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Mar 29, 2024

3 min to read

Leveraging Product Information in Salesforce B2B Commerce

Discover how and why the B2B commerce experience is changing to mirror the B2C landscape, and how cutting-edge eCommerce platforms like the Salesforce B2B Commerce platform are revolutionizing the way businesses offer product experiences. Plus, see how integrating PIM solutions can help create that foundation of reliable product information to support your B2B shopping experience, regardless of how complex it is.






Historically, B2B transactions have been characterized by complex, relationship-driven processes that often require extensive negotiation and personalized service from sales representatives. 

But the digital era has ushered in a new generation of efficiency-oriented, tech-savvy buyers who expect many of the same luxuries and seamless buying experiences in a B2B commerce setting as they do with B2C. Think about it – B2B may stand for “business to business”, but who is actually clicking that “buy” button for the business? A human being, who expects to find comprehensive product information, transparent pricing, and straightforward ordering processes wherever they’re purchasing.

This level of efficiency and personalization in B2B has become a standard, not an exception.


The Shift in B2B Buying Dynamics

From adopting advanced technologies for streamlined processes to leveraging data analytics for informed decision-making, B2B brands embracing the digital transformation will experience heightened agility, enhanced operational efficiency, and increased market relevance, as well as be able to engage with customers in new and innovative ways.

In an era where convenience is king, B2B buyers expect the purchasing process to be as smooth and effortless as possible, including intuitive navigation and filtering on digital platforms, and access to up-to-date and accurate product information. 

Transparency is another cornerstone of the expectations of the modern B2B buyer. This includes clear communication about product details and compatibility, along with upfront pricing models, shipping and stock availability, and environmental policies or relevant supply chain information.

Lastly, the B2B buyers of today value streamlined operations and processes that save them time, resources, and effort, whether that’s through faster website performance, quick response times to inquiries, or efficient problem and query resolution. 


Managing the Evolution of the B2B Buying Experience

So how do B2B businesses keep up with these new demands and expectations? That’s where eCommerce platforms come into play.

eCommerce platforms for B2B are specialized digital solutions designed to cater to the unique needs of these businesses, such as accommodating complex sales cycles, bulk orders, customized pricing agreements, and intricate product configurations. 

The hallmark of a robust B2B eCommerce platform is its ability to provide a seamless, intuitive interface for both buyers and sellers. 

For buyers, it should offer a convenient, straightforward shopping experience that mimics the experience of B2C platforms, with features like personalized product recommendations and detailed product information.

For sellers, it should provide powerful tools for customer management, data analytics, and inventory control, and should integrate seamlessly with other business systems, such as CRM, ERP, or PIM solutions, allowing for a high degree of automation and customization. 


Salesforce B2B Commerce: A Leading Solution

Salesforce B2B Commerce is designed with the unique needs of business buyers in mind, and offers a low-maintenance but high-impact solution that revolutionizes how B2B businesses engage in online sales. 

At the core of Salesforce B2B Commerce is the capability to craft personalized eCommerce experiences tailored to support large-volume and bulk purchases, with an easy interface and quick setup time that lends itself well to supporting a seamless, self-managing customer experience.

As it’s part of the expansive Salesforce suite, Salesforce for B2B automatically integrates with Salesforce CRM, creating a cohesive, 360-degree view of the customer experience.

Learn more about Salesforce B2B Commerce.


Product Information Management and Salesforce B2B Commerce

Salesforce B2B Commerce also integrates seamlessly with other pieces in your tech stack. This is particularly important for systems that handle crucial product data, like your PIM.

What is Product Information Management (PIM)? 

Product Information Management (PIM) is both a systematic approach and a toolset that centralizes, organizes, and enriches product data, making it accessible to all stakeholders and distribution channels. A PIM solution itself serves as the backbone for managing the entire product record, including detailed product descriptions, titles, pricing, imagery, ingredients, sustainability information, multimedia content, and more. 

The true importance of a PIM solution lies in its ability to:

  • Enhance efficiency and collaboration: By centralizing product information, companies can avoid the pitfalls of data silos and inconsistent information as a PIM facilitates better collaboration among teams.
  • Improve accuracy: PIM systems ensure that all product information is accurate, up-to-date, and consistent, reducing errors and enhancing customer trust.
  • Speed time-to-market: Streamlined processes for managing product data can significantly accelerate the introduction of new products and updates to existing ones.
  • Boost sales and customer satisfaction: Accurate, detailed, and easily accessible product information helps customers make informed buying decisions, leading to improved satisfaction and increased sales.
  • Create a consistent experience across channels: A centralized product record  ensures that all sales and marketing channels are aligned with consistent and accurate product information, crucial for maintaining brand integrity and coherence.
  • Provide scalability: As businesses grow and their product ranges expand, a PIM system can scale to accommodate increased data complexity and volume, ensuring that the management of product information remains seamless and efficient.
  • Enrich data quality: Beyond mere storage, PIM systems often come equipped with AI-powered tools for data quality management and enrichment, allowing businesses to enhance their product data with additional information, translations, and optimized content for different markets and channels.


Integrating a PIM with Salesforce B2B Commerce

Integrating a PIM with Salesforce B2B Commerce as a B2B organization creates the required foundation for providing those high-quality, consistent, and omnichannel experiences that modern-day B2B buyers demand. 

By acting as a central source of truth for all product data, the PIM solution ensures that all information displayed in the Salesforce B2B Commerce platform is accurate and up-to-date. Any changes or updates made in the PIM are then automatically reflected in the Salesforce platform.

What does this mean in practice? New products can be introduced more swiftly and efficiently, as new product information is centralized, standardized, and enriched in the PIM before disseminating through Salesforce B2B Commerce. This also helps to establish clear data governance processes over product information, ensuring compliance with industry standards and cross-channel consistency. 

This integration of a PIM system and Salesforce B2B Commerce has a measurable impact on B2B businesses primarily through:

  • Seamless product discovery: Enhanced product information and easy navigation facilitate smoother discovery processes for B2B customers.
  • Enhanced customer trust: Detailed, accurate product data enables customers to make well-informed purchase decisions that help create a sense of loyalty and trust, reducing the likelihood of returns and dissatisfaction.
  • Reduced data errors: With automated data syncing and centralized management, the chances of errors in product information are drastically lowered.
  • Improved operational efficiency: The streamlined processes for managing product information reduces manual efforts and operational costs while also enabling quicker responses to market demands.


The Right PIM for Salesforce B2B eCommerce

The B2B landscape is transitioning away from a traditional, complex buying process towards an approach more focused on efficiency and personalization that mirrors the B2C experience. Today’s tech-savvy B2B buyers demand seamless, tailored buying experiences characterized by easy access to detailed product information, transparent pricing, and simple order processes. 

In order to meet these demands, B2B organizations need a scalable and flexible centralized product record that can easily integrate with eCommerce platforms like Salesforce B2B.   

That’s where Akeneo PIM comes in. As a MACH-Certified PIM, integration with Salesforce, along with any ERP, DAM, or MDM solutions that are already included in your tech stack is simple and intuitive,  With a single source of truth for organized and optimized product data, Akeneo PIM enables your B2B organization to provide B2C-like experiences to customers for years to come.

Akeneo & Salesforce

Learn more about how Akeneo PIM integrates with Salesforce, and the new Akeneo App for Salesforce.

Learn More

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