There’s a reason why the verb ‘to Google’ is now in the English dictionary. The search engine is a constant companion to online activity, and it’s impacting both how retail is run, and how wholesale and distribution companies support their journey.
For instance, online research has become a critical step in the consumer’s path to purchase, and this is now infiltrating the wholesale journey. By the time a B2B customer is ready to place an order, they already know what they want and when they want it; this is known as ‘The Google Effect’.
Google also plays a pivotal role in B2B trading. It made a foray into wholesale distribution, launching a ‘shopping for suppliers’ initiative in 2013, which was shut down a year later. However, last year the online giant announced the launch of ‘buy buttons’ for web users, similar to those being piloted on social media networks such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
This will foster even stronger direct commerce links between searching and buying over the web.
The influence Google has over the wholesale and distribution industry even extends to brand content and messaging; in late 2015, Renee Niemi – Google for Work’s director of the Android and Chrome global businesses – urged companies operating in the supply chain to undertake a digital revolution, using mobility, wearables and cloud-based analytics to reform how orders are processed, co-ordinated, picked, packed and shipped.
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