As Amazon continues to pursue major market share across numerous industries, electronics retailers, pharmacies, consumable manufacturers, department stores, food delivery companies and grocery stores stand among those sectors most impacted by the ecommerce giant’s expansion.
OK..so we're not saying you should rely on a crystal ball to see what your future looks like (although each to their own) - but the endearing Professor
Trelawney had the right idea. Looking ahead at what's coming down the line is just plain common sense when you are running any business. But this is particularly true for retailers.
There are many challenges distribution companies face, but one topic of conversation refuses to quieten down. The importance of delivering seamless online customer experiences so that the customers you have spent a small fortune trying to win, remain with you ...... and even better-become super fans. With the evergreen threat of Amazon Business (read our recent blog post here on that) showing no signs of slowing down, it is key that distribution companies of any type must become truly agile and deliver on high customer expectations (whilst keeping an eye on pricing and the bottom line).
Amazon is one step ahead of you
Being digitally led, Amazon Business is not only meeting customer requirements, but shaping them. Its speed of delivery, ease of use and efficient customer service are all contributing factors to today’s buyer expectations. It is this digital-first approach that poses a key challenge for traditional distributors attempting to compete, as Amazon is already at least one step ahead. Amazon Business is not facing the challenge of modernising its systems. Instead, it’s leading the way for the rest of the market to follow. For those distributors and manufacturers still running on-premise, disparate systems, transforming business operations to a modern, digital platform is step one to remaining competitive.
There are many challenges distribution companies face, but one topic of conversation refuses to quieten down. Delivering B2C online customer experiences in a B2B environment. With the evergreen threat of Amazon Business (read our recent blog post here on that) showing no signs of slowing down, it is key that distribution companies of any type must become truly agile and deliver on customer expectations (whilst keeping an eye on pricing and the bottom line).
But what about the business-to-business world? Perhaps less well known, but equally as prevailing, is Amazons recent move to B2B with the launch of the Amazon Business platform, a B2B marketplace where more than half of Britains biggest listed companies are buying their everyday office supplies according to a recent article in The Telegraph, and it is expanding rapidly across key territories in Europe. This evolution in Amazon's portfolio is putting the same pressure on wholesale distribution and manufacturing businesses that retailers are now well accustomed to.
With the uncertainty of Brexit, minimum wage changes coming in and stock pilling of goods, it's fair to say there are challenges (but also opportunities) facing all segments of the food and beverage (F&B) industry. In the high volume, low margin wholesale model, increases in operating costs cannot easily be absorbed and can result in increased costs in the food and drink supply chain.
If it's been a while since you last updated your business systems, don't be embarrassed - you are not alone.
In fact Forresters predict nearly half of customers who rely on an ERP system are on releases that are two versions behind the current release, which may be four years old or more.
But why should it matter? If it isn't broken don't fix it - right? Wrong.