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Being digital today is a must for B2B companies. But that is not enough:  digital commerce is a basic requirement in the global economy!

In recent years, software for e-commerce has itself become a commodity: It's all about price, quality and delivery time (time-to-market).  However, today no one has to develop new software for this basic business any more. The commerce functionality itself is no longer outstanding, you can rent it e.g. in a secure and low-risk way.

As a B2B company today, you have to differentiate yourself with innovation, not with just providing what is expected. By using the existing and proven commerce functionalities of a standard software provider, you have time to concentrate on your very own innovations and differentiating features.

What do you think is the key to success?

I can only advise e-commerce decision-makers: Know your target group! Only if you can solve the problems of your target group, your company will be successful. So always think of the customer first.

Use personas, touchpoints and customer journeys. When this is settled, needed processes, systems and technologies can be derived that have to be purchased, rented or developed. With Intershop you can easily consume standard commerce functions as APIs and combine them with differentiation functions developed as separate microservices.

That sounds a lot like connected commerce. Isn't linking different systems incredibly complex?

Standardized interfaces and well-documented APIs can connect an entire universe of touchpoints with commerce functionality. It is the APIs that make innovation possible. Other good examples include voice control with Cortana or linking Intershop and MailChimp via Microsoft Flow.

Ultimately, the aim is to creatively combine existing solutions in order to solve real customer problems quickly and efficiently.

So what is the future of digital commerce?

"Convenience always wins". Comfort will prevail. This means new touchpoints such as voice-controlled digital assistants or IoT devices that re-order autonomously, but also completely new business models that are made possible, for example, by a subscription and sharing economy.

The opportunities are endless and thanks to numerous prefabricated solution modules and cloud technologies, it's easier than ever to let your visions become reality.