In A Decade of Digital Transformation in 12 Months, 46 C-suite executives spoke with PYMNTS for its Q2 eBook on what the world will look like as recovery rolls on and the next iteration of normal rolls out. In this excerpt, Craig O’Neill, CEO of Versapay, explores how the pandemic pushed consumers into a digital shift, and how they have benefited from “speed, convenience, more choice, richer information, and more.”
Read the entire eBook here.
At Versapay, we believe the pandemic has driven a lasting and significant digital transformation across industries — specifically with respect to how companies engage with their customers. Consumer-oriented companies were already well down this road, but the pandemic has accelerated their move to a “digital-first” model. The year 2020 forced consumers to go digital, with those that hadn’t yet done so discovering the benefits of being online: speed, convenience, more choice, richer information and more.
Will consumers go back to stores? Of course. But they will shop online first. The same is true for business customers. Their vendors, however — suppliers of goods and services to businesses — were much earlier in their digital journeys, and are well-positioned to capitalize on the evolving expectations of buyers.
The pandemic was a shock to our collective systems, and industries and business functions that were reticent to change have been forced to adopt new systems as a result of this great digital shift. In today’s environment, certainty is scarce – but we can confidently predict, for better or worse, that the post-sale experience in B2B will be entirely digital.
And this in and of itself presents suppliers with immense opportunities for transformation and growth. We believe that suppliers that can embrace digitization to offer superior end-to-end digital experiences to their business customers — from shopping and ordering to invoicing and payment — will ultimately attract more customers and achieve a lasting competitive advantage.
As part of this shift toward digital payment experiences, organizations are now looking for intuitive platforms that help digitize, automate and optimize the invoice-to-cash process in its entirety. The pandemic has forced suppliers to overhaul their business models and adapt to survive. This is especially prevalent in respect to payments. Digitization and the transformation of accounting functions is here to stay, as better business decisions are rooted in modernization and data transparency.
In accelerating digitization, the pandemic has exposed some glaring deficiencies in how B2B buying experiences are imagined, but that’s all about to change. For example, whereas eCommerce was previously associated with smaller, more immediate purchases, we’re seeing more and more B2B decision-makers being open to making fully self-serve or remote purchases in excess of tens of thousands of dollars.
This is a vastly different experience than what we were experiencing a year ago, and is a trend that is unlikely to cease.