The customer’s shopping experienced has changed over the years and is poised to change yet again. Amazon’s industrial supply site, AmazonSupply.com, and Google’s more recent launch of Google Shopping for Suppliers are two strong players in a growing ecommerce marketplace. How much will the “Amazonization” of ecommerce affect the traditional online sales and what should distributors do about it?
If you’ve shopped on Amazon, you may already know how much money and time you can save by evaluating product options from several ecommerce websites at the same time. This cost- and time-saving shopping trend has entered into the world of industrial supply and distributors are taking notice. According to industry experts interviewed in “The ‘Amazonization’ of Customer Expectations,” posted on MDM.com by Lindsay Konzak, since Amazon and Google have stepped into the world of industrial supplies, distributors may need to think a little quicker about how these two powerhouses could affect their businesses.
Business to consumer (B2C) marketing has elbowed its way into a traditional business to business (B2B) setting which is causing distributors to re-evaluate marketing strategies and online investments. Brent Grover of Evergreen Consulting suggests that adding a module to an existing business management solution may not be enough for a distributor to compete. However, before jumping headfirst into ecommerce, it may be best to make sure you have the right business management solutions in place to handle traditional store or warehouse business first, then take a look at an online presence second. If you do experiment with online sales, such as the Amazon and Google B2C style, make sure that you have the backing of a solid software provider to get you into the right software solutions. A bad online presence is worse than no presence at all.
Whether or not you have an online presence, you do have an obligation to provide consistent, reliable customer service. If you can establish loyal, long-term customers, you may have less of a need for this new ecommerce trend, but that is not to say you should ignore the idea. Discuss your ecommerce options with the experts at RAM Software Systems. Their team of specialists can evaluate your existing business management solutions and provide guidance on choosing new solutions, if needed, as well as solutions that could support an ecommerce initiative.
By RAM Software Systems, an Epicor Authorized Partner out of Texas