More consumers and businesses than ever are going digital, and the opportunity to capture new revenue online is ripe for the taking — especially for organizations currently operating only offline. But with nearly every business keeping a watchful eye on the e-commerce landscape, it’s clear that competition will only continue to tighten, and that not all e-commerce initiatives will prove successful.
Our recent research shows that 65% of businesses who implement e-commerce see a return on their investment within a year. In this recorded webinar with Sana, learn how to be among those e-commerce winners, including:
- Understanding the urgency around B2B e-commerce, and when to act on it
- Discovering the short- and long-term benefits of implementing an online revenue stream
- Learning how to build the right strategy and how to choose the right technology
- Getting insight on how to get your online sales channel live quickly and easily
Melissa: Hi there, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us today. So I’m Melissa, I work here at Encore as a marketing specialist. And today we’ll be talking about how to launch a new online revenue stream quickly. And we’ve got Mike Brenneman here from Sana to take us through that. Hi there, Mike.
Mike: Hi. Thanks, Melissa. And a big thanks to the Encore team for having us today. And welcome, everybody that’s joined the today’s session. Our session this afternoon is gonna be about diversifying your revenue streams, specifically with an online channel. And this is a challenge that’s top of mind for a lot of organizations right now, especially for those who traditionally have relied on offline sales and are now seeing a lot of disruptions in their business. Ultimately, the lesson here will be that you can’t expect one channel to do it all for you, especially if you’re still just operating offline, or you don’t have transactional capabilities online yet because you just have a catalogue, and you’re limiting yourself to just that one channel.
Now, when you pair it with another, for example, e-commerce, you benefit from the opportunities presented by both revenue streams, separately as individual channels and combined for an omnichannel approach. So we’re gonna dive into all of this and how you can launch an online revenue stream if you haven’t already in the next 60 minutes. Once we get through the presentation, we’re also gonna jump into my demo environment. And I’ll actually walk you through how Sana works. And we can spend a little bit of time doing a solution overview as well.
So looking forward to today, and just a little bit of information about myself. I live in Phoenix, Arizona, and I’ve been in the software in the technology space since 2008. I’ve sold Microsoft CRM, I’ve sold Microsoft ERP, both Dynamics NAV, as well as AX and D365 F&O. So I’ve, kind of, been in the channel, if you will, for quite some time. But I made the jump over to Sana about two-and-a-half years ago, and I’ve really fallen in love with the e-commerce aspect of the digital transformation. So looking forward to our time together here today.
So we’re gonna dive into the numbers, we’re gonna take a look at how e-commerce impacts revenue efficiency and customer relationships. We’re also gonna take a look at the risk, how not investing in an online revenue stream early enough can possibly put you behind your competition, we don’t want that. And we’re also going to take a look at the fix, the benefits of investing in an ERP integrated e-commerce solution.
So we’re gonna start with some numbers to give you an overview that’s a little bit more concrete and a good view of the landscape that we’re dealing with here. What it could mean for your business, and importantly, what opportunities, revenue and otherwise, are presented. The three main opportunities we wanna highlight today are how an online revenue stream improves the efficiency of your processes, whether that’s the sales processes, order management, etc. enables a fast return on investment in addition to driving significant additional revenue, and improves your customer experience and service. And that’s hopefully the customer relationship itself.
So let’s start off talking about efficiency. Firstly, the data tells us that on average the vast majority of organizations save a massive amount of time and money by investing in e-commerce. And this stems from things like reduced order errors, which as you can see is true for about 72% of organizations, more efficient processes, an online channel that frees up sales reps’ time so they can focus on other priorities like lead generation. And one fun fact I wanna share is one that really tells you why order error reduction matters. According to our own research, order errors results in at least 25% reduction in efficiency, productivity and sales. And this is true for about 75% of B2B organizations. So it’s pretty easy to see, scanning the stats here, that investing in e-commerce at all has some serious advantages. But when you pursue an ERP integrated e-commerce approach, you can benefit from even more and we’ll dive into this as we get through the presentation.
But for right now, let’s look at the opposite end of the spectrum, not what you’re saving, but rather the timeline for a positive ROI and profitability with B2B commerce. So any B2B organization looking to make a significant investment to accelerate their business success hopes to see ROI as quickly as possible. No news to any of us, right? And their optimism appears to be well-founded based on the data that we’re seeing. But even these businesses seem to even slightly underestimate the true power of e-commerce. In fact, after investing in B2B e-commerce, 91% of organizations surveyed saw ROI within 2 years, though only 87% actually expected to. But what’s even more promising is that 64% of respondents surveyed in our digital transformation in B2B e-commerce report actually saw ROI in less than a year. So you can see that letting customers buy online when they previously couldn’t or when it was previously too challenging to do so will not just mean a faster ROI but it will also naturally result in more revenue is it becomes cheaper to service previously offline buyers online, and as you acquire new customers online as well.
And then finally, let’s talk about what truly matters, which is at the end of the day, your customers. The fact of the matter is that buyers across B2B and B2C are all accustomed to and largely prefer buying online. So not offering them the ability to engage with you how and where they prefer already puts you at a disadvantage. But their expectations are even more demanding. It’s not enough anymore just to throw your offline catalog on the web. B2B buyers are actually giving preference to vendors who offer online sales functionalities. And when evaluating alternatives during the buying process, more than a third of the buyers we surveyed considered the ability to track orders online, to order through an online sales portal, to manage returns online, and to pay online the top factors that would persuade them to actually choose a vendor. Among those vendors, the top 10 see these buyers making repeat purchases monthly, weekly, and often even daily. And this recurring revenue can mean a massive boost to the bottom line over time. But it takes a strong online customer experience to do so.
So now that we’ve covered some of the numbers that I think matter, you should by now have a good overview of what opportunities you’re looking at when it comes to e-commerce. So now let’s look at the other side being the risk, right, but not the risk of e-commerce, the risk of not investing in e-commerce, and more importantly, not investing soon enough. With e-commerce, you need to act short term and you need to act immediately. So many buyers are already demanding not just e-commerce but really sophisticated in very feature-rich B2B e-commerce. So you’re already lagging a little behind if you don’t have e-commerce yet, that’s okay. But if you’re not planning to, then you’re gonna face some of the issues, possibly that you see here, which are top concerns of organizations when it comes to not making the investment.
Sixteen percent think impact would be minimal. But between 20% and 35% expect decreased revenue, loss of customers, and a loss of competitive edge, or maybe all of these things. But that’s not all either because when you choose not to invest in e-commerce, you also miss out on another opportunity that’s pretty ripe for the taking, given that you’re already selling offline. And that opportunity is on the channel. And it allows you to meld together your online and offline experiences for an even stronger and more seamless overall customer experience together. But of course, you can’t do that if we don’t have an online channel to begin with.
So we’ve talked about what you need to do now. But why should you launch e-commerce now and how that opens doors for future omnichannel opportunities? Your e-commerce strategy should include regular enhancements and improvements to your web store. The market and customer needs are changing. We need to be making enhancements and improvements to our web stores to meet those changes and those demands. Too many organizations I see are thinking to short term, and maybe even just about getting a web store live and nothing else. But as many as half of B2B organizations aren’t thinking about their digital strategy beyond 12 months ahead. And that serves a big problem, you know, if we have this lack of long-term vision. Quite a few additional opportunities that you might be missing out on.
One is that you’re not gonna be agile enough to keep up with changes over time. This includes changes in your customers’ needs. In fact, according to Walker’s 2020 customer survey, 62% of companies are making tech investments specifically to meet the changing needs of their customers. You lose out on opportunities that haven’t even yet presented themselves. On the right, you can see data from our most recent digital transformation report. This shows that while 40%-plus of B2B organizations saw the opportunity for new revenue streams, direct-to-consumer sales, or business model expansion as a direct result of e-commerce, however, an additional 25% to 30% expect to see that opportunity presents itself in the future. So those businesses whose e-commerce strategies don’t plan far enough ahead may miss out on the success if they don’t play their cards quite right. But the key takeaway here is thinking short term lets you read e-commerce’s immediate benefits. And of course, you may miss out on the long-game wins if you don’t continue to invest in that strategy. E-commerce is an iterative thing.
So now that we’ve gotten a comprehensive overview of the opportunities and the risks of e-commerce, and omnichannel, and digitalization, let’s dive into the fix, right, the benefits of your ERP and e-commerce solution working together as one, and how it can best support a fast ROI. So let’s take a look at the platform in action. And give me just a second here while I flip over to another screen. All right, so what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna walk through a couple of different experiences, in order to show you Sana and integrated deeply into the ERP system. We’re gonna take a look at this Outdoora front-end web store.
Melissa: Mike, I can see your notes. Sorry, I can see your notes screen right now.
Mike: Oh, sorry, bear with me for just a second.
Melissa: No, problem.
Mike: That should be better, I think.
Melissa: Yeah, that’s better.
Mike: Okay, thanks for catching that. Perfect. So yeah, so as I was mentioning, I’m gonna spend some time in the front-end web store of this Outdoora demo environment here. I’m also gonna spend a little bit of time in the Sana admin panel. This is where a lot of the content management is done, the CMS if you will, a lot of the configuration, and a lot of the hyper-personalization. And I can’t tell you how important hyper-personalization is to a web store, especially when we’re talking about B2B, because at the end of the day, it’s all about the customer experience, right. And in order to provide a good customer experience, we know that the site has to be efficient, which means that my customers can get in and they can get out very quickly. So we’re gonna get a little bit deeper into that hyper-personalization and how it lends itself to that today. And then we’ll also spend a little bit of time back in D365. And just please know that if you’re not using Business Central, and you’re using Finance and Operations, or you’re using AX or NAV, the functionality is all gonna be the same in the way that Sana interacts with the ERP regardless on which ERP system that you are on.
Now, the Sana web store can look however you want it to look and feel. There’s a lot of flexibility from a design standpoint. As you take a look at this one web store from one of our customers, IHL Canada, you can kind of get a feel for how we’ve laid out the solution there for them. As we move over to Duotone, it’s quite a bit different, right, they’ve got some large categories here that I can click through to take me into very different portions of the site. And then as you’ll notice, as I come over to Revit, as an example, you know, this is a company that’s even a little bit more progressive and is done quite a bit with YouTube on their site. The good news about all of these sites is that nobody needed a developer or anybody that knew how to code in order to build their beautiful Sana web store. And we’ll spend a little bit of time today showing you how easy it is to manage the contents as we get a little bit further into the solution overview as well.
But what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna walk through a number of different experiences, and with Sana, you get three different experiences out of the box. You get a B2C functionality, right, where you’ve got kind of a public-facing web store if you will. And then you also get the B2B experience, what it looks like, kind of, behind the portal once we’re logged in and we’re already a known customer. And then you also get what we call sales agent functionality. So if you have salespeople or customer service people that need to be able to log in and represent a customer, either to create an order on their behalf or possibly to look up some of their order history or help them kind of self-serve, you can do that as well. And we’re gonna take a walk through those different experiences in that order.
So I’m looking at the site publicly at first. And just to familiarize you with the site, you can see that I’ve got some different headers up here where I’ve got some different categories of product. Now you’ll also notice that I’ve got an About Us header, Contact Us header, and you can actually use Sana to create as much content as you possibly want. So it doesn’t necessarily have to be catalog-related like product pages or product list pages, you could actually use Sana in order to build your entire website, or replace your entire corporate website if you wanted to. You could have a careers page, blog, newsletter, etc. And you can create all of those content pages very easily right here from within the Sana admin panel. Now, as I scroll down a little bit further, you see I’ve got my product categories broken out. You also see that I’ve got just some other informational pages that I’m being led to if I click on these, these are called Flexi-tiles, and then maybe a where to buy, store locator, dealer-distributor locator, and then of course, down into my sitemap and newsletter signup.
Now, again, you can make this look and feel however you want in order to represent your unique brand. And we’ll spend a little bit more time showing you how to do that as we get into the demo. But for now, I wanna go ahead and I wanna drill into the demo environment and into the catalog. So I’m looking for a bike and I’m looking at the site publicly, notice I’m not logged in. Okay, as I click on the bikes category, it brings up the subcategories for me here and it brings up this product list page. This can be flipped back over from either a list view to a grid view. The important thing to note here is that all of the data that you see on the screen is being driven by the dynamics of the ERP system. So when we implement Sana, we actually install an object ERP add-on installation where we basically merge our code into the dynamics environment. And when we do that, we update, and we modify, and we add table structure back into the ERP system. And what that ends up meaning is that it’s not like we’re just a shopping cart connecting to the ERP, we’re actually turning the ERP system into the powerful e-commerce platform.
Now, one of the objects that we add is within the item master record, right, and it’s a little checkbox that says, “Make this item visible in web store.” When that box is checked, we automatically create a product page and put it inside of the appropriate product list page and within the appropriate category hierarchy that you’ve assigned it to. But what that means is that if you’re an organization that has a lot of SKUs, right, thousands of SKUs, you don’t have to go creating all of your product pages from scratch. So we take all of the core data from the ERP system like the item number, the inventory level, the price, the variance, the attributes, the description, and image if you’ve got one attached to the item master, and we pull that through into the web store in order to create the actual product detail page.
Now, you have the ability to add additional content in order to really make these product pages pop out on the web, right, and to add additional important information and descriptions and technical specification documents like you’ll see here, specifications, attachments, reviews, right? So all the information that we need to give the customer in order to help them make their decision. So in order to add additional content to a product page, aside from the data that we pulled from the ERP, you can go into the Sana admin panel, click on product pages, and then you can just come right in here and you can override the description that’s in the ERP, you can get a little bit more advanced with meta title, meta description, you can add as many images as you’d like, and you can also do a bulk image upload. Or you could bring in things like YouTube videos by adding additional content elements across this 12-column grid structure.
So if I come back over to the product page, you can see I’ve got a beautiful product page that’s got thumbnail, regular, zoom size view. I also have the ability to read the full description. Take a look at some of the other information that we just pointed out. I’ve got a nice YouTube video in there. I can compare the products to other products in my catalog, and I can add it to a wish list or I could even view volume discounts or package contents if it’s a part of a kit or a bomb back in the ERP. Now, I’m gonna go ahead and I’m just gonna add a couple of those into my cart. But I wanna come back out here to the product list page and I wanna show you how the site can start to behave differently and become more hyper-personalized for your B2B customers. Because again, we need that hyper-personalized experience to really give them that efficiency to really helped them get in and get out quickly.
And not every B2B customer is the same, right? Some buy directly on orders, some quote first and then convert to an order. Some have blanket agreements, some have sales…or blanket orders rather, sales agreements. Some have discount percentages that they received, and others are assigned to discount tiers. The most important thing that you can think about needing to do when you’re implementing an e-commerce platform is you need to be able to take all of the things that you’ve done over the past 10, 20, 100 years that you’ve been in business that have helped you foster those relationships with your customers and helped you become so successful offline and you need to be able to offer them online, right. And it’s impossible to do that without ERP-driven e-commerce because you end up trying to recreate all of that complex business logic in the ERP system out on the web.
So when I log in as a different user, you’re gonna start to see some things change here. Now, if we take a look at this Shimano steps bike, you can see it’s $684 U.S. and we can’t see the exact availability, we can only see that it’s in stock, right. But now if I were to come up here and I were to log in as Frank, as an example, you’re gonna notice that the site changes a little bit, right. Now, it’s in euro. So it recognizes that Frank is in Europe and buys off of European currency, it also has changed the actual dollar value of the price because this is a real-time, customer-specific price that we’re pulling back directly from the ERP. The other thing that you’ll notice has changed is that my availability is turned on. So I can see that there’s 3,035 of these in stock rather than the fact that it’s just available.
Now, to take it a step further, I’m going to log out as Frank and we’re gonna see what happens to the site when I log in as Stefan. So I’m gonna log in as Stefan here. And now that I’ve done that, first off, if I come back out to the main outdoor page, I’ve got a completely different full-page image banner. And the other thing that you’ll notice is that many of my headers went away, I don’t have portions of the catalog that Frank had or the public had. And this is where we get into that need to have that hyper-personalization, right? If you do have 10,000 SKUs, I guarantee you you’ve got some customers that only buy 5 of them, or they only buy from one category of your products. Why would we serve up a site to them that has 10,000 SKUs that they’re gonna have to go hunting and pecking through when we can serve up this nice hyper-personalized experience and just a portion of the catalog in order to help them get in and get out of the web store in an efficient manner?
So when I log in as Stefan, I’ve got a completely different full-page image banner, I’ve got different headers here, you can see my product categories changed. The other thing that you’ll notice is that when I come back over to bikes again, I’m now looking at it in U.S. dollars, but the price is different than what I was looking at it in U.S. dollars publicly. And I can also see that there’s 3,035 in stock. But that’s a different amount than what Frank just saw, possibly because they’re pulling from different warehouses depending on the location where they are. So there’s quite a bit that you can do to make the site change and behave differently and become a lot more hyper-personalized to your customers. And that’s what they want these days.
Now, you can also, aside from creating an optimized assortment of products, create what we call customer segments. Customer segments allow you to provide different experiences to different groups of customers or individual customers. So as an example, when Stefan logs into the site, let’s say hypothetically, Stefan was over his credit limit, right, we could have a banner pop up that says, “Hey, Stefan, thanks for being a great customer, but you’re over your credit limit.” And if you wanted to do something like that, all you have to do is come into the Sana admin panel and you create what we call a customer segment, and I’m gonna create a new segment and I’m gonna call it credit limit banner, and then you’re literally just gonna pick the field from the ERP from within the customer master record that you wanna use to drive that segment for that behavior.
So in this case, I pick credit limit field, I give it a condition and a value. And then maybe I decide that I only want this to be applicable to my customers in the U.S. and not Canada. So I wanna segment this further by country code, you could do that as well. So very easy to create these hyper-personalizations. And I could use a customer segment to offer different payment options, different shipping options from one customer to the other. Or to have the site look and feel completely differently, once they log into it, with different content elements.
So now that we’ve talked about that hyper-personalization, the other thing that’s important to note, when we’re talking about getting customers efficiently through the web store, is that you’ve got to give them ways of getting in and out without having to go searching and hunting and pecking, right? Even if you are down to two categories or one category like these bikes, you know, there’s a couple of things that we can do in order to really help them get in and out fast. And the first one is that your B2B buyers that have become familiar with your catalog probably know the partial name or a full number of a SKU, right? So they could come in here and they could just type in WRC, as an example, and it will start pulling back the items from your ERP system that match their criteria so that they could very quickly add that item to their cart. The other thing that they can also do is save the cart as a template. So once they have created a shopping cart…If this is something that is gonna be monthly recurring, we’ll call this my monthly recurring encore order. And I can create as many templates as I’d like to.
Now, once I’ve created those templates, they can either be found within the My Account section or I could come back into the shopping cart next time I come to the site. I don’t need to do any hunting and packing, I just click Load Template and then I can see that template right here. Make sure it’s the right one that I wanna use, assuming that I might have multiple templates there, and then I can add it to the cart. And it gives me a nice starting point, right. Once it’s added to the cart, I can change the quantity, I can uptick, downtick quantities, I could add or drop an item. But I don’t have to go starting from scratch building an order every single time.
Now, I’m gonna go ahead and click Proceed to Checkout. And we’re gonna see how quick and efficient the checkout procedure can be. All of the ship to information is already on file, right, we’re grabbing it directly from the customer master in the ERP. If there are multiple ship tos, then I can filter and select the appropriate one, or I could hand key a new one in altogether. But I’m just gonna go ahead and click Next Step, which is gonna take me to my delivery method, and then possibly payment method if we’re offering credit card payments. In this case, I’m just gonna pay via invoice with net 30 terms. And so I’m gonna go ahead and fill out a couple of fields maybe and just submit my order.
Now, this is where the magic happens, right, because traditional e-commerce is not in real-time. And it’s not truly integrated with Microsoft Dynamics ERP, it’s really more interfaced with ERP, which means it’s also syncing orders on a particular frequency. However, this is not a sonic generated order number, this is a D365, in this case, Business Central-generated order number which has already been created back over in the ERP system. And if I were to click copy and come over here into Business Central and search for that particular order number, there, you can see that it was already created in real-time.
The other thing, excuse me, that you can see is that it is also bidirectional, right, which means that if I were to come in to this particular order and change this quantity from four to two, as an example, and save and close out and come back out here to the web store and refresh my page, you’ll notice that that quantity just changed from four to two. Okay, so that is what real-time, really means everybody. We’ve got a bidirectional integration so that every time an order is placed out on the web, it’s created in real-time in the ERP. And every single time something changes in the ERP, whether it be the price or the availability levels, that’s reflected out in the web store in real-time as well.
Now, from here, I can edit the order, possibly if it’s not posted yet. I could download the order. I could reorder from here. I could come into the My Account section and I could look at my entire order history and it doesn’t matter if it was an order that came in via VDI, or that was hand keyed into the system by one of my sales reps two years ago, or whether it was an order that was created in the Sana web store. Okay, we’ve got that full transparency into the ERP. Remember, Sana is a window into the ERP system. And from here, your customers can see their entire order history, quote history, invoice history, they can look up returns, create returns, buy off of a sales agreement, access their credit note. So there’s quite a bit they could do here.
And you can even turn this into a payment portal, right, hook this up to a payment service provider or use Sana Pay. And all of a sudden, now you’ve got ACH, e-check, or credit card payments. And from here, I can come in, I can look at my invoices, see what’s outstanding, select one or multi-select to pay multiple invoices, view the details of the invoice. And I can actually get to the actual copy of the invoice from here myself. So I know what you’re thinking, which is well, you know, this would be great, my customers would love it if they could do this on their own. But what’s even better is they don’t have to pick up the phone and call your back office staff and your back office staff should be able to operate a little bit leaner and not have to worry about spending so much time on some of these mundane tasks. So should be a win-win for both sides involved.
So now that we’ve gone through, you know, really kind of talking heavily about the B2B functionality and how we can hyper-personalize the site, the next thing that I want to cover is I wanna log in as a salesperson within your own organization. And when I log in as a salesperson…And looks like my internet is starting to move a little slow, bear with me here. There we go. When I log in as a salesperson, I have the ability to come into the My Account section and from here, you can see that I can create a prospect order, which is nice because if I’m out meeting with a customer, or a prospect rather, and I have a successful meeting, and they wanna make a purchase right there on the fly, normally, we have to have a new customer master created back in the ERP. But what this will allow me to do is to actually create a request for a new customer master to be created. And it’ll create an order, I’m sorry, a quote rather in the ERP system, which can then get converted into an order once that customer master is created in the ERP.
The other thing that your salespeople have the ability to do is represent a customer. Now, when they represent a customer, like New Concepts Furniture as an example, and hit the select button, they are now looking at the portal through the customer’s eyes, right, which means any of these hyper-personalizations, this customer-specific pricing, the customer assortment that has been created for that particular customer is all going to be there visible for the salesperson. So they’re literally looking at the portal through the customer’s eyes.
Now, from here, they could come in any of the ways that I showed you that you could start to add items to your cart from the catalog, they could come in and do whether it’s a bulk order upload, which I haven’t showed you yet, or whether it’s the quick product lookup or saving a template. Point is, is that they can go ahead and they can build out a cart for that customer. And then they also have the ability to either create a quote or an order. And this can be turned off for companies that maybe aren’t doing quotes. But from here, they could go ahead and they could click Get Quote, as an example, and then walk through that checkout procedure. And then at the end of that process, Sana is gonna create a new quote in the ERP system. And hypothetically it could now email out an email notification to the customer letting them know their quote’s been created. Customer picks up that email, looks at it, clicks a hyperlink, it takes them to the quote page where they can download it, edit it, or convert it to an order, which I’m missing here in my demo environment because I actually have that functionality turned off here. But they could go ahead and convert it to an order, which means Sana would flip it from a quote to an order in real-time.
Now I wanna spend a little bit more time in the admin panel. And there’s a couple of things that I wanna highlight here. I could sit here and demo functionality in the admin panel for hours and we don’t have that today. So I’m gonna be a little bit picky. The first thing that I wanna show is I wanna show how easy it is to build content. Again, mentioning earlier, you don’t have to be a developer, you don’t have to be a designer, you don’t need to know how to code. I can come into the Sana admin panel and if I wanted to create a new content page here, I could. I could also edit my existing content pages from here. Maybe I wanna create a new content page but I don’t wanna start from scratch, right? I wanna repurpose something that I’ve already built.
So as an example, maybe I want to take the existing homepage and I wanna use that. So I just searched for the Outdoora homepage. And now I’m gonna go ahead and I’m actually gonna duplicate this. So the way that Sana is built from a content standpoint is what we call a visual designer, which means you can make all of the page changes right on the page as you’re looking at it. And it also means that it’s all drag and drop. Okay, so it’s very, very easy. As an example, if I wanted to move this piece of content down here below the bike, I could do that. If I wanted to come down here and I wanted to move this element over to the left because I like the shrubs ahead of the outdoor plants, I could do that. It’s extremely easy. And again, I don’t need to be technical.
Now, if I wanted to, as an example, add the upload book order function, which I was talking about before, I could just come in here and I could add a new content element. So I’m going to add a row and I’m gonna add it above this We Are Outdoora section. And from here, this is all built on a 12-column grid structure. So I can pick the layout, basically, of this particular row and how many columns I wanna have. Now, I’m gonna go ahead and I’m just gonna add one column. And from here, I click Add Content element. And then I can come down here, and I could add a shopping cart upload functionality. So if you’ve got customers that order hundreds of items at a time, basically, you can create a spreadsheet that has a couple of different columns, right, item number, quantity, maybe a variant ID. And from here, they could come into the site and they could download that sample CSV file, fill out that spreadsheet, drag and drop it right here, and it builds the cart out for them.
Now, if I wanted to can this all together, which I’m gonna do, we’re gonna change the idea behind it. And instead, we’re gonna add a YouTube video. I’ve always really wanted to have a YouTube video on this particular page. So bear with me for just a second. And I’m gonna copy a YouTube video from one of my other screens as soon as I can get my keyboard to work. There we go. And let’s find a fun video. Well, we were looking at like that bicycle ride earlier, right? Or here, Scenic Indoor Cycling Arches National Park. I’m an outdoors guy, I like that. So I’m just gonna go ahead and copy and turn that video off. And now I’m gonna come back over here to the background video. And I’m gonna pop that in there and I’m gonna click Save Changes.
All right, now you can see that I’ve added that YouTube video, but I haven’t created a large enough content element for it to reside. So I’m gonna edit the column settings again. And this time, I’m gonna give it a minimum column height desktop of 600. And I’ve also decided that I don’t like the hard edge borders, right, I want them to be rounded, I want it to mimic the rest of the site. So I’m gonna come over here to the border-radius and I’m gonna change my pixelation and I want the upper left to be rounded and I want the bottom right to be rounded as well. And I come over here, I save my changes, and boom, now I’ve got this interesting bike ride video through Arches National Park, and notice that it is rounded off on the corners up here. And again, if I wanna move this up the page, I can do that. So Sana’s made it very, very easy to add content, designed the website, make it look like your unique branding, and to do it in this very drag and drop fashion.
The other thing that I want to point out too is that we have a lot of other capabilities aside from just adding content. You also have the ability to create things like discount codes, checkout offers, BOGO, right, mix and match, by one of these, get one of those are things that we actually enable your ERP system to be able to handle. And then more recently, we also introduced what we call Sana Commerce Insights, which is an analytics engine. And the power of insights is pretty special because most e-commerce platforms, or in fact, all e-commerce platforms are gonna give you the ability to monitor web analytics, either through the platform or through leveraging Google Analytics, right? But what they don’t have the ability to do is to take that web data and meld it together with your ERP data and analytics. And when you can pull those together, you can really start to paint and notice some very actionable insights.
So as an example, I could pop here over into the analytics side, and I could start drilling into my dashboards and I might see with a particular item that 80% of my customers are purchasing it offline, but they’re doing the research online, right? I need my ERP data and my web data in order to be able to tell that. Now, what’s even more interesting is when the customer gets a phone call from the salesperson or somebody internal at your organization to ask why they’re doing their research online versus making the purchase online also, they might find out that they weren’t sure of the dimensions because they weren’t listed on the product page and they didn’t know if it was gonna fit in their office. Well, in that case, you now have the information that you need in order to get better web store adoption and be able to continue to scale-up those online sales using less resources back office.
So I did wanna just point that out that we’ve just released this analytics capability that does marry the two together, and you get out of the box, executive overview, reports and dashboards, and these are all drillable. So you can see I can filter and get a little bit further down into my data, I can see web store performance, I can take a look at adoption. And we’re also gonna pair you together with one of our customer success managers in order to really start to drive the KPIs that you’re shooting for, right? What kind of web store adoption are you looking for? What are you trying to do from a revenue generation standpoint year-over-year? And we’re gonna have you pair it together very closely with that customer success manager so that you are working towards best practices in order to hit those KPIs. So very partnership-centric approach.
But anyhow, a lot of really cool new dashboarding functionality that has been released as well. And like I said, I could sit here and we could go through the admin panel in quite some detail. However, I did wanna leave some time for Q&A. And if there is anybody that is out there today that would like a more in-depth overview in demo that might be a little bit more pertinent to your business and use cases, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and/or reach out to your rep over at Encore and we can get that set up for you. So with that being said, I am going to turn it back over to Melissa. And Melissa, maybe you can let us know if there has been any questions that have come through.
Melissa: Yes, there has been a few. And so what I just wanted to say…someone asked if we’ll be recording this for reference, and yes, we are recording it. And that will be sent out to everyone. And I have a few more questions here. So if I can ask you those. What will guarantee the return on investment if I put my money towards e-commerce?
Mike: Yeah, that’s a tough one. We looked at some of the statistics earlier, right, where I think it was 64% of respondents in that one particular research study had said that they had ROI within less than a year and I think it was 84% of them said that they did under 2 years. I mean, obviously, there’s no guarantees with anything, right? It’s what you put into it is what you get out of it. Now, I will say that what we’re seeing in the market right now is that the buyers’ needs are changing. You know, e-commerce has been on the rise for three or four years. But Satya Nadella mentioned shortly after COVID that we saw literally, what was it, 10 years of digital transformation, I think, in a 3-month window, or maybe it was 3 years and I’m overstating that, but you get the point, right?
Organizations are trying to figure out what they need to do to meet the changing needs of the buyer and the fact that buyers are getting younger. And we’re seeing organizations all the time that are starting to fall behind the other competitors, or they look in the rearview mirror and they have more competition there than they used to. And you know, the customers want the ability to get the information, buy the product when and where they want to. And so I firmly believe that if you invest in e-commerce and you take the approach that we talked about earlier of making sure that you’re improving the site and enhancing the site, and that you pick a platform that’s scalable to do that with you that you’re no doubt gonna have a significant ROI within the first couple of years, if not sooner. So it’s a hard question to answer. I hope that answers it. That’s about as good as I can answer it.
Melissa: All right, agreed. Great, thanks. Okay, next question. How do I get my clients to self-serve on our site more?
Mike: Yeah, that’s a good question, too. How do I get them to self-serve? I mean, I think that’s funny because it kind of dovetails into where we just ended, right? And it’s all about…the analytics is gonna help because I can take a look at, you know, and identify those trends, right? What am I seeing, and why am I not getting the web store adoption that I want? But at the end of the day, you can’t be afraid to ask your customer what’s holding them back or what they like, right? What’s keeping you from buying on our web store? Because like I said, we noticed you’re doing 80% of your research online and then picking up the phone and calling a salesperson. You have to make it easy to use, you have to make it simple. You have to hyper-personalize it for those B2B customers because they don’t wanna come in and hunt and peck through 14,000 SKUs. You need to make it efficient for them.
And it’s interesting, you know, companies don’t have to compete on price anymore if they get this right. In fact, I had a customer that we onboarded about a year-and-a-half ago, they were a structural engineering company, a manufacturer of structural engineering products, they created these workbenches and different types of structural engineering products that are used in manufacturing facilities like Tesla, Google, Lockheed Martin, and they didn’t have an online presence. And their largest customer, Tesla, left them and went to their distributor. And their distributor was charging two times as much as the manufacturer was. And Tesla was happy to pay twice as much because it was a better customer experience. And at the end of the day, they could go online, they could self-serve, and because the distributor had e-commerce, they were able to process orders faster and get them from an open order into pick, pack, ship, and out the door. And as a result, they were more reliable at night.
So in talking with the CEO just a couple of weeks ago, I found out that they got Tesla back six months ago. And he can sleep at night now knowing that they’ve got just absolute reliability without compromising such a great customer experience for them. And so yeah, hopefully that answers that question. But at the end of the day, you need to listen to your customers and in order to listen to them, you gotta ask them, and don’t be afraid to do that.
Melissa: Okay, I think we’ve got time for one more here. So as a manufacturer, we’ve changed our business model to selling direct-to-consumer, what has your experience been with similar companies?
Mike: Yeah, it’s interesting, there’s a big shift right now towards that. You know, it used to be manufacturers, you know, all sold through distributors. And now what we’re seeing is we’re starting to see manufacturers go direct-to-consumer, and they haven’t really been in a position to be able to do that without e-commerce, right, a presence in e-commerce. But e-commerce has landed the ability to do that now and to scale it. You know, it’s interesting because as I talked to companies in different industries and verticals, you have to be careful. You know, in some cases, when you’ve had a distributor model, you know, and that makes up the lion’s share of your business and you go direct-to-consumer, we don’t wanna offend the companies that we’ve been building relationships and distributing through for 30 years.
And so I’ve seen some organizations get creative. As an example, they kind of give a first right of refusal to their distributors, and if their distributors don’t pick up the product within 30 days, they open it up direct-to-consumer. And they’re open and honest and transparent with the distributor letting them know that’s what they’re gonna do. So yeah, it’s interesting. We’ve seen some companies do it very, very successfully. But I think you just need to take a look at what makes the most sense for your business. Is it something that you can pull off? And can you get creative pulling it off without damaging other relationships?
But do note, your competitors are starting to do this. And if you want to keep your market share, you ought to think about it. And if nothing else, maybe even exporting some of your products out to like an Amazon Marketplace or something like that. Again, it’s all about omnichannel, right? You know, how do you figure out a good balance of selling through Amazon, through your corporate web store, through your distributors, and through salespeople? It’s all about omnichannel these days.
Melissa: Great. Thank you so much, Mike. Okay, I think we can probably wrap this up now. Thank you so much. That was really interesting.
Mike: Yeah, thanks for having me.
Melissa: Yeah, we’ll be emailing the recording out to everyone, like I said, and please contact us, or Mike at Sana, if you have any questions. And I want everyone to have a good afternoon.
Mike: Great. Thank you. Bye now.
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