Earlier this week I posted my opinion on AmazonSupply.com and whether it posed a potential threat to distributors and wholesalers in B2B ecommerce. It turns out that Forrester Analyst, Andy Hoar, agrees. (Read his blog post here.) Hoar makes some very astute observations of which the most telling is in his summary. Hoar states:
“…with over a decade of success moving into new product categories and creating new businesses, Amazon’s latest move with AmazonSupply should scare the B2B eCommerce establishment. Amazon has a history of upending markets, rewriting the rules, and changing the course of whole industries. Their latest move with AmazonSupply is at least a camel’s nose under the B2B eCommerce tent . . . but likely a great deal more. ” (Source: Forrester Research) [My emphasis added, not his.]
What stands out for me in this quote is the observation that Amazon.com is known for creating new demand for products online where there hasn’t previously been a demand. It wasn’t that long ago that no one bought books and music online, much less digital copies of these items–and now dedicated bricks-and-mortar stores that specialize in music are a thing of the past. Book stores are starting to go the way of the dinosaur too. It’s too easy to simply brush off AmazonSupply.com with a simple, “They’d never be able to…[fill in the blank].” The reality is, they have accomplished the unthinkable before. It’s time to seriously consider the future of B2B ecommerce and your position in it.