After months of research, design and development, Liferay Commerce 1.1 is released and available worldwide. We’ve added a brand new B2B accelerator and several features to address some of the pressing commerce needs companies are facing today.
In particular, Liferay Commerce 1.1 doubles down on two major pain points: improving the B2B user experience and bringing content & commerce together in one platform.
Improving User Experience for B2B Commerce
Across the board, companies are facing increasing pressure to deliver B2C-like experiences for their B2B customers. Due to their interactions with internet retailers, customers expect easy online purchasing to replace the phone calls and faxes that they usually have to go through when placing new orders.
However, the needs of a B2C customer and a B2B customer can be quite different. For instance, a B2B purchaser with a 15-year relationship with a spare parts manufacturer is going to be less interested in exploring a product catalog and more interested in real time updates of their order history and spend with the company. The experience should still be easy, enjoyable and beautifully designed but the fundamental tasks that a buyer cares about shift.
When a B2C retailer says they want to offer “engaging experiences” to their customers, they’re usually talking in terms of time-on-page, number of pages visited, social engagement and in-the-moment purchases. When a B2B seller looks at improving experiences, they should be thinking about how to make interactions intuitive and efficient so that their customers can come in, quickly get a task done and immediately get back to running their own business.
B2B customer dashboard in Liferay Commerce
What makes for an intuitive, efficient experience? At Liferay, we’re trying to answer this question through our B2B accelerators for Commerce. Most of the accelerators offered by commerce solutions are basically specialized site themes and templates that allow your e-commerce site to launch faster.
But on its own, a better theme can’t solve many of the common problems that B2B companies face regarding the user experience their B2B buyers need. Unlike B2C, the characteristics of a best-in-class B2B digital experience are still being defined. There is ample room for B2B companies to jump ahead of their competition by delivering a superior experience.
To help our customers achieve this, Liferay enlisted the B2B expertise of our internal UX design team and is building enhanced UX interactions into every accelerator we create.
A shining example of this is Minium, available now with the Liferay Commerce 1.1 release. Every pixel was designed for driving efficiency for buyers, with significant enhancements around the site-wide search experience, the ability to quickly add products to an order and the UI for managing multiple draft orders at once before sending into a buyer workflow.
Content and Commerce Across Every Channel
Regardless of whether you’re looking at B2B or B2C, one of the most-cited pain points in commerce is trying to reuse content you’ve created in a web CMS within your commerce platform. It comes back to the issue of integration — who wants to spend time trying to wrangle these two (or more) solutions when there’s such an obvious benefit to having them on a unified platform?
Having the flexibility to effortlessly mix content and commerce transforms all your channels, from marketing landing pages to enriched product pages and integrated knowledge bases. The value of product-related content multiplies in a B2B setting, where products are more complex and buyers benefit from the expertise that sellers are able to provide in the form of user guides, videos and more.
Because Liferay Commerce is built from the ground up to work with Liferay DXP, all of this integration is already handled for our customers, including integration with the features in our latest DXP 7.1 release. Instead of integrating third-party systems, companies can leverage the full benefits of a digital experience platform to provide product education within their digital commerce site, creating a single, comprehensive experience that is easier to manage and ultimately delivers more value to the customer.
There’s More to Discover in Liferay Commerce 1.1
Liferay Commerce 1.1 also introduces support for subscription products, recurring payments and more UX enhancements within the accelerator than we’re able to cover here. Make sure to watch the webinar for a comprehensive look at how the new features tie into the rest of our platform.
It’s clear that the future of best-in-class commerce experiences will blur the lines between commerce and digital experiences for each step of the customer journey. At Liferay, we’re looking forward to delivering even more value with tailored, integrated experiences for every audience in the B2B world.
Stay tuned, because this is far from the last thing we have planned for Liferay Commerce in 2019.