The B2B buying experience will demand B2C standards
In October 2015, Amazon announced the launch of a new digital platform, designed to penetrate the wholesale market – Amazon Business. An extension of its former project, Amazon Supply, Amazon Business is an online marketplace offering companies the opportunity to buy goods at wholesale prices through the e-tail giant directly.
Amazon Business will shape the wholesale market in more ways than one. At a fundamental level, it will give retailers greater opportunity to buy goods online, as many wholesalers do not currently offer an ecommerce service. So this in itself will raise the game for B2B purchasing and distribution over the next 12 months.
For those that are trading online at present, this new platform is likely to gather momentum into 2016, and it will have repercussions for the wholesale and distribution strategies of multichannel businesses. Amazon will use all of its consumer experience – and its key lessons learned from Amazon Supply – to create a more responsive, B2C-like journey for B2B buyers. This, in turn, will put pressure on other wholesalers to create a similar approach.
Replicating the traits of a B2C transaction can be challenging in the wholesale world, but it’s by no means insurmountable with the right processes and technology in place. For example, clear communications are a huge part of delivering to expectations. B2B audiences are no different to the end consumer; they should be provided with a transparency at all times, and that means being able to share the availability of product quantities, order dispatch and arrival dates, and any issues that may impact fulfilment.
There also must be capabilities for multichannel wholesale businesses to implement a level of personalisation suitable for their customers. For instance, the pricing structure may differ from client to client, whilst there may be purchasers who require regular re-orders, which they wish to automate.
Responding efficiently to these varying demands relies on being able to streamline core business processes through technology, to reduce labour-intensive tasks and free personnel to concentrate on customer service. This will also benefit coordination across the supply chain, as everyone involved needs a clear depiction of order requirements at all times.
By making the end-to-end journey quicker, slicker and easily viewable by all those involved, in 2016 multichannel wholesale and distribution companies will be able to give their customers the same, optimised journey as they are used to experiencing as a retail shopper.
Enhance multichannel wholesale with BlueBridge One
To address the customer experience challenges of modern multichannel wholesale, many companies are investing in technology such as NetSuite to coordinate and improve key process – and rightly so.
However, every business, although adhering to general best business practices, has their own specific needs. That’s why wholesale distribution organisations hoping to grow their revenue in 2016 need the support of a partner who understands their trading environment and the disruptive trends affecting them, who can help them optimise NetSuite’s cloud based business management platform to take advantage of evolving trends in this sector.
BlueBridge One has extensive experience in helping B2B companies innovate their business through investment in cloud technology. From implementation best practice to automating manual processes, we can help organisations increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction levels without significantly adding to staffing costs.