Savvy B2B organizations are adding ecommerce to their sales arsenals in ever increasing numbers. Those companies are lead by two organizations: Grainger Industrial Supply and AmazonSupply.com. By evaluating what these two B2B ecommerce leaders are doing, B2B organizations can establish their own strategies for success.
Grainger Industrial Supply. When an organization’s executive leadership says “We’re not close to being done [with ecommerce],” as Paul Miller, Vice President of E-Commerce for Grainger, recently did (Source: www.mdm.com), it’s clear that Grainger is a B2B organization to watch in the ecommerce space. Serving more than two million businesses and institutions in 157 countries, Grainger is a major player in industrial distribution and it has set its sights on increasing its success via ecommerce.
Why You Should Pay Attention to Grainger: Quite simply, Grainger gets B2B ecommerce. They recognized an opportunity to grow their business and have invested heavily in ecommerce to turn that opportunity into success. As a result of that investment, Grainger has emerged as a leader in B2B ecommerce even though their original business model was catalog driven. Grainger is implementing critical B2B ecommerce functionality into their site such as auto reorder to “build customer loyalty and stickiness” (Source: www.mdm.com). Grainger views ecommerce as the “glue that holds its multichannel model together” and they aren’t satisfied. “We’re setting our sights on how we can be the top e-commerce destination. Period,” says Miller.
B2B Ecommerce Take Aways From Grainger
- Get into ecommerce if you haven’t already. First movers will have an advantage overall.
- Invest in ecommerce to ensure your site meets the needs of your customers.
- Include ecommerce as part of your overall growth strategy, not a separate one off.
AmazonSupply.com. Like a sleeping giant, AmazonSupply.com is gathering steam since its April 2012 launch. Many B2B organizations are simply unaware of AmazonSupply’s existence or are ignoring it as a relatively small offering over fourteen distribution verticals.
Based on Amazon’s history, AmazonSupply.com should not be ignored. Industry leaders like Borders Bookstore and Circuit City are out of business as a result of Amazon’s efforts in their markets. Companies that thought there markets were secure, like Best Buy Corporation, are now finding themselves unable to compete with Amazon’s prices and ecommerce know-how. All signs point to the idea that the wholesale distribution market is next.
Why You Should Pay Attention to AmazonSupply.com: Amazon is a force to be reckoned with across all industries. They are the gold standard for all things ecommerce and they have a history of dominating the markets they choose to enter.
B2B Ecommerce Take Aways from AmazonSupply.com
- Know your competition and be prepared to compete heavily for your customers’ loyalty.
- Bring your A game. Amazon doesn’t do anything half way. Neither should you.
- Don’t assume a quiet presence equates to no threat. It’s only a matter of time before AmazonSupply.com eats your ecommerce lunch.