Connected & Ready

Add to cart – modernizing B2B customer experience, with Jordan Jewell

Episode Summary

B2C commerce has evolved to provide consumers with a more seamless buying experience. The ease of purchasing in their personal lives have conditioned B2B buyers to expect similar experiences at work and business will need to adapt to gain and retain customers. In this episode of Connected & Ready, host Gemma Milne digs into these questions and more with Jordan Jewell, a Research Manager at IDC, to talk about how more B2B companies are transforming their approach to digital commerce, the technologies that are helping them, and what he expects the future of B2B commerce to look like. Dynamics 365 Commerce delivers a complete omni-channel retail solution that unifies back-office, in-store, and digital experiences. This end-to-end solution empowers retailers to personalize customer engagement, increase employee productivity, and optimize operations across physical and digital channels. Request a live demo today: https://aka.ms/AA8ku82 Thank you for listening to Connected & Ready! Do you have ideas of how we can improve the show? Want to recommend a guest for us to interview? We value your partnership and participation. Please drop us a note at connectedandready@microsoft.com. We would love to hear from you.

Episode Notes

Gemma Milne talks with Jordan Jewell, leader of IDC’s Digital Commerce research practice, about the differences between customer expectations for B2B and B2C shoppers, how B2B sellers need different technology than B2C companies, which technologies are helping B2B companies be more resilient, and how to choose the right solutions for your business or industry. 

About Jordan Jewell

Jordan Jewell is a Research Manager for IDC's Enterprise Applications and Digital Commerce team and leads IDC's Digital Commerce research practice. In this role, he leads research initiatives addressing both B2B and B2C digital commerce platforms, digital marketplaces, product information management, order management, and adjacent technologies that facilitate online commerce. Jordan joined IDC in 2015.

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Episode Transcription

Gemma [00:00:05] Hello and welcome. You're listening to Connected and Ready, an ongoing conversation about innovation, resilience, and our capacity to succeed brought to you by Microsoft. I'm Gemma Milne. I'm a technology journalist and author and I'm going to be exploring trends around how companies are adapting to a disrupted world and preparing for tomorrow. We're going to speak to the innovators who are bringing products, operations, and people together in new ways. Today, I'm joined by Jordan Jewell, research manager for IDC's Enterprise Applications and Digital Commerce Team. As we've heard much more about B2C businesses and their transformation to digital platforms, in this episode, we uncover what has been happening in the B2B commerce space with regards to digital, from the hurdles they've faced and the differences in their needs to provide excellent customer experiences, to the technology that, of course, enables all. We also look to the future of digital commerce and what is just beyond the horizon. Before we start, I want to thank all of you listeners out there. If you have a topic or a person you'd love to hear in the show, please send us an email at ConnectedandReady@Microsoft.com. We're so thankful for you all. Now on with the episode. 

 

Gemma [00:01:15] Jordan, thank you so much for coming and joining us on the show. Let's start by you telling us a little bit about who you are, what you do and what you're currently working on. 

 

Jordan [00:01:24] Hello, Gemma. Thanks so much for having me. I'm IDC's research manager for Digital Commerce, so I spend my time looking at the software and other technology that helps facilitate digital commerce online. So any buying or selling products that happens on marketplaces, on digital commerce stores or really any other medium online. 

 

Gemma [00:01:45] Amazing. So let's get a little bit deeper into the B2B research that you've been working on. So you've been working a little bit about digital commerce, adoption, particularly with respect to B2B organizations. So tell us a little bit about the maturity, I guess, of these B2B organizations with regards to adoption of digital commerce? 

 

Jordan [00:02:03] Sure, the IDC maturity scape is essentially a maturity model to map out different stages of maturity, in this case for B2B online merchants so that they can gauge their own maturity based on their technology, people, vision or strategy, buyer experience provided, and commerce functionality. So it maps out five distinct stages of maturity along this curve from the least mature, which is the ad hoc stage, opportunistic, repeatable, managed, and finally the most mature which is optimized. And typically you see kind of a bell curve with these maturity models when you actually map it out to the real world. But in this case, the goal of the maturity scape, is to put this model out there, which is helpful for B2B organizations to kind of how they should think about how they can become more mature over time. But then also we put a survey out into the field, a benchmark survey, and every respondent is mapped out onto this maturity model. And then we look at the aggregate results. So in this case, we put that survey out, got the results, and the results were that about sixty five percent of respondents ended up in those first two stages of maturity, the ad hoc and opportunistic stages. And over 60, clearly a majority ended up in that opportunistic stage. And what that shows me is that there's a gap that they're having a hard time to overcome, to become more mature in B2B commerce. They have made some initial investments. They might have gotten the B2B storefront up, they might be selling on a marketplace, might have better customer service or something along those lines. But they haven't really connected all of these systems or really focus on the customer experience the same way that you might see in B2C. And we did see a decent number, about twenty four percent of respondents and the repeatable stage and some in manage and optimized. But to have over 60 percent in that second stage show that the market is really not quite at that level of maturity. 

 

Gemma [00:04:09] So we've obviously been hearing a lot about the effects of this last year and particularly with respect to digital commerce. Talk to us a little bit about what's been happening specifically with B2B and the space and perhaps some of the core challenges that they've been up against this year, kind of. Let's highlight that a little bit. 

 

Jordan [00:04:27] It's a great question because, again, when we saw the impacts of Covid, a lot of it was focused on retail, on brick and mortar retail being shut down, stores closed other than essential businesses, social distancing, limitations on capacity, those sort of things. And again, we all experienced it. 

 

Jordan [00:04:47] So the most dramatic impact that we saw at IDC in 2020 was on that B2C side and we saw kind of a resurgence in digital commerce and B2C. On the B2B side, it wasn't quite as dramatic, but there were certainly impacts. A good chunk of B2B commerce does happen in person and those type of agreements and those types of transactions were halted. But even more so, I think the impact was just a change in behavior to an extent, but also just a change in expectations. Every B2B buyer is a consumer also. Everyone who buys things for a business is a consumer and their expectations are shaped by their transactions on marketplaces, on social media, on apps, that sort of thing. 

 

Jordan [00:05:34] So the expectations very quickly shifted towards e-commerce. And there's survey data showing this B2B buyers became much more comfortable with buying things online with self-service kind of interface, certain kinds of transactions, which tend to be more complex, such as I want to configure an HVAC system or something like a fire truck or something that has thousands of different dependencies. More buyers were willing to do that sort of thing online than in the past. So that might involve a, what's called a CPQ product to configure price, quote, piece of software, which allows you to configure it in real time, generate a price and generate a quote and go through that B2B buying process, all self-service, all online. So we started to see a few different areas in B2B where transactions really started to move online. Again, not quite as dramatic as B2C, but certainly started picking up in the latter half of the year. 

 

Gemma [00:06:30] I think it's interesting when we talk about the differences between B2B and B2C with respect to digital commerce, because when we talk about B2B, it tends to be like you were saying, the people who are buying – they’re consumers. Right. So they're OK with using online systems because they're used to it in their everyday life. Whereas when we talk to B2C, we're seeing consumers are expecting online and they're almost disappointed if they don't have it, whereas with B2B were sort of saying it's OK, they don't mind using it. I’m wondering if the sort of shift in expectation is also a thing with B2B? Are B2B buyers starting to be turned off if they don't have the option of doing things smoothly, easily on demand online in the same way that B2C consumers are? 

 

Jordan [00:07:16] The answer is probably definitely. The way I like to think about it is when you're buying something as a consumer, you're shopping, even if it's a bit tedious at times, its overall, an enjoyable experience and retailers are trying to appeal to you and make it more engaging and fun overall because they're trying to wow you over to their platform versus another retailer. So overall, it's an enjoyable experience. It's shopping. B2B is not really shopping. As a B2B buyer, you're doing your job. You're just trying to get a task done, trying to order parts for your organization or fulfill a task that you have. So some of those same kind of methods to appeal to B2B buyers don't happen in B2B commerce. Really the answer for B2B commerce, what's going to result in more sales and happier customers is going to be removing friction, just allowing B2B buyers to get in and get out with what they need in the fewest number of clicks. And for, to meet all the needs of their organization, such as workflows and pricing and that sort of thing. So that's a long way to say that B2B commerce certainly is different. The focus is a bit different in just helping buyers do their job. 

 

Gemma [00:08:32] Would you say it's then easier? I mean, they don't have to worry about it being enjoyable and exciting and an experience and all that just has to be simple, right? 

 

Jordan [00:08:39] That's one way to think about it. I think to an extent that actually has been correct in the past in that B2B buyers don't worry so much about the experience itself, about the website looking nice or to a fault, some of the B2B commerce sites are -look like they're from the 90s or early 2000s. So there's not that amount of focus on the experience portion on the content and that sort of thing. And B2B, again, probably to a fault, but B2B certainly is more complex. So on that side, it's not true in that if you're trying to compare a B2C site or a like a direct to consumer company to a B2B company, you'd have to think, so if I'm a retailer and every single customer I sold to had a different hierarchy of who can approve a purchase, expected different pricing, expected different fulfillment methods to different locations at different times, had disparate payment systems that they only would accept. It would be a lot more complex. Every single business has their own business rules and requirements for how they conduct business, including pricing and promotions and interactions with sales reps. It's more in those rules and those very customized requirements, more so than the experience itself. But there is certainly an experience gap and a kind of functionality gap between B2B commerce and B2C commerce. 

 

Ad [00:10:07] Dynamics 365 Commerce delivers a complete omni-channel retail solution that unifies back-office, in-store, and digital experiences. This end-to-end solution empowers retailers to personalize customer engagement, increase employee productivity, and optimize operations across physical and digital channels. Request a live demo today by following the link in the episode description.

 

Gemma [00:10:34] So we mentioned this difference between the expectations of those in the B2B world versus the B2C world, so people in B2C kind of expecting flashy digital experience whereas B2B is there's a little bit of, I guess, not expecting the websites to be anything more modern than the 90s, shall we say. Why is there that gap in expectations? 

 

Jordan [00:10:56] Yeah, it's a really good question and I don't know of a single answer. Some of it comes down to the systems used adjacent to the digital commerce platform, so a lot of buying that happens, for instance, in B2B goes through a procurement system or procure to pay system that makes sure that if you're a buyer and you're buying raw materials or products for your company, for your operations that it's approved, that it goes through a procurement officer, it meets the guidelines. You're not buying something that's really shiny and unnecessary. So that's part of it. The procurement systems themselves are kind of outdated. They don't have the best experiences. So if a buyer on the procurement side is placing an order in a system that isn't that modern and then it's transferring over to this website that isn't that modern either, there's not really an experience gap there. So the B2B organizations haven't felt the need to make them that updated. A lot of B2B commerce right now happens through EDI, which is a very outdated technology itself and has quite a few problems, but is still the center of gravity for B2B commerce, because those systems where a majority of B2B commerce happens are themselves kind of outdated and not a modern customer experience. We just aren't seeing as big a as big a demand for those type of really engaging experiences. You're not seeing a need for it, whereas in the B2C side, retail is always extremely competitive between the look of your store and how you merchandise and how you promote. So everything in B2C is often publicly facing, whereas B2B is not. So if I'm a buyer, I can publicly browse between different retailers as I would in a mall going between shops. And if one has a really bad experience, I'm less likely to move over. There's kind of less friction to go between different sellers, whereas on the B2B side, if I have an agreement with a company that I've had for 10 years, I'm less likely going to shift over if they haven't updated their website in 10 years. These are all kind of interrelated and there's no single answer. But that kind of shift towards better experiences happened in B2C and it's only now really starting to happen in B2B. I think we are going to see it accelerate and catch up much quicker, though. 

 

Gemma [00:13:23] So let's talk a little bit about what businesses need to do to kind of up their game then and make sure that they're still able to fulfill on what B2B consumers are wanting. Are they using the same sorts of tools and techniques to digitally transform or enable e-commerce as B2C or is there, you know, fulfilling all of these unique considerations that you've just mentioned? Does that mean completely changing the tools and technologies that allow for this digital transformation? 

 

Jordan [00:13:49] To an extent, yes. B2B and B2C commerce use a lot of the same tools to build an online store front to customer relationship management or CRM system to manage customers, customer service applications to make sure that your customers are happy. But overall, they are different. There's tools specifically built for B2B. I mentioned CPQ configures price quote earlier. It's really only for B2B commerce because the level of complexity in configuring a product or a quote or a service, you don't really need that as much in B2C, for instance. And B2C might configure like a - clothing. You might choose what color or what size you want, or maybe the material to some extent, but that's really only maybe 15 different choices and attributes. But on the B2B side, if it's a custom made product that's being manufactured to order, they need something very specific, they can't settle for something that's a little bit different. So the tools as a result need to support their specific needs. And similarly, just to give another example, B2C payments are pretty simple. It's mostly credit cards, but B2B payments are much more complex. Every B2B organization has their own workflow for how payments work, for invoicing for the number of days, and the terms they want. So instead of just being able to accept credit cards and you're kind of done, it's not that simple. But the B2B sellers just need to enable a wider range of options for their buyers because of that. Those are just a few examples of how they really are different. 

 

Gemma [00:15:25] You know, I'm thinking about data bringing together customer information across various different departments. But then also, as you say, the information perhaps that's come from a sales rep that says they have to use this particular payment system. And then a different piece of information that's come from maybe a different sales rep or an account manager or something else, and bringing all that information together and then also being able to sort of fit into a system that exists that sort of works for everyone, is it a data management problem or is it the I guess, the scale of the inherent existing technology infrastructure problem? Like what is it that makes all these different rules and all this personalization so difficult? I wonder if you could talk a little bit about that. 

 

Jordan [00:16:06] I see that as two main problems. The first, an integration problem, just making sure if you're a B2B or B2C seller, really, that your systems are integrated, they're talking to each other, that your commerce system is talking to your marketing system, which is talking to your customer service system, so that if you send a promotion to your customer with an email and marketing, they can use that promotion or that coupon at your store, online or offline. And if they return it through the customer service system, you're refunding them the right amount for the coupon. So all these systems really just have to talk to each other. 

 

Jordan [00:16:46] And in terms of the data management problem, if you want to personalize and customize the experience for B2B or B2C buyers, you really just have to have your data in a usable, relatively clean state, which if you look at most merchants, B2B or B2C, they don't have that. The data is kind of all over the place. It's not normalized. So the data in one database, let's say in the marketing system, is not in the same format as the customer service system. So if you're trying to analyze between those two systems, it just doesn't really mesh. And that's part of the reason you've seen a rise in CDPs -customer data platforms by the likes of Microsoft, for instance, who are trying to help with this problem of personalization and managing customers across the different systems. It's been coming to a head right now. It's becoming more important than ever. 

 

Gemma [00:17:38] Talk to me a little bit about an ERP hearing about how this perhaps is going to be able to enable a B2B business to advance their commerce capabilities and their customer experiences. What is it and what's the advantage? 

 

Jordan [00:17:50] An ERP is an enterprise resource planning system, so it's essentially the backbone of the operations of an organization. So the financials, the purchasing inventory management and in terms of commerce, it's important because it tends to be the system of record for things like prices, for products, for transactions, really, because every transaction that an enterprise places goes through the ERP system. And that's important for commerce, because too often I think the front end, the digital commerce systems, again, aren't talking to the ERP or the integration is lagging. And it takes a while for a transaction to go through those systems. And most often, for instance, I find in the B2B commerce world that prices that show up on a website or in a quote or sent to a customer, those come from the ERP system. That's where the prices exist. So those systems obviously need to talk to each other if you want to be able to send a price over to your customers really quickly. And it's a system of record for some of the most important commerce data. And most often a lot of the commerce teams don't talk to the financial teams that manage ERP. Those silos create some inconsistency. And anything organizations can do to further integrate those systems or make sure they're on the same platform will just make the experience better for your customers. 

 

Gemma [00:19:19] What does that mean, though? To connect them is another piece of technology, another platform that you need that you can, I guess, plug the two of them into or can they speak to each other? I mean, we've mentioned ERP, we've mentioned CDP. That sounds like there's a lot of different acronyms here. But is it something else that's required to gather them all together or is it just about, I don't know, APIs between them or whatever? 

 

Jordan [00:19:41] Yeah, there are a lot of acronyms because the API adds another one and there's no silver bullet because it's not easy, partly because every business has their own way of doing things. If businesses were completely standardized, they'd be a lot simpler. But that's not the case and it shouldn't be the case. There are certain things that merchants can do to make it much easier to integrate. They could play nicer with each other and have open APIs and an open ecosystem. And you see, if you look across the digital commerce landscape, for instance, quite a few of the vendors that build this technology provide it to their customers. They also do ERP. So they do ERP and they do digital commerce. There's some level of integration between the ERP and the digital commerce system, but it's not in real time. It's not native. If you do an upgrade on one system, you might have to rebuild the integration. Microsoft is one of the few where the ERP team actually is the same as the digital commerce team. That's, I think, one of the strengths they have going forward. And that just allows those two systems to flow much more easily between those two systems. But generally, it's something that can be overcome if you use an API management system to manage the integrations between those systems or if you have the foresight when you're standing up a new e-commerce site, you say, I want this to integrate very tightly with my back-end system, there's no simple answer or easy solution there. 

 

Gemma [00:21:06] It sounds like almost every business has to zoom out and go, OK, what am I working with here? What are all things that are in front of me and piece it together in their own unique way. But then how do you make that case for businesses that are perhaps already time poorer they maybe don't have the in-house expertise to be sitting and analyzing all their systems and trying to make these plans? How do you kind of, I guess, talk about the pros and cons of doing that investment just to make sure everything's much smoother? 

 

Jordan [00:21:33] That's a great question, and there's no easy answer because it's largely a culture and executive question about like the executives at a merchant, B2B or B2C saying we want to digitally transform. We want to have an overarching strategy for how we go about all future technology procurement and implementation. And that's a very long-term view and a dedication to being a digital first company that I think is too often overlooked. So too often when a new e-commerce platform is implemented, it's a project that happens on its own, saying we want to get a nice site up that looks good and what our customers need and we'll work through the integrations while we're standing it up. But our main goal is just getting something out there for our customers. I think there's going to be a ton of organizations, B2C and B2B, who just try to get a site up and running so their customers could buy online and are now going back in post Black Friday, the holiday season, and just looking at spaghetti of integrations that they have to work through and improve and add to. So it's never simple. 

 

Gemma [00:22:46] Let's talk a little bit about some other technologies that are out there, whether it's specific products or even broader types of technology and you know human things, but AI, for instance, from your perspective, what other technologies are enabling B2B businesses to be digitally resilient and sort of ready to face whatever might come next? 

 

Jordan [00:23:01] Yeah, it depends on the business model because there's tons of technology out there for various different needs. One of the biggest ones I see I've already mentioned a couple of times, which is configure price quote, and that historically CPQ was kind of built to satisfy manufacturers who had complex products and they wanted to streamline that process so that you didn't have to call up Jim in Arkansas who has the price book, and he's the only one who knows how to price this product. Instead, you can have the system do that automatically, for instance, and generate a, quote, product information management or PIM is another one I cover very closely. 

 

Jordan [00:23:14] Historically, that's been a little bit more focused on retail, but is overall a very important system for all commerce, for managing product information. So it's essentially a source of truth for product information and content. So if I want to make sure my product information is consistent across my branded website and a marketplace and my partners who are selling and everywhere else and my catalogs, then I need to make sure I have a PIM in place and that it does everything I need it to do because those product detail pages and the product information on my website is extremely important. But a few more that come to mind are subscription management products. So if you want to sell with subscriptions or consumption based model, you're going to want to make sure you have subscription billing in place. There's order management systems, which is its own category and is very important about making sure you're able to fulfill and surface information about orders to customers. And that's extremely important because that's probably the single biggest gripe that buyers have when they're buying something from you, like where is my order? They don't know where the order is or when it's going to arrive. And no matter how good your commerce store looks or your marketing is, if the product doesn't get to a customer when they expect it, that's it's going to kill the customer experience. But those are some of the main ones that come to mind in building resilient commerce going forward. 

 

Gemma [00:25:12] I mean, there's so many different options here, I guess, and as you say, its different for every individual business. And I suppose there's differences across industry, too. But how does a business actually identify what technology solutions they're going to need for this B2B commerce? And you know can they look to solutions that are built for B2C to see if that would work? Or is it about just finding stuff that's really specific for B2B and trying to just understand everything that's out there and somehow making decisions? 

 

Jordan [00:25:41] Unfortunately, there's no cheat sheet to figure out what technology you need. Me, maybe I should work on designing that. But a lot of it has to do with industry. A lot of it has to do with just how big you are, because the bigger you are, it's more likely it's going to be very complex and you're going to have more complex needs. Really the best advice I could give is you just have to look at the landscape, look at the vendors out there, talk to a lot of them and talk to their customers, of course, and understand which tools you do need. For instance, if you do have a huge number of products and you have a lot of channels you're selling them on, you're probably going to want a PIM. If you have complex products and you want to give your customers the ability to configure them, you probably want a CPQ but not every organization needs that. And depending on how important the actual website is, you may or may not need a what's called a web content management system or a web, something that allows you to build a really great looking and advanced, a storefront website. So my answer is kind of an analyst favorite answer, which is it depends. It's hard to figure out. But the best place to start is just by kind of looking at the research out there, talking to some vendors, talking to their customers. That's probably the best way and narrowing down what you need for your industry, your size, and your specific use case. I'm actually going to give one more piece of advice, which is talk to your customers and ask them how they would like to buy from you. Because I've had inquiries before where a B2B merchant came to me and said we built a B2B store front. We spent over a million dollars standing this up and our buyers are not using it. I looked at the website. It was a B2B manufacturer. The website looked great. It fit all the things I talk about with digital commerce. I think the problem is they didn't talk to their customers and understand what their customers actually wanted to use. They were really intent on buying over fax, for instance, you may not be able to shift them over to an online storefront overnight, so talk to your customers as well. 

 

Gemma [00:27:52] That's a great one. It’s certainly something that comes up as a theme in this podcast over and over again. And another thing that comes up a lot in this podcast, obviously, considering the theme connected and ready, is this theme of resilience when it comes to facing any kinds of ups and downs, and particularly when it comes to selling demand fluctuations and forecasting. So how can B2B businesses, from your perspective, be more resilient when it comes to facing all these different facts of business, shall we say? 

 

Jordan [00:28:19] Yeah, that's a great question and very timely for me because IDC we have a conference normally we did in person called Directions and this year it's virtual and my session at the conference is going to be on resilient commerce. So it's very fresh on my mind. There are a few different things, many of which I've already mentioned, about breaking down silos and integrations and APIs and that sort of thing. And I've talked about this a little bit. But one of the things that I would really highlight is there are a lot of channels that are important these days. It's not the case anymore that you can just sell through sales reps or you can just sell on your website or just sell on any given marketplace. You really have to consider all the channels. You have to think about all the channels where your buyers might want to conduct business with you. And what's happening is what I call a channel explosion. There's just a huge number of channels popping up that include things like social media and the Internet of things and smart devices and voice commerce. These are all things you really should think about and you need to make sure you're aligning yourself with systems that are channel ubiquitous, as I would call it, take into account all these different channels. And the point I made earlier is because commerce just doesn't just impact the buyers who go on your site. It obviously impacts them, but it also impacts your customers on marketplaces, on offline, over the phone, on whatever channel. Having a better digital commerce experience just improves your business overall. To have resilient digital commerce, you should really be thinking about how it impacts your entire business, not just selling portion. 

 

Gemma [00:30:01] And let's finish on a little bit of future facing note with you being a researcher, I'm assuming you think a lot about what the future holds for digital B2B commerce. So tell us a little bit about what that looks like from your view and what companies should be doing now to be ready for what's next? 

 

Jordan [00:30:15] This is my favorite question because IDC's slogan is Analyze the Future. And I really try to take that to heart and think about sometimes very futuristically what is commerce going to look like, because if you went back 10 years ago and you thought about a store where you could walk in and walk out without swiping your credit card or handing over cash, that would have seemed crazy. But now there are just walk out type stores and that's on the B2C side. But there are different kinds of commerce that are popping up that are like that. What - I call I call it autonomous commerce. It's commerce that automates a lot of the placement of orders and the delivery and fulfillment and returns. And it makes decisions for B2B and B2C buyers more streamlined. So, for instance, my friend has a Nespresso and Nespresso, has a relationship with them, they buy coffee every so often and when a new flavor comes out, they just send it to them. They don't ask whether they want it. They send them the coffee. And if they want to continue getting it, then they go on to their app and they say, yes, I'd like to continue receiving this or no. And I can really imagine a scenario where an autonomous vehicle just pulls up and delivers coffee to you every time a sensor in your machine recognizes that you're running low. That's a B2C example. You could imagine a B2B example where a manufacturer’s machine, let's say an automaker's plant, a machine is breaking down. There's a sensor in that machine that recognizes that it needs maintenance. And so the machine itself using a sensor actually orders a new part and orders the maintenance crew to repair it. And that way you don't have to wait till the machine breaks down and have someone place an order and maybe lose a week of uptime because of that. I'll give one more example that's a little bit different. I know that some manufacturers of hospital equipment have actually started using a consumption-based model for hospital beds, for instance. So if I'm selling a bed to a hospital, I can actually charge them based on how much time patients are in that bed. So they don't have to make very expensive upfront cost for that bed. And there's a sensor that can tell when someone's in the bed and it just charges them based on use. So kind of similar model where it's moving towards subscriptions and consumption based and these kind of more recurring revenue models that remove expenditures from capital expenditures to operational expenditures. When I think about the future of commerce, I just try to think about those sort of things and how friction can be removed, how we can remove points of friction throughout the customer journey, which on average will drive growth and bring more customers to your platform. 

 

Gemma [00:33:02] Amazing. You make it sound easy when you say it like that. It's just about reducing some friction, but amazing. Jordan, thank you so much for explaining to us that it's not quite as simple as that. But of course, there's many different things that B2B businesses can be doing now and into the future to make sure that they are resilient and keeping ahead of the curve. So thank you so much for joining us on the show. 

 

Jordan [00:33:20] Yeah, I would say there's there is a lot of friction in removing friction, I guess I would say. But overall, this has been a really fun conversation. And thanks so much for having me. 

 

Gemma [00:33:31] That's it for this week. Thank you so much for tuning in. 

 

Gemma [00:33:35] You can find out more about Jordan's work and indeed some of the broader themes we discussed today in the show notes. If you enjoyed the episode, please do take a few moments to rate and review the podcast. It really helps other people discover the show. 

 

Gemma [00:33:46] And don't forget to hit subscribe and tune in next time to continue our conversation about innovation, resilience, and our capacity to succeed. 

 

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