Distributors are currently, and will continue to, see their markets changing shape and focus fast. This can be put down to the ever-increasing engagement in e-commerce and the rapid comfortability between customers and purchasing on the internet. It is important that distributors pay attention and adapt to this growing trend in order to remain competitive and stay in the game.
Customers expect that once they have made that final click and purchased their products online that all will run smoothly, if not, they expect some form of communication if there is a supply chain issue. Taking this into consideration, it is more and more important that distributors and their suppliers have even closer relationships and can rely on each other as well as up-to-date/real-time information on inventory availability.
Below are three emerging trends that will reshape distribution.
1. Mobile Devices
Today, it is almost an expectation to be able to purchase anything… anywhere. The use of mobile-friendly websites and apps is crucial nowadays, people expect to be able to find a product and purchase it whilst at the bus stop on their way home, gone are the days of only purchasing on a PC. Distributors should ensure that their website loads quickly and easily navigated on mobile devices if they want to maximise sales.
2. B2B E-Commerce
B2B customers now expect to transfer their consumer buying habits to work. A sophisticated, easy-to-use website should be offered by all B2B businesses. High standards of the e-commerce world have been held against B2B’s and as more tech-savvy demographic start to take over businesses these standards are likely to be met. In order for distributors to be able to take orders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week their websites have to be ‘up-to-scratch’ and meet the growing demands facing them.
3. AmazonSupply threatening your business
In 2005 Amazon bought out the niche supplier of B2B equipment, SmallParts.com. In 2012 Amazon made a significant move by launching AmazonSupply, offering over 750,000 business essentials to customers globally. At first, most were sceptical about the impact an Amazon website could make on their business, but it has become a force to be reckoned with. Amazon, are most likely, going to have the upper hand on price for most distributors and so it is not advised to compete on price. Distributors should assess what ‘added value’ a customer or business would get by purchasing from you…and then market it, let your market know what you do and how you do it, lead them to your website and the orders could come rolling in…
You can now read part two here!
Read the original article here.