Tacton has announced a partnership and integration with the eCommerce platform provider Intershop. The combination provides a complete end to end self-service eCommerce solution for Tacton CPQ customers. The power of Tacton CPQ is now available in an eCommerce platform that is usable by a customer, internal sales and partners alike. The solution allows consistency of approach and improves order accuracy. It also enables prospects to browse the options before engaging with a sales executive, reducing the cost of sale and potentially increasing the target base.
Manufacturers are now able to create a product definition on an eCommerce site that includes customisation based on variables such as:
- Product Architecture
- Customer Needs
- Order Fulfilment
This enables manufacturers of complex equipment can have a digital portal that delivers a consistent experience across their ecosystem. It also means that updates to pricing or component changes are quickly applied in the CPQ and customer eCommerce platform. This makes the buying experience smoother and opens up new opportunities for manufacturers. Importantly through integration with ERP, it means as costs changes pricing could automatically adjust if required.
Bo Gyldenvang, CEO of Tacton, commented: “Our customers are focused on their customers’ experience, and this partnership brings that aspiration to a whole new level. Intershop is a proven innovator in the self-serve e-commerce space offering customer portals with a 360-degrees view, providing personalized content and self-services. We are excited to leverage their solutions with ours to empower manufacturers to offer their customers a truly world-class customer experience.”
Ecommerce increasingly important
Manufacturers can no longer assume that sales are made in the traditional way. Even before COVID, B2B eCommerce was on the rise. Data from Statista shows that B2B eCommerce is rising at a CAGR of 7.6% from 2020. It is predicted to reach $3 trillion by 2024. Furthermore, according to Frost and Sullivan, 93% of B2B buyers search online before buying.
This trend reflects the transition to online for B2C. Customer expectations are evolving. It is a trend that complex manufacturers cannot ignore. This means that manufacturers need to find the tools to present their products online is an easy to use format.
Dr Jochen Wiechen, CEO of Intershop Communications AG. “Intershop provides B2B customer portals offering the same type of high-end experience they are used to in the B2C world throughout the customer life cycle. Our solution aligns perfectly with Tacton’s goals in the manufacturing space. Tacton has emerged as a leader in helping manufacturers give customers the type of digital real-time visual sales experience today’s consumers crave, and we look forward to helping them advance this even further with our customer portal capabilities.”
Manufacturers will also need to find new skills to attract buyers to their site. An eCommerce platform increases opportunities, but it also brings a new era of competition. Those manufacturers that can successfully increase SEO and will succeed as they are likely to attract more unknown prospects. This does not stop the traditional sales approaches, but it supports and supplements it.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
The combination of one of the most complex manufacturing CPQ solutions on the market and a B2B eCommerce platform is very powerful. It delivers a complete end-to-end experience from the back end ERP solution to the sales front end. Tacton integrates to ERP solutions including Microsoft Dynamics 365, SAP and Oracle.
The solution enables manufacturers to sell products at any time in any locations. They can also do so with a higher degree of accuracy than before. Customers can carefully select the right configuration at a time suitable to them no matter where they are located around the world. For some manufacturers, this will open up completely new markets. However, it could also bring new challenges, such as export licensing. Manufacturers will need to consider carefully how they open up the platform
What Tacton and Intershop need to demonstrate next is a successful customer deployment. Ideally, one that can show and increase in sales and a decrease in order errors. The announcement talks about a partnership. However, there is little information about whether the companies will co-sell the solutions or launch combined marketing initiatives.
They could cross-sell the other vendor’s solution to their ecosystem, but this option is not highlighted in the release. Also, Tacton customers are likely to have more to gain than existing Intershop customers. This means that in the short term Intershop could gain the most from the integration but to really leverage the new solution will require a joint effort into new markets.