It’s easy to chuckle at Clifford Stoll’s 1995 Newsweek article, “Why The Web Won’t Be Nirvana.” The internet, he asserted, was “oversold and trendy.” Telecommuting? Commerce shifting from malls and offices to networks and modems?
“Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet — which there isn’t,” he harrumphed, “the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.”
Fast forward 23 years. Brandingmag.com reports that 88 percent of executives purchase business products online. Part of the reason may be that salespeople continue to be a vital part of the equation.
Human sales reps must take the high-level responsibilities with customers, such as negotiate contracts or exercise judgment on difficult problems. But algorithms and bots can do the mind-numbingly repetitive tasks, such as present custom catalogs or process orders.
Roll the technology into an online portal, and you see that they perform these tasks much more quickly, accurately and securely. And they do it all day long, every single day of the year. (Techradar.com reports that Amazon sold about $3.4 billion in goods during their 36-hour Prime Day 2018.)
That’s why a term like eCommerce, much like the internet, never went away. In fact, they got better. That’s why Xerox – which invented many of the technologies that made the internet possible — got on board early.
Shopping online for businesses just got easier, thanks to Xerox Elite #eCommerce Storefront Solution
Your Custom Online Shopping Experience Is Here
For decades, the Xerox Elite eCommerce Storefront Solution has offered private and secure websites where your people can order equipment, supplies, and services. In that time, B2B has become much more consumerized, and buyers’ expectations for the online ordering experience with suppliers have intensified. As a result, Xerox matches expectations with improved online capabilities. It’s exactly what you should expect when you do business with a technology company.
These customized portals allow your people to spend less time procuring Xerox equipment and supplies, and more time concentrating on their real jobs – delighting your customers.
Energy powerhouse Southern Company turned to Xerox to streamline print technology procurement across 10 affiliates. The move simplified purchases, eliminated redundancy, and reduced print-related costs.
Five Ways the Xerox B2B E-Commerce Portal Makes Procurement Easier
Transparency: The prices you negotiated appear beside every item in your eCatalog. Optional approval functions can be added to control spending and eliminate unauthorized purchases.
Less Paper Work: The data and documents relevant to your partnership with Xerox can be stored in a centralized repository accessible from your portal.
Procurement on your terms: Approved users can place their orders when it’s most convenient for them — no waiting for meetings or phone calls to be returned. The order history feature shows what was ordered and who ordered it. You and your team control the procurement process at every step. Moreover, Xerox can integrate with your ERP system so you can keep your existing procurement process intact.
Streamlined: Intuitive navigation on the Xerox Elite e-Commerce portal makes it easy to find the products you need, checkout, and approve orders in fewer steps. The portal eliminates bottlenecks, reduces errors, and make procurement more efficient and cost-effective.
Global: Set up a portal anywhere in the world. Operate as many portals in as many currencies as you need. Each will be customized with your business’ approved catalog for equipment and supplies at your negotiated prices. Our online storefronts allow you to keep track of procurement costs around the world while making it easier for every office to order in their local currency.
Commerce on a Network
Your portal is typically up and running within 30 days. However, the support continues throughout the life of your contract, including an easy way to recycle the supplies you purchase from Xerox.
The obvious problem with Clifford Stoll’s Newsweek article is that it took only the technology of the day into account. We know, however, that technology has never been static. In fact, the pace of technological change only gets faster.
Today, Clifford sells blown glass Klein bottles on the internet through his company, Acme Klein Bottles, which he runs out of his home. But his 1995 rant did correctly point out that social conventions would lag behind technology.
“Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. The result? Every voice is heard. The cacophony more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harassment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen.”
We’re listening, Clifford. And we hear you.
(Editor’s note: this post originally appeared on the Xerox Connect blog.)
Your Xerox Elite eCommerce Consultant will help you learn how to set-up your Elite ecommerce Storefront Solution.
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