After years of evolutionary change, the B2B market is now facing a major disruption and a true inflection point. Qualitative data is continually coming out to assert what many have already come to accept and acknowledge- that eCommerce technology is creating disruptive forces that can’t be ignored. Many B2B brands we work with come to us to help navigate and answer the strategic questions to assess this disruption. Important questions to help lay the foundation to create a success B2B eCommerce business for your organization can include:
Digitization, specifically the addition of eCommerce technology, is allowing the B2B market to make more informed decisions then ever before from what inventory to stock, what value propositions and user experiences resonate with each customer segment, which markets are growing, which customers prefer face-to-face sales vs. self-service, and perhaps most importantly which customers offer the strongest growth potential. This data that can be used to make more informed decisions is a key reason why eCommerce should not be set up as a separate extension from your core business, but fully integrated throughout the sales and marketing processes, otherwise your organization will fail to realize its true transformational potential. While eCommerce can create new opportunities for many manufacturers and distributors, it will quickly erode value for those not being proactive in preparing for the future and setting it up properly.
At Echidna, we believe that in the next three to five years a division will be created in the industry, just as we are seeing the retail industry, between those visionary manufacturers and distributors who prepare for the future of their business and those who are constrained by orthodoxies. The visionaries in the B2B market will learn and grow from the retail transformation journey and apply relevant B2C practices into their own business and customer experiences.