerce executive.



© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited                                                June 21, 2012
                                                 About Forrester
                                                 global marketing and strategy leaders turn to Forrester to help
                                                 them make the tough decisions necessary to capitalize on shifts
                                                 in marketing, technology, and consumer behavior. We ensure your
                                                 success by providing:
                                                 n	Data-driven insight to understand the impact of changing
                                                   consumer behavior.
                                                 n	Forward-looking research and analysis to guide your decisions.
                                                 n	Objective advice on tools and technologies to connect you with
                                                   customers.
                                                 n	Best practices for marketing and cross-channel strategy.


                                                 FOR mORe inFORmatiOn
                                                 To find out how Forrester Research can help you be successful every day, please
                                                 contact the office nearest you, or visit us at www.forrester.com. For a complete list
                                                 of worldwide locations, visit www.forrester.com/about.


                                                 CLient suPPORt
                                                 For information on hard-copy or electronic reprints, please contact Client Support
                                                 at +1 866.367.7378, +1 617.613.5730, or clientsupport@forrester.com. We offer
                                                 quantity discounts and special pricing for academic and nonprofit institutions.




                                                 Forrester Focuses On
                                                 eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals
                                                 Responsible for building a multichannel sales and service strategy,
                                                 you must optimize how people, processes, and technology adapt
                                                 across a rapidly evolving set of customer touchpoints. Forrester
                                                 helps you create forward-thinking strategies to justify decisions
                                                 and optimize your individual, team, and corporate performance.




                                             «   eRiC ChanG, client persona representing eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals



Forrester Research, Inc. (nasdaq: FORR) is an independent research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to
global leaders in business and technology. Forrester works with professionals in 19 key roles at major companies providing proprietary
research, customer insight, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs. For more than 28 years, Forrester has been making
IT, marketing, and technology industry leaders successful every day. For more information, visit www.forrester.com.             75761

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Stats:
views:133
posted:1/26/2013
language:
pages:13
Description: startup business plan