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Catch Them While You Can: Why You Can No Longer Afford to Ignore the Value of B2B e-commerce

Catch Them While You Can: Why You Can No Longer Afford to Ignore the Value of B2B e-commerce

At first, B2B e-commerce was pretty simple. Storefronts, the ability to reorder consumables, or request service. Basic steps in response to an emerging desire by customers to serve themselves, online. Now? Your customers no longer distinguish between you and Amazon or any other consumer outfit. To them, online is online and they expect speed, simplicity, an elegant user experience, and complete control. Yes, this presents more challenges to a manufacturer than to a typical retailer, especially in light of the dependence on legacy ERP systems. Unfortunately, your customers are unsympathetic. Give them what they want, or risk losing them to somebody who will. Nobody can predict what the e-commerce landscape for manufacturers will look like going forward, given the breadth and speed of the disruption that’s taking place. Just one example: what’s going to happen to channel partners and distributors as customers continue to seek a more direct relationship with you? Will the middlemen adapt? How? If not, will they cease to exist? Big questions that currently have no clear answers. But here’s something we do know for sure. If you’re not learning from the example of B2C and e-commerce pioneers in B2B, and looking for ways to adopt their […]