B2B: How to Build a Profitable E-Commerce Strategy

B2B: How to Build a Profitable E-Commerce Strategy

B2B: How to Build a Profitable E-Commerce Strategy

B2B: How to Build a Profitable E-Commerce Strategy


Companies on the Internet fast track are all abuzz about the unquestionable potential of B2B e-commerce. Reliable estimates suggest that a trillion dollars will be transacted over the Web in the next few years -- and the bulk of that will occur in the business-to-business space. For all of the discussion, however, this vast frontier of Internet commerce is still unexplored by most companies with the potential to profit. They simply don't know how to get started.

B2B provides the first definitive blueprint for creating a profitable business-to-business Web strategy. It describes huge B2B success stories such as Cisco Systems and Dell Computer, and smaller trailblazers including VerticalNet and eCredit.com, to illustrate how any company can navigate this space. Written by a frontrunner in the field, B2B breaks down a previously cryptic topic into easy-to-understand steps, and provides a how-to game plan for succeeding at the greatest opportunity yet in online commerce.


On a recent holiday trip with my family I visited one of the most beautiful and, some would say, cruelest places on earth: Antarctica. It's a realm of ice and harsh extremes, a place where little seems to change, but one never tires of taking in the wondrous nature and seascape. The dimensions are never ending.

While traveling there by ship I found myself ruminating about the themes and issues in this book and discovered some titanic analogies to the current challenges facing us in the world of technology. When our ship approached the icy waters of the Southern Ocean, dramatic climatic changes occurred as we crossed the convergence (the meeting of the warmer waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans). On sighting of the first iceberg, the size of a small tropical island, it was obvious that the rules that normally govern this area of the planet are very different compared to those where most of us live. Wildlife can adapt or perish, and its own rules are built into the behavior of each species.

Interesting, but what does this have to do with B2B? Perhaps quite a bit. To begin with, B2B might just be the last frontier in the business world. And with that, of course, comes some danger. The typical ecosystems that have nurtured industrial change over the years have usually offered solutions and progress, solving one particular challenge of change. But change is cyclical. The Industrial Revolution brought work from the field and home into the factory. The Internet and the information age are putting it back where we started. All this requires a rethinking of how we operate.

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