Distributors need B2B ecommerce to remain viable and successful in today’s digital economy. Without a robust ecommerce plan in place, the world of wholesale distribution is likely to leave you behind. Not convinced? Here are six reasons why wholesale distributors need to have a B2B ecommerce strategy in place in 2013:
Your aging customer base. Face it. Your current customers aren’t getting any younger. The up-and-comers are used to making business decisions as well as purchases of all sizes using their laptops, mobile, and tablet devices. Without a comprehensive ecommerce strategy in place, you risk losing market share to companies who can meet the new workforce where they prefer to buy. Implementing an ecommerce strategy now will ensure that you are able to meet the needs of your younger customers.
Demand for Internet-based buying capability. Today’s buyers want to buy online—for both business and personal purchases. Not having a viable ecommerce presence puts you at risk of losing their business. Quite simply, these customers will find another supplier (read: your competitor) to buy from who offers ecommerce as an option. Implementing your B2B ecommerce strategy immediately gives you a better chance of holding off the competition in the coming months.
Speed of business is increasing. Las year’s business timetable is no longer acceptable in today’s market and will be completely obsolete by next year. Today’s business buyers expect that their orders will process and their purchases will arrive faster than ever. Leveraging ecommerce allows you to turn up the heat on your order turn times while increasing your organization’s efficiency and cutting costs associated with duplicate data entry.
Competition from Internet retailers. Think you don’t have any online competitors? Think again. The Internet has leveled the playing field for much of the B2B business world. Industries that were once protected by geographical constraints (concrete block or corrugated cardboard, anyone?) are now discovering that the Internet is bringing new competition into what was once their exclusive market—and not just from down the street. These new competitors might be in another state or halfway across the globe and they are equally as equipped to meet your customers’ needs.
AmazonSupply.com. I just got a shiver down my spine. Did you? If not, you aren’t paying attention. AmazonSupply is the ecommerce giant who might very well crush your business. Think I’m exaggerating? So did Borders Books, CompUSA, CircuitCity, and Best Buy. Every one of these retailers is either completely out of business or struggling to recreate itself in the face of the largest competitor its ever experienced. Implement your wholesale distribution ecommerce site before AmazonSupply grows any larger. The larger AmazonSupply gets, the harder it is going to be to compete.
Mobile will be next. Your customers are demanding B2B ecommerce now and soon they will be calling for mobile commerce as well. You can’t do mobile commerce without a traditional ecommerce site first. Implementing both at the same time can be a real drag—so implement ecommerce first and put mobile commerce into the second phase of your ecommerce strategy. Don’t get stuck behind the eight ball by not having mobile commerce. Get your regular ecommerce site up now.
Still think you can avoid having a wholesale distribution ecommerce site in 2013? I know I don’t think you can.
To learn more about to launch a successful wholesale distribution ecommerce site, download the white paper, B2B Ecommerce Success – Seven Questions to Consider When Beginning an Ecommerce Initiative.