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B2B companies are standing on the eve of big changes in digital commerce. Augmented reality, artificial intelligence, block chain technology. How will it affect commerce and how can companies choose the platform that specifically meets their customers’ needs? EBG and Intershop combine their strengths to bring e-commerce to a higher level and offer a beacon in a fast-changing digital world. Ten minutes with Benjamin Glaesener (General Manager EBG) and Marc Ollivier (Sales Manager France Intershop).

1. What is EBG’s goal?

Glaesener: “EBG is short for Electronic Business Group, and we are the largest digital innovation think-tank in France. In short, we are a business club with 700 companies that present 150.000 people. We are active mainly in France, where we organize conferences on digital economy, weekly, monthly and yearly events that bring stakeholders together. Our website is a source of information. We offer many publications about subjects related to digital marketing and e-commerce, ranging from whitepapers to TaskForce booklets and surveys.”

2. Why is an EBG-membership so important for French companies?

Glaesener: “EBG was founded in 1998 to create a mutual place for companies to exchange retail experience and knowledge. Up until that time, there was almost no information available. That is different nowadays, but the membership is still of immense value because EBG can function as a beacon in an ever-changing digital world. The number of technologies has exploded and it’s very difficult for digital managers to find out which technologies could meet their wishes and demands. EBG helps them to compare solutions and to make it easier to make decisions. An e-commerce company making the wrong decision can be fatal for the company’s existence. Together we can prevent this.”

3. How has B2B commerce changed over the years?

Ollivier: “At Intershop, we see that B2B commerce managers deal with huge business issues. The world of B2B commerce has completely changed over the past, say, 10 years. What we see most is that the differences between B2B and B2C are slowly fading. One of the biggest challenges is that the B2B customer now expects the same customer experience that he’s used to in B2C.” Glaesener adds: “Two years ago, we created several workshops dedicated to B2B commerce and that was a huge success. There is a need to share knowledge.”

4. What can Intershop contribute to EBG and its members?

Glaesener: “Because Intershop is a global company, they are able to give our EBG members input and feedback on trends and about what is going on in different international companies. Moreover, Intershop has a good technical reputation and a long history. It’s not a surprise that Forrester names Intershop a leader in the e-commerce field. For Intershop, the partnering is of great value as well. It gives us the opportunity to learn from each other, to hear which issues B2B companies deal with and to discuss how new technologies can be applied, like block chain, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. For us, EBG allows us to offer a 360 degrees digital experience to digital companies.”

5. There are two upcoming EBG-events in which Intershop will participate. Why is it worth attending them?

Ollivier: “On February 6, 2019, EBG organizes Digital Performance in Paris. That means: workshops, discovering technologies and disruptive services and experiments, all meant to help solve marketing and e-commerce issues.” Glaesener: “Digital Performance adds value, because the attendees are offered a menu of 7 workshops per slot. The workshops they choose are relevant to them. By organizing these workshops, the event has an interactive character. We expect people to exchange experiences and we stimulate them to network.” During Digital Performance, Intershop conducts a workshop about e-commerce with focus on B2B and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how AI supports e-commerce.

The second upcoming event is Digital Benchmark in Berlin, on May 22-24. Glaesener: “This is a benchmark of technical business solutions. This year is the third edition. The past 2,5 years, so many technical solutions have been developed and it’s going ever faster. When a company decides to replatform after 3 or 4 years, there are even many more solutions. Digital Benchmark helps to make the decision easier. It’s all about sharing knowledge.” Ollivier: “During Digital Benchmark, Intershop shares their vision on digital commerce, discusses trends and helps companies to overcome digital commerce challenges.”

Glaesener: “We are proud of Intershop as our new member, because it makes the technical pictures more understandable. As a market leader, their feedback is very important. Together, we can help companies to bring e-commerce to a higher level.”