The Internet has certainly revolutionised the ways in which B2B transactions take place. Not only can businesses instantaneously communicate with clients who may be located thousands of miles away, but there are few limitations in regards to sales and marketing campaigns. There are many factors which have contributed to such observations. High-speed connectivity, an increasingly mobile sales force and the reliance upon VoIP systems are some examples. However, it can be argued that one of the most profound impacts has resulted from the dominance of SaaS platforms. In order to better understand where we may be headed, it is wise to quickly examine the basic intention of SaaS before moving on to analyse how it has forever changed B2B relationships.

SaaS Defined

SaaS is simply an abbreviation for Software as a Service. SaaS offers users the ability to access a host of utilities and tools that no longer require any type of download before implementation. In other words, the majority of SaaS platforms are contained within the cloud. There are several advantages attributed to this approach including:

  • Cloud-based systems offer a higher level of redundancy.
  • SaaS platforms are typically cheaper than in-house architecture.
  • Professional help is always moments away in the event of a problem.
  • Cloud platforms are high scalable; evolving as the needs of the customer change.

Furthermore, it should be mentioned that well-known B2B ecommerce platforms such as Virto Commerce offer a “smart” sense of functionality; critical in terms of orientation and implementation within a short time frame. Now that we have a better understanding of Software as a Service, let us examine how this technology is affecting the B2B sales community.

Targeted and Efficient E-Commerce Solutions

B2B sales is extremely challenging due to its flexible nature. Every business will require a slightly different approach in order to maximise efficiency and to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction. This is even more relevant when discussing larger operations, as things can become very complicated very quickly. Of course, it also stands to reason that legacy-based e-commerce systems are no longer able to provide the same levels of service and support when compared to their cloud-based counterparts. Thus, SaaS has come to dominate the B2B industry.

We are not only talking about targeted solutions in this case. A responsive design is also critical when dealing with day-to-day issues such as transportation, inventory and logistics. Businesses which continue to employ more traditional approaches are likely missing out on the “big picture” (namely, the opportunity to leverage the benefits of custom-made e-commerce packages).

The Notion of “Headless” E-Commerce

This term may sound a bit strange, as it is relatively new in regards to industry terminology. Headless e-commerce is commonly defined as any method which separate front-end from back-end operations. Without becoming overly technical, this is another way of saying that customers can build their very own e-commerce platform from the ground up through the use of user-friendly templates and similar cloud-based software. Headless e-commerce solutions are known for their amazing levels of flexibility, so they can once again adapt as the needs of the organisation change in the future. SaaS is likewise defined by such malleability.

What About Coding?

Some B2B enterprises have been hesitant to adopt a modern e-commerce platform due to the fact that they are worried about coding requirements that may be involved. However, we need to keep in mind that modern services are light years ahead of those which existed only a handful of years ago. The good news is that little to no previous coding knowledge is needed when using the included utilities and tools. In fact, the majority of platforms now work under the assumption that the end user is not technically oriented. Drag-and-drop interfaces, superior levels of customer support, walkthroughs, and sections devoted to frequently asked questions are some of the advantages which users can expect to encounter.

What is the Future of SaaS?

It is likely that SaaS solutions will become even more targeted and “smarter” in the future. This is excellent news in terms of B2B requirements, as the entire sector is speeding up at a breakneck pace. A final point to mention is that artificial intelligence and big data are set to usher in even more changes while allowing users to leverage levels of customisation that would have been all but impossible in the past.

Whether referring to small start-up organisations to large firms that are already established in their sector, the role of Software as a Service should be clear. Not only can management keep track of important details, but employees will be able to better communicate with their clients. The end result is a more efficient workspace and ultimately, a higher return on investment in the long run.