Expanding Market Reach with
An Alternative to Competing with
Major Online Retailers
a publication by ecmarket inc.
The Evolution of Distribution
The traditional distribution model has evolved. It’s no longer enough to conduct business
with just a single channel. What began simply as inbound calls to your team of Customer
Service Representatives has now matured into a complex business model that continues
to change. Today business happens around the clock. Geographic boundaries have been
erased. And technology never ceases to innovate.
As a result of these business transformations, modern distributors and manufacturers
are facing more pressure than ever to deliver more customer value. From lower prices
to deeper inventory to better service, customers are demanding it all. Flexibility is king
and the more options, the better. To add to this dilemma, every customer is unique and
they are all looking for the easiest way to do business, which comes in many shapes and
sizes. Earning their business has become a result of finding the best channel for their
convenience or style.
The Emergence of E-Stores
In today’s digital age, geographic limitations no longer pose the barrier to market entry
they once did. That means there’s more competition surfacing from even more places.
The increased access to information has shifted the balance of power away from sellers
into the hands of highly informed buyers. Consumers today are often sophisticated,
intelligent, and increasingly demanding. Thanks to the internet, customers can
confidently purchase products wherever and whenever they want.
Offering e-commerce options is no longer considered a value-added service, but simply
a requirement of doing business. To respond to this shifting competitive landscape,
many B2B suppliers have chosen to invest in or upgrade their online presence. But
investing in e-commerce is complicated at the best of times and to make matters worse,
it’s constantly evolving. Even if you’re not ready to launch your e-store just yet, exploring
other ways to get involved is a good idea. Online revenue continues to climb and for
those that are embracing it, it’s a move that’s paying off.
Online is the fastest growing revenue stream for many businesses.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
For many early adopters, the e-store became one of their fastest-growing sales
channels. Logically, it’s natural to start wondering what other online channels could
create similar success. It seems the web offers limitless potential. And it’s intuitive that
expanding the number of distribution points will lead to increased sales, provided the
necessary infrastructure is established. Taking cues from market leaders who invested in
e-commerce early, the ROI is clear. Last year alone, some of the top distributors reported
that one third of annual revenues were derived from online sources.
Forrester estimates the B2B market at nearly $570 billion. Every 30 seconds, the global
e-commerce market is selling $1.2 million. Frankly, that’s a lot of business to be had.
Success is simply a matter of connecting buyers and sellers. The internet opens the
doors to many new customers and market segments. But if you’re not maximizing your
participation in the online space, you’re likely missing out on market share. And even if
you could survive without reaching your full potential, one thing is clear: other online
businesses and major e-commerce retailers are making a play for your customers.
Every 30 seconds, global e-commerce sells over $1.2 million.
Major Online Retailers: Friend or Foe?
The emergence of major online retailers like Amazon, Google, eBay, and Alibaba in
the industrial supply market merely emphasizes the importance of participating in
multiple market channels. The threat of third-party B2B websites is real. It’s evident
that there’s a market where customers are looking online for products traditionally
sold by distributors like you. But rather than building preferred supplier relationships,
they’re making purchases online. Trying to compete with businesses that specialize in
online retail is a tough proposition. Instead of adopting a defensive strategy, consider a
different approach – playing in the sandbox.
We know that customers are looking for convenience and some will even jump ship for
it. Making yourself available to your customers in their preferred format is critical if you
don’t want to lose them. Succeeding is all about making it easy for customers to do
business with you, which means being present where they’re hanging out. Launching
an e-store is a great start, but what if potential customers don’t know your name? What
if they don’t know where to look to find you? What if you want to market in new ways
without diluting your brand? Adopting a multi-channel approach by embracing third-
party retailers is a win-win.
Increasing the number of access points will increase market share.
E-Commerce Builds Market Share
Many distributors are embracing large e-tailers as a new sales channel, which brings
many benefits. Selling products on a trusted major e-commerce site exposes you to a
huge volume of potential traffic. Amazon alone has 244 million customers to extend
your reach and gain market share. Some distributors are choosing to create microsites
and even new brands to target a very specific type of customer with niche products
by maximizing SEO. Other manufacturers are using this avenue to offer private label
products without the risk of spoiling their existing markets. The choice is yours.
An interesting difference is the type of customer arriving through these third-party retail
platforms. They know exactly what they’re looking for and often it’s something very
specific. Typically they’re not purchasing these products often or in high quantities. It’s
also worth noting that they require little or no support. Although these types of sales
can be smaller and are more transactional, with high automation they can be just as
profitable or even more so than traditional sales channels.
There are many effective ways to channel e-commerce into growth.
Overwhelmed by Third-Party Orders
Figuring out how to efficiently process orders arriving from third-party retailers requires
finesse. It demands the right infrastructure be established before orders start pouring
in. You can’t wait until orders begin to arrive before figuring out how to handle them.
Success can easily become overwhelming and without geographic limitations, hundreds
of orders can arrive from all corners of the world in an instant. To make matters worse,
each order needs to be fulfilled immediately, often same day. It’s easy to see how an
unprepared company could get buried in an avalanche of business.
Processing Amazon or eBay orders requires a few extra steps, instantaneous response,
and brings increased risk of error due to unique billing and shipping addresses with
each order. Managing this workflow effectively takes time that you don’t have and when
you only have one chance to impress a new customer, fumbling around in the dark
simply won’t suffice. Further, extra processing means higher labor costs, slower cycles,
and errors you can’t afford. Why struggle to stay on top of it all when you don’t have to?
Consider handing the reigns over to sales order automation.
Eliminate extra workload with sales order automation.
Process Sales Orders in Seconds
The good news is that sales orders placed through online retailers can actually be
processed without lifting a finger. Sounds too good to be true? Well here’s how it works.
When a transaction occurs online, it’s standard practice to receive a notification email
containing relevant order details that sets the process in motion. Most likely that means
you need to drop everything, log into the online retailer’s website, retrieve the order
details, and then rush to start processing the order. But since business never sleeps, are
you really prepared to process orders at 3AM?
Streamlining order processing makes it easy to grow your business and enter new
markets with a solution that scales with you as you expand. The right solution can make
embracing major online retailers go from hard to easy in less than 48 hours. The secret is
smoothly transferring information from purchase order to sales order without requiring
any manual intervention. That’s right. No more late night interruptions. No more data
entry. Just seamless orders processing in seconds. And it works with any customer or
online e-commerce retailer.
Automation helps you process stacks of orders quickly and easily.
Harnessing the Power of Conexiom
Conexiom® simplifies order processing by effectively reducing the number of steps
involved. When working with online retailers, the order notification message issued
automatically after a transaction has occurred is redirected to Conexiom via email. This
message serves as a trigger to retrieve the order details and then we seamlessly translate
them into your existing ERP system without any human intervention. Conexiom integrates
customer orders immediately as they arrive and in any format. Since each online retailer
produces a unique, but consistent order format, the mapping process is simple. It’s like
setting up an EDI partner without going through the pain of standardizing documents.
Conexiom captures and transforms computer-generated customer orders directly into
sales orders automatically. By removing the manual components of order processing,
Conexiom allows you to process orders in minutes rather than hours or days. As an
added bonus, it frees up time for staff to focus on serving customers rather than entering
orders. And with Conexiom’s 100% data capture accuracy, you can enjoy delighting your
customers with the right products every time.
Conexiom helps you grow your business without the growing pains.
Ready, Set, Go
Are you ready to simplify your business? Are you ready to process orders faster, easier, and
better? Ready to say goodbye to manual bottlenecks? Excited to focus on delivering more
value beyond processing paper?
If you’re ready to embrace e-commerce retailers and expand into new markets, give us a
call at 1.866.860.3388 to learn how we can make your life easier.
Conexiom® allows manufacturers and distributors to focus on serving customers and
managing supplier relationships instead of entering data. The patent-pending Conexiom
solution was created by ecmarket, a cloud solutions developer. Conexiom revolutionizes
critical sales and accounting business practices by automating manual entry with 100%
accuracy. Conexiom effortlessly converts emailed and printed customer purchase orders
and supplier invoices into automated sales orders and invoices, enabling companies
to focus on driving growth. Conexiom helps organizations across the globe maintain a
For more information visit www.conexiom.com