SAP Hybris, recently rebranded as SAP C/4HANA, is one of the most powerful customer experience platforms available for B2B commerce, particularly for manufacturers as they explore commerce platform implementation for increased self-service and more integrated customer management.

The symbiotic relationship manufacturers have with wholesalers and distributors has kept the sector, relatively speaking, on the trailing edge of digital transformation. Manufacturers have set their focus instead on innovation efforts through the tools of Industry 4.0, improving product quality, customizability, floor operations, and other critical areas required to create amazing products faster and at lower operating costs.

About 60% of US Manufacturers have yet to implement an ecommerce platform capable of providing customers with the self-service options they’re increasingly seeking out, but over the next 2 years, most intend to resolve that, according to research by B2B eCommerce World. With over 10% of US B2B electronic transactions now taking place via “traditional” ecommerce sites, it’s a large slice of pie that Manufacturers, on the whole, are missing out on.

A number of factors are driving this push, and they’re outlined in our Guide to: Commerce for Manufacturers, which you can download here.

One of the most notable factors is money, expressed as customer demand. Believe it or not, the oldest members of the Millennial generation are approaching 40, and solidly entrenched as B2B buyers. These digital natives, now key decision makers, grew up in a world that (just about) always had the Internet, Nintendo games, and cell phones. They, like their Gen X and Boomer counterparts, have also had digital experience expectations set by B2C brands, who traditionally lead the pack in digital CX quality.

Customer expectation will only continue to increase, and the value-added digital services enabled by Industry 4.0, like auto-replenishment or preventative maintenance data, require a solid foundation if they’re to be successfully implemented over the coming years.

SAP Hybris and the Forrester Wave for B2B Commerce Suites

Consistently ranked as a leader in Forrester’s Wave for B2B Commerce Suites, SAP Hybris (newly renamed SAP C/4HANA) is the [Insert your favorite sports car here] of commerce platforms. The entirety of the new platform includes:

  • SAP Marketing Cloud
  • SAP Commerce Cloud
  • SAP Sales Cloud
  • SAP Service Cloud
  • SAP Customer Data Cloud by Gigya

At SMITH, we’ve created Rapid Foundation for SAP Hybris, which makes getting to market faster and more efficient, and addresses the most common challenge brands face with the platform – which is that its ability to do just about anything can create a bit of complexity.

One of the key benefits of SAP Hybris for Manufacturers is the B2B Commerce Accelerator, which includes a range of fundamental tools such as:

  • Fully integrated product content and web content management capabilities
  • Omnichannel order management for commerce
  • Advanced personalization tools
  • Search and merchandising capabilities
  • Ready-to-use storefront templates
  • Fully responsive web design pages for desktop, wide desktop, and mobile
  • Integrated hosted payment
  • Integrated analytics
  • Choice of express, multi-step or guest checkout from desktop storefront

For Manufacturers exploring direct-to-consumer sales, SAP Hybris is especially powerful, as it can be deployed to orchestrate B2C customer experience either directly or via marketplace tools like Mirakl, while managing supplier transactions with B2B buyers that operate under different business rules.

From product design to marketplace dynamics, each Manufacturer has its own unique complexities in moving towards self-service and improved CX.

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Tags: SAP Hybris, industry 4.0, manufacturers, SAP C/4HANA