Distributors that do not start investing in a global e-commerce system for their business risk falling far behind in their field and losing customers. According to a blog article from NetSuite, embracing digital technologies like e-commerce is critical for long-term survival.
With giants of global e-commerce like Amazon and Google getting into the mix, the B2B e-commerce marketplace is becoming extremely competitive.
“Clearly, if Amazon and Google are moving into B2B commerce, they see a large market there. Suppliers who fail to provide it risk losing business to online competitors,” the NetSuite blog article states.
Perhaps the most prominent reason distributors do not adopt a global e-commerce solution is that the investment feels risky. However, those who maintain the status quo will find that they’ll lose out on this great opportunity.
Ignoring the customer demand for e-commerce is dangerous. The upcoming generation of purchasing agents is no longer techno-phobic but rather quite tech savvy.
“The next wave of B2B purchasing agents will be millennial and Y Generation workers who shop online on their iPads or cellphones and expect to go online for corporate supplies,” the blog article notes.
Distributors that don’t sell to these new generations will find their customer base shrinking. Global e-commerce is essential for distributors that want to reach a wider customer base to capture new business.
“It’s removed geographical boundaries for us,” says Steve Spitzer, co-founder of Monterey Lighting Solutions, in the NetSuite blog article. “We used to serve customers within a 50-mile radius, but with the Internet, we now serve customers all over the country and even internationally.”
With a strong global e-commerce offering, it is also possible to retain more customers through increased communication with existing customers.
Distributors that ignore technological innovation in their industry will find themselves ignored by a growing and changing marketplace. It’s now more important than ever to invest in this area.
Source: NetSuite, October 2013