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The eMarketplace: Strategies for Success in B2B eCommerce

The eMarketplace: Strategies for Success in B2B eCommerce

by Warren Raisch, Don Milley, Gideon Gartner (Foreword by)
One trillion dollars. That’s what’s at stake in the next few years in business-to-business e-commerce. Research shows that b-to-b spending will soar from $43 billion to over $1 trillion. Meanwhile, in the same span of time, business-to-consumer spending is expected to rise from $7.8 to only $108 billion. That’s what’s in the future for business-to-business electronic


One trillion dollars. That’s what’s at stake in the next few years in business-to-business e-commerce. Research shows that b-to-b spending will soar from $43 billion to over $1 trillion. Meanwhile, in the same span of time, business-to-consumer spending is expected to rise from $7.8 to only $108 billion. That’s what’s in the future for business-to-business electronic commerce, and companies like eSteel and PlasticsNet are already halfway there.
Look no further than this comprehensive guide from two of the most respected professionals in the b-to-b realm. In this book MarchFIRST's Warren Raisch and William Kane, show readers exactly how to cash in on the e-commerce craze. Drawing from their experience at MarchFIRST, one of the leading Internet b-to-b strategy companies, the authors outline strategies for making your product known. Invaluable case studies of companies who’ve already taken the plunge help readers construct reliable methods and models of operation.

Experts project that more than one trillion dollars in business to business spending will pass through global digital markets in the next few years. This presents both a significant opportunity and a challenge to all who plan to conduct businesses in the new economy. Welcome to the future—welcome to the eMarketplace.

Effective business models in the new economy merge digital and physical transactions to form a seamless whole. Simply put, the successful companies will be those that capitalize fully on the technology that makes it possible to conduct business electronically, instantly, and more efficiently—without sacrificing the important element of human interaction.

The eMarketplace is a practical, much-needed guide to this rapidly evolving industry. In clear, jargon-free language, the book presents an overview of the business dynamics behind the current and emerging digital marketplace, as well as the key market data, terminology, and business model definitions needed to chart the opportunities ahead. Drawing from their extensive experience, Warren Raisch and William Kane, Jr. outline the three key areas of evolution that will change business dramatically and provide a wealth of expertise, practical advice, tips and strategies.

This essential resource includes chapters on:

  • Understanding the ebusiness infrastructure
  • Developing an effective e-team
  • Forming strategic alliances
  • Designing content strategies
  • Taking business global
    Building value into the supply chain
  • Creating a high growth organization
  • Developing a sustainable, profitable business model

    The eMarketplace is also filled with enlightening case studies of successful and flawed business-to-business e-commerce models. Additionally, sharing their thoughts and perspectives on the new economy, commerce flow, knowledge exchanges, and infrastructure, are top visionary leaders of the Internet Age such as Keith Krach, CEO of Ariba; Mark Hoffman, Chairman and CEO of Commerce One; and Gideon Gartner, founder of Gartner Group and Giga Group.

    The industry moves at the speed of the Internet. In order to succeed, it is necessary to not just keep up with the latest developments, but stay one step ahead. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to succeed in the next generation of e-business.

    As high-tech as the world becomes, the need for human interaction is still a crucial element to all business. The eMarketplace shows how to incorporate the latest technology, and still maintain that crucial element of humanity. Filled with case studies, expert, advice and an invaluable 11-step business planning process for developing your own e-commerce strategies, this book is the definitive resource for the ever-evolving eMarketplace.

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    McGraw-Hill Companies, The
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    Read an Excerpt

    CHAPTER 10
    Customer-Centric Power Shift

    Consumers in every business sector are becoming increasingly intelligent about products and services as a result of the Internet. The Internet provides easy access to basic product information, price, product reviews, rating systems, and other data points that enable consumers to make more informed choices about products or services. As a result, customers are more empowered than ever before in history.

    This chapter reviews the profound power shift from producers to consumers that is causing fundamental changes both from within an organization as well as through the entire value chain. It reviews the sweeping changes in areas such as organizational models, compensation, and distribution networks. At the very forefront of the discussion is a new holistic customer relationship management (CRM) mandate.

    The Internet is the primary lever of change in this marketplace and brings with it a whole new set of customer values and opportunities. First and foremost is the dimension of time. Since the number of online business and intermediaries is growing exponentially, the race is on to get more of the customer's time. As businesses become increasingly competitive over customers, those that can expand their services and products to meet additional customer demands will win out over those that can't. Also, because getting more of the customer's time is a gating factor preventing rapid revenue growth, enterprises are shifting their focus from products to customers. In addition, since the Internet is proving disruptive in many markets, fierce competition is producing more cus- Figure 10-1. Multiple Points of Contact in a Multidimensional Business Environment tomer defection and turnover, requiring companies to be swift and nimble in their response. Not only are businesses fighting each other for customers' time, they are working hard to get more valuable insight into their customers in less time. The Internet both enables and fuels these highvelocity markets.

    To develop a winning customer-centric strategy, you must think in multidimensional terms, or as they say in the customer relationship management field, multiple "channels." The optimum strategy determines where, how, and when the customer wants to be addressed. In a customer-centric world, companies strive to understand the customer and to come to them or at least be accessible to them on a 24-hour basis through combinations of the Internet, phone, fax, or in person. There are many ways to engage customers and to build lifelong relationships.

    Savvy companies have a mandate to discover and reach customers through these touch points. (See Figure 10-1.) The Internet has showered consumer knowledge onto millions of people. It is changing impulse buyers into selective buyers and selective buyers into first-generation relationship customers. The next generation of Internet consumers will demand information concerning products and services. Companies that cannot provide this information and tailor it to the individual or partner will be left behind. While the consumer is becoming more informed, the Internet has also enabled mass customization, creating micro segments of customers. Both these trends are working together to create a very complicated sea of customers and informational needs.

    According to Jeff Hammond of Rhea & Kaiser, a digital branding agency in Chicago, Interactive communication channels have enabled people to understand the power they have as individuals. Organizations, prices, products, and promotions are transparent to individuals who can share their experiences and knowledge with one another. Consumer research has consistently found that people are looking for solutions to their challenges; they are making purchase decisions differently; and they don't take at face value what faceless organizations say to them. It seems so obvious that people would want to be treated like people, not as targets or segments. But I think it's the widespread use of interactive channels that has galvanized this understanding among "consumers" and, more slowly, within the organizations that serve them. Call it "me commerce," but that's the demand of the online customer.

    The combination of smarter consumers, new customer channels, and the effect of customization is forcing companies to make CRM and customer initiatives top priority. Brick-and-mortar along with new electronic business models must clearly understand that this shift is a fundamental business model shift to a customer-centric business model. The customer shift cannot be addressed by yet another one-to-one marketing campaign.

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