In this episode of Industrial Talk Podcast, host Scott MacKenzie speaks with Yoav Kutner, CEO and Co-Founder of Oro Inc, about technology change management through digital transformation and the role of B2B eCommerce as part of a comprehensive selling strategy. Yoav is well known for co-founding the B2C eCommerce platform Magento. After selling Magento to eBay, Yoav moved on to create a B2B-focused eCommerce platform, OroCommerce.
As B2B companies continue to evolve and embrace eCommerce, finding the right platform to support their business processes is crucial to digital success. The right B2B eCommerce platform will make your eCommerce site indexable and searchable so that buyers can actually find your product.
A well-designed platform should be flexible enough to accommodate everything from multichannel eCommerce selling to marketplace management scenarios. It should also enhance the buyer/seller relationship by creating a seamless buying experience tailored for the B2B buyer. Essentially, B2B eCommerce platforms like OroCommerce should make your business visible so that buyers can easily find your product, purchase your products online, and still easily build relationships with your sales team.
Below is a snippet from the interview:
Scott: Can you give me a little background into OroCommerce? And what is it?
Yoav: Absolutely. So OroCommerce actually came from what we learned through the years at Magento. The problem was that we started seeing more and more companies that were contacting us that were not necessarily selling directly to consumers, they were selling to other companies, which makes them a B2B company. So when we got approached at Magento, we said- yeah, absolutely, we can serve your needs and build on top of what we have already. But because we were so focused on the B2C side of the equation of this, we didn’t focus on the B2B features. So when we started working with B2B companies, we saw that fundamental features were missing in the platform. So fast forward, when I left the Magento. Eight months later, we created a new company called Oro and OroCommerce, a B2B eCommerce platform, is kind of our take on eCommerce, but for companies selling to other companies.
Scott: So why aren’t more companies going all-in on B2B eCommerce?
Yoav: A lot of businesses have to update the way they’re doing business. They have to maybe get out of their circle of customers and expand internationally. So when we come to companies and we talk about technology we’re finding that they’re really behind the curve on technology.
My advice for such companies would be to consider working with consultants. You can check out this list of the top digital transformation consulting firms and how they can help you manage cultural and technological change.
Furthermore, a lot of times where we start from is just publishing their catalogue online, which seems trivial. But like you said, it’s not at all because the product information is not there, the quality of the product information is not suitable. So that’s not so easy. I talked about it like it’s a trivial thing. It’s not – it’s changing the culture of how you talk about your product, what content you have about your product. What if you are a distributor and you need to get that content from your merchants that are selling through your manufacturers, to your manufacturer, you need to get it from your supply line, right, who’s giving you those descriptions? So a lot of non trivial things on the culture of how the company is actually operating.
Scott: So in this digital scope, what’s your view on conferences?
Yoav: Well, conferences are great. It’s something that ‘s still relevant. I don’t think it will go away. I think, you know, people are still happy to meet each other. But like I said, you can come much more informed to the conference, right?
If before you go to a conference, you can actually start searching online and you can maybe already start requesting pricing before. So when you get there, you just don’t waste your time on the whole cycle of the meeting of handshaking. And then you can come much more prepared.
Let me give you an example of what we’re doing for a real customer of ours. They’re a large distributor of pet food and pet supplies. We’re helping them accept everything that we’re doing on the online strategy, and with the conference in mind, we are digitizing how the orders are taken in the conference itself, right?
We added these booths with touchscreens that a sales rep can walk in with, you know, a new customer or an existing customer, for that matter, pull all their data, pull the relevant catalog, pull all their special pricing in front of them. Before that they had these booklets right with this huge price books and stuff like that. One we implemented the touchscreens, we saw that there was a decrease in the number of errors in entering these orders. Because before, sales reps would write it on paper. All these papers, go back to the office, and then the sales reps used to start keying them in counting mistakes and not being able to read their own writing. Now by digitizing this process, by the time the customer got back home from the conference, the order might have already been waiting for them there. Right. And it’s something that we’re really changing and improving. I think the customer experience, usability efficiency. That’s all connected to our system. These kiosks are just another front end, basically, instead of a web based. It’s just another front end of our application.
To watch the full episode click here.