What do the following verticals have in common?
- Hydraulics, Pneumatics, & Plumbing
- Lab & Scientific
- Occupational Health & Safety
- Power & Hand Tools
- Janitorial & Sanitation
- Power Transmission
- Test, Measure & Inspect
- Cutting Tools
- Abrasives & Finishing
- Material Handling
- Fleet & Vehicle Maintenance
Yes, they are all business-to-business (b2B) products, but there’s another connection that is quieter, subtler and definitely more dangerous. Have you figured out the connection yet? I will tell you: AmazonSupply.com.
The fourteen categories above are the fourteen published verticals that AmazonSupply.com is actively going after. Have you considered the effect that AmazonSupply will have on your distribution or manufacturing/distribution business? If not, you’re ignoring a major threat to the success of your B2B organization.
Yesterday Linda Taddonio posted a blog about digital disruptors and how they can effectively uproot entire industries with very little warning. Amazon is the quintessential disruptor, having uprooted book, music and movie sellers from the physical retail world almost single-handedly. With expansions into home goods, clothing, shoes, art supplies, electronics, sporting equipment, grocery items, health and beauty, toys, and automotive supplies, they are effectively taking on the entire retail industry and it is most certainly feeling the effects of Amazon’s onslaught.
In late April of last year, Amazon launched a new sister website called AmazonSupply.com and squarely took aim at a new target: B2B purchases. The launch was relatively quiet, insomuch that many of our distribution clients didn’t even realize the site existed when we mentioned it in conversation. The reality is that this quiet move into the world of B2B ecommerce is quite deliberate. While the initial entrance onto the B2B scene was silent, it’s likely to be deadly to those who do business in one of Amazon’s vertical markets.
AmazonSupply’s SKU count is slowly growing. In April they touted having 500,000 unique items for sale. Half a year later, that count is up another 100,000 SKUs and they are “adding more every day.”
If you currently do business in one of the fourteen target vertical markets where AmazonSupply offers products and you don’t have a comprehensive ecommerce strategy in place, you should be scared. And scrambling to find a solution before AmazonSupply totally eats your lunch. If you currently have a site but know that it needs to be upgraded in order to stand a chance against AmazonSupply.com, don’t wait! Do it now.
My message is this: It’s not too late for you to be successful in B2B ecommerce (and in business in general) if AmazonSupply.com is selling products in your market, but now is the time for action.
To learn more about how to position your organization against the threat of AmazonSupply.com, download the white paper, AmazonSupply.com – Can Today’s Distributors Compete?