Our work on customer portals and the digitalization of trade is always based on the digital dissemination and possible implementation of the key commerce elements that exist. It requires an understanding of our clients and their customers. In this regard, there is also the processes that are played out between them and how they materialize in business value.
It is crucial for us to secure an anchor in the existing system portfolio that the customer has. Often with a focus on providing technology platforms that can complement and expand digital commerce opportunities. We most often see customer portals in B2B companies, but B2C companies with long and repetitive customer relationships benefit from them as well.
In recent years there has been a greater interest in also focusing on the so-called B2B2C conditions where the interest not only lies in dealing with direct customers, but also in expanding it with information about the real consumers when direct customers are dealers and distributors.
Especially for strong brands, there may be an advantage in enriching the sales chain. It’s not only the retailers that carry information about the end customer. The manufacturer and the brand through brand stores, brand sites, direct-to-consumer sales as well as other digital brand elements (social media, etc.) have important information as well. By ensuring transparency of customer segmentation, trends and customer preferences, in geographical or other segments, the manufacturer can ensure a high brand satisfaction with the dealers, which gives a higher conversion of the real sales in a consulting situation.
When implementing customer portals, we often see relationships between portal platforms such as Sitecore, Episerver or Salesforce Community Cloud and CRM solutions. Often, the customer's ERP solutions are also tightly integrated with a customer portal so that the digitization of business cooperation becomes most effective.
As an additional value in the context of such digitization, a customer portal can also ensure a consistent approach to all types of materials. Therefore, we also often see PIM or DAM systems integrated. And in this context, the focus may also be on collecting digital tracks so that the customer's sales consultants and the digital customer portal can collaborate.
This happens when sales consultants have insight in the behavior that is displayed on the customer portal – both as lead-generating activity, but also as sales support for uncompleted transactions, use of advisor functions, product configurators, etc.
Here we see a deep integration with the customer's CRM system as essential, so sales consultants have information available in their daily toolbox.
If you want to know more about customer portals, please give us a call.