Distributors' Playbook for B2B E-Commerce

DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE How dealers, distributors and wholesalers excel at selling online B2BECNEWS Compliments of: 2 ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. INTRODUCTION DISTRIBUTORS AND WHOLESALERS GROW WITH E-COMMERCE complete the purchase through the distributor’s online shopping cart. Atlanta Light Bulbs is an example of how distributors and wholesalers are seizing the opportunity to build and refine their B2B e-commerce strategy. Some 62% of distributors and wholesalers recently surveyed by B2BecNews have an e-commerce site today. Results of the February survey of 122 distributors and wholesalers also show that of those that don’t have an e-commerce site, 35% expect to launch one in six months or less, 26% plan to go live within one year and 19% expect to launch one within two years, the survey found. Growing sales is the top reason why distributors and wholesalers begin to sell online, cited by 71% of the executives surveyed. But many distributors and wholesalers also are entering e-commerce as a way to reach new customers— that was named as a motivator by 57% of the companies surveyed by B2BecNews. Keeping up with current and future competitors and meeting customer expectations should be key factors driving distributors and wholesalers to e-commerce, says B2B e-commerce expert Atlanta Light Bulbs, a family owned distributor founded in 1981, has been selling online to corporate buyers of general and specialty light bulbs and related products since 2001. But to maintain its edge as a distributor to commercial and industrial customers, it’s doing a lot to upgrade its back-end business software systems and website features to keep its e-commerce operation up to date and relevant. Several years ago Atlanta Light Bulbs swapped out a cumbersome and nearly 15-year-old, mostly homegrown e-commerce platform for a new platform. The new e-commerce system did away with the hand-coded web pages that sometimes took Atlanta Light Bulbs developers hours to code a single product change on up to 12 pages. The new technology has enabled the lighting distributor to introduce new website features, including one tool that lets buyers calculate an order and submit a price they are willing to pay, and another that lets buyers receive a detailed quote on the website or via a mobile app, along with an optional emailed checkout link to ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 3 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE INTRODUCTION Andy Hoar. “The time is at hand for distributors and wholesalers,” says Hoar, CEO of consulting firm Paradigm B2B. “You can’t opt out of digital.” Many distributors and wholesalers are feeling the competitive heat from Amazon.com, both from its traditional marketplace and its expanding business-to-business unit, Amazon Business. Some companies have chosen to sell their products on Amazon, noting it’s too big to pass up, but they balance sales volume growth with the looming possibility of Amazon dominating their market. Apart from the business challenges, distributors and wholesalers know Amazon.com shapes online consumer purchasing and many of those customers also are responsible for buying for their companies. Meeting their B2B buyers’ needs means sellers are creating—and regularly revising—their e-commerce strategies. Many distributors and wholesalers are growing sales through their B2B e-commerce sites as they add new customers, offer new products and develop or purchase technology that helps their customers configure products and manage the ordering and purchasing processes. This report offers real-world examples of their successes and offers a view of their current and future plans for B2B e-commerce. It also provides key best practices on specific key topics such as business strategy and systems integration, provided by Brian Beck, senior vice president, e-commerce strategy at Guidance, an e-commerce design and development agency. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP REASONS FOR SELLING ONLINE? (Multiple responses possible) To increase sales 71.1% To reach new customers or markets 56.7% To sell direct to distributors, wholesalers, dealers and retailers 50.5% To sell direct to consumers 48.5% Cut operating costs 44.3% Competitive pressure 38.1% Free sales reps to sell complex products 37.1% Introduce customers to more product lines 37.1% Brand recognition 36.1% Other 6.2% Source: B2BecNews 2018 Distributor/Wholesaler E-Commerce Survey 4 ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. INTRODUCTION 2 How distributors and wholesalers run with e-commerce OVERVIEW 5 Emerging B2B e-commerce strategies 6 Amazon Business ramps up marketing 14 Q&A: Tech Data 19 CONCLUSION 23 CASE STUDIES 24 Systems Integration: Atlanta Light Bulbs 25 Systems Integration Best Practices 27 Business Strategy: Cardinal Health 28 Business Strategy: Geriatric Medical 31 Business Strategy Best Practices 34 Marketing—Personalization: Zoro com 35 Marketing Best Practices 37 Customer Service: SustainableSupply com 38 Customer Service Best Practices 40 Site Design: W W Grainger 41 Site Design Best Practices 42 SPONSORED Q&A Oracle NetSuite 8 Insite 16 ABOUT Our Sponsors 44 ABOUT B2BecNews Research 45 CHARTS What are your top reasons for selling online? 3 What percentage of your B2B e-commerce sales are from recurring orders? 7 What are your top e-commerce priorities for 2018? 10 By how much will you increase your spending? 11 Where will you spend more? 11 Who is the top B2B e-commerce decision maker? 12 What percentage of total sales are B2B e-commerce sales? 12 What features and functions does your B2B site offer? 13 What are your top priorities for new features and functions? 13 What are your biggest challenges in building your B2B e-commerce business? 23 OVERVIEW 6 ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. OVERVIEW DISTRIBUTORS RAMP UP FOR MORE E-COMMERCE involved with digital commerce, says Andy Hoar, a leading B2B e-commerce expert and CEO of consulting firm Paradigm B2B. “You can’t opt out of digital.” One example is how Tech Data handled the touchy issue of getting sales reps to embrace a new e-commerce technology and strategy. Reps in particular can resist e-commerce technology because of a perceived threat to their livelihood, and it also can be difficult to get buy-in from all concerned—particularly from employees and managers accustomed to doing things “the old way.” But there are ways to move such projects ahead with strong support, says John Tonnison, Tech Data’s executive vice president and chief information officer. The company used a change management tactic—FOMO or “Fear of Missing Out—to gain support among employees, department heads and executives for an e-commerce application the company offered its sales executives recently, Tonnison said in a keynote presentation at a B2BecNews Executive Seminar in New York in October 2017. By Bill Briggs Tech Data Corp. has made a living of adapting to its marketplace. The multibillion-dollar global distributor of electronics and I.T. products has been in business more than 40 years and it’s been selling online since 1998. Tech Data posted record sales in fiscal 2018, growing by 40.2%, to $36.78 billion from $26.23 billion in 2017. Tech Data didn’t break out e-commerce revenue for the year, but CEO Robert Dutkowsky said earlier in fiscal 2018 that more than half of sales are online and over 95% of its inventory is purchased digitally. Using that formula, more than $18.39 billion of its 2018 sales were through digital commerce, which Tech Data defines as sales through its e-commerce site, Shop.TechData.com, and through electronic data interchange, or EDI. Tech Data’s steady shift to business-to-business e-commerce stems from its innovative approach to developing tools to support its changing online sales strategy. Its approach serves as an example of how distributors can keep up with the broad transition to digital commerce, and expand how they interact with customers while increasing sales. “The time is at hand for distributors and wholesalers” to get directly ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 7 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE OVERVIEW users at other businesses—37% say freeing up sales reps to sell complex products is among their main reasons for selling online. Creating a new channel for repeat orders can provide sales reps more time to concentrate on more lucrative sales. Nearly one-third (31%) of survey respondents derive more than half of their company’s online sales from recurring orders and a like amount get 10% or less that way. Increasing the rate of recurring orders online can give reps back a precious commodity: time. Realizing that not all members of its sales force were keen to adopt online tools to help customers serve themselves online, Tech Data started the project with a sales executive who helped develop the online sales tool and used it with his own customers to share such data as available inventory and order status. The FOMO strategy—or what Tonnison also called a “change management trick”—worked well when the initial sales executive offered the new online tool to his own clients and soon started showing improved sales results. When other sales managers became aware of his success, there was little need to persuade them to use it, Tonnison noted. They willingly came on board. Tonnison said Tech Data has learned to blend its e-commerce in other ways with sales and its global network of resellers—a key strategy to maximize interactions with customers and sales. It takes extra steps to share key customer and product data with resellers, for example, and the distributor is careful to set its online pricing so as not to undercut the negotiations of its sales reps. Garnering buy-in from sales reps—and even top management—is a challenge many distributors and wholesalers face. One way to do it is convincing them that e-commerce tools can help their customers serve themselves by placing recurring orders online, thus freeing up reps’ time to pursue new customers or bigger sales with existing clients. According to a March B2BecNews survey of 122 distributors, wholesalers and dealers—companies that sell products from branded manufacturers to end WHAT PERCENTAGE OF YOUR B2B E-COMMERCE SALES ARE FROM RECURRING ORDERS? Source: B2BecNews 2018 Distributor/Wholesaler E-Commerce Survey 10% or less 31.0% 10.1% to 25% 18.3% 25.1% to 50% 19.7% More than 50% 31.0% ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 10 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE OVERVIEW machine-to-human interaction and machine-to- machine interaction,” Hoar says. “In addition, competitors in complementary spaces today can easily add new lines of business, new product categories, and new SKUs—and make a run at someone else’s core business.” Many distributors and wholesalers are onboard with the concept. Already about 62% of them have an e-commerce site, according to the survey. And of those that don’t, 35% expect to launch one in six months or less, 26% plan to go live within one year and 19% expect to launch one within two years, the survey found. There’s much at stake for distributors and wholesalers. Today, B2B e-commerce in the United States is a $900 million market that is expected to top $1 trillion in 2019, says Forrester Research Inc. Getting a share of that business means distributors and wholesalers will need to spend more on e-commerce. Survey respondents agree: 84% plan to increase spending on B2B e-commerce over the next 12 months. The remainder do not. Distributors and wholesalers offer many reasons for adding or beefing up an e-commerce site, according to the B2BecNews survey. Increasing sales is the top reason why they sell online, cited by 71% of the executives surveyed. But many distributors and wholesalers also enter e-commerce as a way to reach new customers, a reason named by 57% of the companies surveyed. Among the other top reasons:  Sell direct to other businesses: 51% want to sell products directly to other distributors and wholesalers, along with dealers and retailers.  Reach consumers: 49% want to sell directly to consumers.  Trim costs: 44% want to reduce operating costs.  Keep up with other companies: 38% are meeting pressure from competitors to sell online.  Showcase new products: 37% want to introduce their customers to more product lines. Keeping up with current and future competitors and meeting customer expectations should be key factors driving distributors and wholesalers to e-commerce. “Every B2B company on the planet must change, in many cases fundamentally, to accommodate new forms of WHAT ARE YOUR TOP E-COMMERCE PRIORITIES FOR 2018? (Multiple answers possible) Increasing online sales 77.9% Increasing traffic to e-commerce site 54.7% Increasing average order value 45.3% Increasing site conversion rate 36.8% Improving fulfillment operations 29.5% Increasing ROI of digital marketing 27.4% Launching sales on Amazon and other web marketplaces 23.2% Redesigning website 21.1% Source: B2BecNews 2018 Distributor/Wholesaler E-Commerce Survey ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 11 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE OVERVIEW rather those of other manufacturers, the company recognizes the need to upgrade its website. “We want to be less reliant on our distribution business and focus on our branded products,” says Matt Wingham, director of e-commerce, medical products and services. “We are trying to become more of a products company, products we sell and source.” To get there, the medical supply arm of the $130 billion pharmaceutical and medical equipment and supplies company is expanding its branded product lines and plans to upgrade the customer experience by making it easier to find products and associated details. “Our strategy is to present products in their best light by investing in product content, and to be there when the customer wants to search,” he says. Wingham didn’t get into specifics but notes that Cardinal Health has made a “substantial investment in the technology and people to support the new site.” Like Cardinal Health, 56% of distributors and wholesalers target technology for increased B2B e-commerce spending, while marketing spending led the way at 65%. Investing in site design and staffing were deemed important areas, by 46% and 29% of respondents, respectively. Who makes those B2B e-commerce purchasing decisions? For 52% of distributors and wholesalers its top brass, with titles such as CEO, president and general manager. For 10%, there is no top B2B e-commerce decision maker. More than 67% of distributors and wholesalers plan to increase B2B e-commerce spending by up to 25% and only 5% have no plans to boost such spending. As the medical products distributor segment of Cardinal Health Inc. refocuses its business strategy on selling its own branded products BY HOW MUCH WILL YOU INCREASE YOUR B2B E-COMMERCE SPENDING? Source: B2BecNews 2018 Distributor/Wholesaler E-Commerce Survey. Total exceeds 100% due to rounding. 10.1% to 25% 40.3% 10% or less 27.3% 25.1% to 50% 18.2% More than 50% 9.1% No plans to increase 5.2% Will cut spending 0% Marketing 64.6% Technology 56.3% Site design 45.8% Staffing 29.2% Customer service 18.8% Other 4.2% WHERE WILL YOU SPEND MORE? (Multiple responses possible) Source: B2BecNews 2018 Distributor/Wholesaler E-Commerce Survey. Total exceeds 100% due to rounding. ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 12 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE OVERVIEW While 25% of survey respondents pull in more than half of their sales from e-commerce, many have far to go: a similar number (24%) get only 2% or less of all sales from online sources. Those distributors and wholesalers that have committed to B2B e-commerce offer a range of features and functions on their websites, and have plans for more. That’s because the complex nature of online sales for B2B companies, including the need to exchange data internally with such systems as enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management software, along with handling quotes, pricing and product specifications, calls for sophisticated website functions. Plans to build and grow a B2B e-commerce operation typically must address the needs of individual buyers as well as their purchasing managers, for example, and meet a balance of both self-service e-commerce and purchases supported by an experienced salesforce, says John Bruno, senior analyst for B2B e-commerce at Forrester Research Inc. But B2B organizations often fail at executing such plans, not necessarily because their goals are out of reach, but more likely because they lack such details as identifying which individuals from which departments are responsible for specific tasks, and researching best practices that successful online businesses have deployed, Bruno said in a March Forrester report on strategies to improve B2B e-commerce execution. Distributors and wholesalers like Tech Data and W.W. Grainger Inc. already pull in more than half of their revenue from e-commerce. Grainger, a supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products, got 56%—$5.84 billion—of all fiscal 2017 revenue from e-commerce. The company’s e-commerce channels include websites, EDI, its KeepStock managed inventory service and vending machines, and e-procurement systems. CEO/president/general manager 51.6% CMO/EVP/SVP/VP/director marketing 19.4% E-commerce EVP/SVP/VP/director 12.9% We don’t have one 9.7% CIO/EVP/SVP/VP/director information technology 6.5% WHO IS THE TOP B2B E-COMMERCE DECISION MAKER? Source: B2BecNews 2018 Distributor/Wholesaler E-Commerce Survey. Total exceeds 100% due to rounding. WHAT PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL SALES ARE B2B E-COMMERCE SALES? Source: B2BecNews 2018 Distributor/Wholesaler E-Commerce Survey. Total exceeds 100% due to rounding. 2% or less 23.9% 2.1% to 5% 8.5% 5.1% to 10% 15.5% 10.1% to 25% 15.5% More than 25% 11.3% More than 50% 25.4% ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 13 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE OVERVIEW Almost 44% of distributors and wholesalers have integrated CRM and ERP systems and nearly half (46%) have links to social networks on their websites. Live chat is a popular feature among 37% of companies and 24% offer mobile apps, a must for enabling roving buyers to place orders on the fly. High on distributors and wholesalers’ site feature wish lists are faster search, cited by 56%, more detailed product descriptions and content (50%) and advanced analytics (48%). The key to growth for distributors and wholesalers is in learning how their targeted customers want to shop and offering them a more valuable online buying experience, Paradigm B2B’s Hoar said at a conference last year. How they develop and refine their B2B e-commerce strategy will determine how they fare. WHAT FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS DOES YOUR B2B SITE OFFER? (Multiple responses possible) Links to social networks 46.1% Integration with CRM and ERP systems 43.8% Bulk pricing 37.1% Live chat 37.1% Negotiated contract pricing 36.0% Request for quote 36.0% Customer ratings and reviews 30.3% Product recommendations 29.2% Video 29.2% Custom approval workflows for clients 23.6% Mobile apps 23.6% Automatic reordering 20.2% Product configuration 19.1% Other 6.7% Source: B2BecNews 2018 Distributor/Wholesaler E-Commerce Survey WHICH ARE YOUR TOP PRIORITIES FOR NEW FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS? (Multiple responses possible) Faster search 55.7% Deeper product descriptions and related content 50.0% Advanced analytics 47.7% Automatic reordering 35.2% Integration with customer relationship management 35.2% Product recommendations 31.8% Customer reviews and ratings 29.6% Custom approval workflows for clients 27.3% Integration with enterprise resource planning 25.0% Mobile apps 25.0% Live chat 23.9% Password-protected access to customized pages for customers 22.7% Product configuration 22.7% Negotiated pricing 21.6% Request for quote 21.6% Bulk pricing 20.5% International shipping 20.5% Video 19.3% Links to social networks 18.2% Mobile site 18.2% Other 2.3% Source: B2BecNews 2018 Distributor/Wholesaler E-Commerce Survey 14 ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. OVERVIEW AMAZON GETS DOWN TO BUSINESS can compete with—and also sell through— Amazon’s B2B site. “It is also a sign of the level of importance that Amazon is giving to Amazon Business. By design, Amazon’s units all compete with one another for visibility on Amazon.com. By providing a level of exposure to its ‘Back to Business’ promotion, Amazon is clearly signaling that Amazon Business is a priority for the company.” B2B companies can learn from Amazon’s strategy, Beck adds. “Amazon is best in the world at driving e-commerce volume, and B2B By Paul Demery In what has become an annual marketing campaign, in January 2018 Amazon.com ran a “Back to Business” promotion—at Amazon.com/backtobusiness—with deals on more than 1,500 products across 15 categories. The Back to Business promotional campaign, which ran until Feb. 10, is part of an effort to get more customers of Amazon.com to register on Amazon Business. Featured prominently under these promotions on the landing page on Amazon.com is a banner ad soliciting visitors to register for an account on Amazon Business. “Amazon’s Back to Business promo is another sign of how the e-commerce giant is using its e-commerce expertise to build its business buyer base in ways it hasn’t in the past,” says Brian Beck, senior vice president of e-commerce strategy at e-commerce design and development agency Guidance, who has written about how companies Amazon.com’s “Back to Business” campaign lures buyers with product deals ranging from paper shredders to business tax software. The landing page for deals features a prominent ad for registering an account on Amazon Business. ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 15 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE OVERVIEW: AMAZON BUSINESS Also in February, Amazon Business extended its reach into Europe with the launch of a French- language website and local delivery in France. Amazon Business now operates in six countries, including the United States, selling business and industrial products from its own inventory and from third-party sellers. Amazon Business launched in Germany in December 2016 at Amazon.de/business, in the United Kingdom in April 2017 at Amazon.co.uk/business, and in Japan (Amazon.co.jp/business) and India (Amazon.in/business) in September 2017. Amélie Véron has been appointed head of Amazon Business France. She had served as head of Amazon Incentive for southern Europe since March 2013. Amazon Incentive is a sales and marketing service offered to B2B companies. Features available on Amazon.fr/business are similar to those offered on the company’s other European sites and include: companies can apply similar approaches to their own marketing efforts—even if they don’t yet have e-commerce.” The deals in Amazon’s Back to Business promotion included a $440 Oreck commercial floor-cleaning machine marked 56% off at $191.27, with free shipping; a $39.99 TP-Link Smart Plug Wi-Fi device marked 50% off at $19.99, and H&R Block software for processing business tax returns, with a list price of $79.99, marked 29% off at $56.99. Amazon sells a broad range of business, industrial and scientific products on Amazon.com, where the seller of record can be either Amazon itself or third-party sellers. But on Amazon Business, located at Amazon.com/business, Amazon itself and third-party sellers can restrict sales to registered business customers and provide them with special contract pricing and other business account services. Amazon’s Back to Business promo is another sign of how the e-commerce giant is using its e-commerce expertise to build its business buyer base in ways it hasn’t in the past. Brian Beck, senior vice president of e-commerce strategy, Guidance SPONSORED ARTICLE Wholesalers and distributors invest heavily in their back-end systems. Data is spread out across disparate systems. When a commerce environment can integrate with those systems it becomes the single source of truth. A lot of rules and business logic are already built into those back-end systems and no company wants to spend time replicating or duplicating them. An e-commerce platform that is designed to be integrated with the CRM or ERP system can provide people in the field with the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Conversely, it can deliver current information to management to help them make the best decisions possible for the enterprise on a daily basis. How can distributors and wholesalers ensure their e-commerce technology platform can scale to keep up with company growth? Many e-commerce companies that built their business with a focus on B2C commerce are moving into B2B to get a slice of the pie. Some of these platforms, though great for B2C, simply were not built for the complexities of B2B. There are a lot of idiosyncrasies in B2B and distributors should never select a platform that requires numerous customizations. Granted, not all businesses are the same, and every e-commerce platform should be able to easily handle extensions. However, it’s important to look for a platform that has as much native, out-of-the-box B2B capability as possible. Look for ways that the platform can handle things like complex pricing, work flows and multi-location inventory management. Don’t trust companies that just tell you they can do something, make them prove it to you. As more distributors and wholesalers target B2B e-commerce as a growth opportunity, what are the biggest obstacles they face, and how can they overcome them? The mindset of leadership is one of the biggest obstacles. It’s important to understand that B2B e-commerce is more than just a website. Investing in e-commerce is about driving transformational business outcomes and taking an outside-in approach. Many distributors are still selling the way they have since their beginning. In the meantime, their customers’ buying habits are changing, resulting in misalignment. When companies “spin-up” a commerce website, without taking into account how B2B business is happening today, they often end up with low digital adoption rates. Internal and external people involved in the buying process can benefit from commerce environments and leaders must make sure their teams and customers are prepared for adoption and understand the value. What’s an example of a new e-commerce site feature that is really helping distributors/wholesalers? List management is a new feature that Insite has introduced. Using lists makes the reordering process fast and easy, and increases user satisfaction while driving the user experience. A lot of B2B buying is about rebuying commonly used items, and when customers can reorder from a simple list they are able to order efficiently. Another great feature of list management is the ability to create collaborative lists. This is particularly useful for customers in the field working on large projects that require many items. Why is it important to integrate a B2B website with back-end ERP, CRM and other business operations software? An executive conversation with Karie Daudt, Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience, Insite eCommerce Engineered for Wholesale Distribution Insite provides leading commerce solutions built for the challenges wholesale distributors face. Insite believes eCommerce is more than a website. It’s about driving transformational business outcomes and enabling everyone in the complex B2B buying cycle to do their jobs more efficiently. We are laser focused on wholesale distribution and always watching the industry to ensure we’re delivering best-in-class commerce. If you’re considering launching or continuing your digital transformation, trust the experts. www.insitesoft.com/ask-insite 866-746-0377 Your Questions, Answered here: ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 18 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE OVERVIEW: AMAZON BUSINESS which automatically creates VAT invoices on behalf of sellers. l Capability to integrate with more than 20 third-party procurement applications for access to Amazon Business, including Coupa Software, Jaggaer and SAP Ariba. Amazon reported in December 2017 that Amazon Business in Germany had more than 150,000 registered buyers and 40,000 sellers, and more than 90,000 buyers and 30,000 sellers on its U.K. business site. It also announced several new features on each site, developed with feedback from customers. They include improved ways to manage electronic invoices and payment records, and access to customized lists of products. In October, Amazon Business announced the launch of Business Prime Shipping, the B2B version of its Amazon Prime two-day shipping service for consumers, for its sites in Germany and the U.S. It did not announced that service for the Amazon Business sites in France, the U.K., India or Japan. Amazon Business is No. 91 in the 2018 B2B E-Commerce 300. l Free premium shipping for orders over 25 euros ($30) on “millions of eligible items.” l The ability to add a purchase order number to orders; add multiple users to business accounts; set spending limits; enable purchasing approval workflows and gain visibility into buyers’ expenditures with Amazon Business analytics. l Configuring the Amazon Business catalogue according to a customer’s procurement policies; administrators at buyers’ companies can define purchase approval criteria and set preferred products or restricted categories. l Reporting and analytics on purchasing patterns based on custom spending reports. l Multiple-user business accounts that connect individuals or departments under one account and provides visibility into what a business is spending on the business site. l Value-added tax-exclusive pricing and VAT invoicing. As on Amazon Business U.K. and Amazon Business Germany, buyers can view pricing with and without VAT on eligible products. Sellers on Amazon Business in France can access the VAT Calculation Service, 19 ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. Q & A INNOVATION DRIVES B2B E-COMMERCE FOR TECH DATA Its approach serves as an example of how distributors can keep up with the broad transition to digital commerce, and expand how they interact with customers while increasing sales. Tech Data’s vice president, e-business David Spindler discusses how the distributor continues to grow B2B e-commerce in an ever- changing market. Describe the types, sizes and geographic locations of companies that make up the base of commercial customers at Tech Data. As a global end-to-end I.T. distributor, Tech Data provides products, services and solutions to resellers of all types and sizes around the world. From small value-added resellers to companies like CDW, we sell everything from cloud products and training services to complex data center solutions. We serve more than 125,000 customers and over 100 countries throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Tech Data Corp. has a long-term relationship going on with e-commerce. The multibillion- dollar global distributor of electronics and I.T. products has been in business more than 40 years and it’s been selling online since 1998. The Clearwater, Fla.-based supplier of electronics products—ranging from computer network servers and data center technology to desktop computers and printers—is winning sales growth, and awards for its website, thanks to its dedication to business-to-business e-commerce. Tech Data posted record sales in fiscal 2018, growing by 40.2%, to $36.78 billion. More than half of sales are online, the company says, topping $18.39 billion in fiscal 2018. Tech Data defines online revenue as sales through its e-commerce site, Shop.TechData.com, and through electronic data interchange, or EDI. Tech Data also won the top B2B award for B2B E-Commerce Player of the Year in 2017 and shared the top award for B2B website design (with manufacturer PacknWood) in the annual Internet Retailer/B2BecNews Excellence Awards. (Internet Retailer and B2BecNews are part of Digital Commerce 360.) The distributor’s steady shift to B2B e-commerce stems from its innovative approach to developing tools to support its changing online sales strategy. An executive conversation with David Spindler, vice president, e-business, Tech Data Corp. ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 20 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE Q&A WITH TECH DATA three areas: new tools, innovative programs and a focused approach. Exclusive proprietary tools like Cisco OneSource, AppleCare Attach, Renewal Source and SPA (Special Pricing Agreement) Tracker, to name a few, have enabled easier access to information and ordering for Tech Data customers, while programs like our Web Priority give advantages—including pricing, terms and promotions—to customers placing orders via the web. Our approach focuses on the engagement side of I.T. Executive vice president and chief information officer John Tonnison said last year that customer engagement is the key for B2B companies to add or increase online sales. What are some examples of how Tech Data has increased customer engagement? While we have an effective sales team, we also have a customer-facing team in I.T. that works with our customers, vendor partners and internal customers to best process e-business, with a focus on pace, cost and efficiency. Our goal is to create a business-to-consumer-like experience within our business-to-business operation and tools. Looking at the large B2C online companies that customers gravitate toward—Amazon, Uber, Airbnb and others— they are all making it easier for customers to do business with them. We have taken, and continue to take, a similar approach of continuous improvement at Tech Data and this can be seen when using our websites. How have you been able to get buy-in from sales managers and reps for using Tech Data’s commitment to expanding online revenue goes back nearly two decades. Last year the company noted online sales accounted for more than half of all revenue. What percentage of total sales are now online? Online sales still account for more than half of all revenue. What has been the biggest challenge to online expansion? While it is a continuous challenge to improve and show the value of electronic ordering by ensuring our customers/resellers can leverage the latest and greatest connection tools, as well as making sure our websites are best-in-class, the biggest challenge is on the vendor side and the programs they offer. Tech Data continues to work to digitize the ordering and information flow of our vendor offerings and programs to our customers. A great example is our partnership with Cisco Systems, who is ahead of the game when it comes to information flow. Their Cisco Commerce Workspace (CCW) tool and our Tech Data Cisco OneSource solution help increase speed-to-market for customers selling subscription products as an example. This is just one of the many new ways of doing business that vendors and customers require us to embrace and keep them and Tech Data relevant in the ecosystem.   What have been the biggest gains from online expansion? At Tech Data, the biggest gains have come from ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 21 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE Q&A WITH TECH DATA we see a more than 50% increase online and outstanding sales growth in SMB, we also saw a number of dormant accounts come back online. Overall, the program has been a smash hit. Tech Data attributed Q4 and full-year growth for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2018, to two key factors: its strategic refocus as it adapts to the I.T market it serves and the acquisition last year of Technology Solutions from Avnet Inc. What are some examples of Tech Data adapting to the I.T. market and how Technology Solutions has contributed to growth overall and online? Through the acquisition of Technology Solutions we gained new customers, new vendor partners and new geographies. All spell out opportunities for the online space. Our cloud marketplaces, for example, are complementary: while Tech Data’s cloud marketplace was primarily focused on software-as-a-service, Technology Solutions’ cloud marketplace was primarily focused on infrastructure-as-a-service. The combination of these two aligns with one of the overarching goals of the acquisition—creating the leading global end-to-end I.T. distributor. As the integration has progressed and our systems have connected, we are able to offer even more value to our customers and vendor partners. Acquired tools, including R2O (Request to Order), which manages highly configured orders both externally and internally, also present great online opportunities for the new Tech Data. Hurricane Irma caused power and network e-commerce and mobile tools in their sales tactics, and how have you persuaded more customers to place more orders online? Traditionally, sales managers, reps and customers needed to be part of the order process as it flows through the system to ensure control. To enable change, increase efficiency and eliminate fear of the unknown, we have educated and trained our internal and external customers on each step of the process. This has given traditional customers who previously preferred to order via phone assurance that the order is in process, to have the confidence to order online. It’s certainly not an overnight process and takes consistent reinforcement and tools like Track Open Order (which allows customers to follow the order from the time it was submitted to the time the customer receives it) to drive this change. In early 2017 Tech Data announced several initiatives to improve its electronic sales, with a particular focus on increased e-commerce sales to small and mid-sized businesses. Some improvements cited include extending web-only pricing and live chat service along with reduced freight pricing to more than 12,000 client resellers. What other initiatives has Tech Data taken to grow web revenue from small and mid-sized businesses, and what are some results? Tech Data has expanded our Web Priority program to our entire SMB organization and the results have been very successful. Not only did ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 22 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE Q&A WITH TECH DATA How do you see blockchain, internet of things, and artificial intelligence working together to improve e-commerce, and how do they fit into Tech Data’s plans? They all play a role in our strategy, specifically investing in next-generation technologies and digitally transforming our business. IoT, for example, has already gained strong traction at Tech Data and we have invested in people and tools to grow this practice with our customers and vendors. Some of the things we are doing with notification, for example, fall directly into IoT. Enabling customers to see every stage of an order requires a number of internal systems to have triggers and show progress. If you apply this to the internet of things and look at the digital world, they align. This is a very exciting part of I.T. and the journey ahead. outages in and around Tech Data’s headquarters in Florida last year, impacting the company’s ability to communicate with customers via normal methods (including via the web). Any lessons learned from that weather event? While power and network outages caused by Hurricane Irma forced the temporary closure of our Clearwater headquarters, Miami sales office and logistics center, and Georgia facilities for parts of two days in September 2017, Tech Data’s systems did not fail and our operations were never compromised. As part of our crisis situation planning, we thoroughly reviewed our actions and resources following the event to determine ‘did-wells’ and ‘do-betters.’ We’re confident that we have the right resources, systems and plans in place to be more than adequately prepared for any future weather event and further reduce any unexpected down time. ‘Hurricane Irma forced temporary closure of our Clearwater headquarters and Miami and Georgia facilities, but our operations were never compromised.’ 23 ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. CONCLUSION Many distributors and wholesalers already have shaped their B2B e-commerce strategies and tactics and most of them acknowledge it’s a continuous process. Those companies that have developed or upgraded e-commerce sites and deployed related technology have done so based on their own experiences, their customers’ evolving purchasing habits and desires, and their competition. B2B e-commerce strategies are fluid concepts for those already getting tangible results from online sales and most are prepared to adjust their plans to meet—or anticipate—the customer’s preferences. As B2B e-commerce continues to evolve with technologies like artificial intelligence that predicts buyer behavior and recommends products buyers are likely to buy, distributors and wholesalers who have modern, flexible e-commerce platforms will be in the best position to take advantage of these technologies and win more sales. WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN BUILDING YOUR B2B E-COMMERCE BUSINESS? (Multiple responses possible) Lack of money 41.5% Resistance from customers to buying online 26.6% Difficulty in recruiting e-commerce personnel 21.3% Lack of support from top executives 21.3% Resistance from internal sales department 20.2% Competition from Amazon 16.0% Other 16.0% Source: B2BecNews 2018 Distributor/Wholesaler E-Commerce Survey CASE STUDIES 25 ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. CASE STUDIES SYSTEMS INTEGRATION: ATLANTA LIGHT BULBS and where they need to. Atlanta Light Bulbs carries an inventory of 9,800 products from a network of 110 vendors in such categories as light bulbs, fluorescent light fixtures, medical lamps, solar-compatible lamps, lighting accessories and wire-cutting tools. The new technology has enabled the lighting distributor to introduce new website features, including Price Waiter, a tool that lets buyers calculate an order and submit a price they are willing to pay, and QuoteNinja, which lets buyers receive a detailed quote on the website or via a mobile app, and an optional emailed checkout link to complete the purchase through the distributor’s online shopping cart. In 2017, Atlanta Light Bulbs, No. 231 in the B2B E-Commerce 300, posted B2B e-commerce sales of $3.2 million, up 6.7% from $3 million in By Mark Brohan Atlanta Light Bulbs, a family owned distributor founded in 1981, has been selling online to corporate buyers of general and specialty light bulbs and related products since 2001. But to maintain its edge as a distributor to commercial and industrial customers, it’s doing a lot to upgrade its back-end business software systems and website features to keep its e-commerce operation up to date and relevant. “We tear the guts out of things sometimes,” says CEO Doug Root. In 2015 Atlanta Light Bulbs swapped out a clunky and nearly 15-year-old, mostly homegrown e-commerce platform for a new platform from BigCommerce Pty. The new e-commerce system from a commercial provider did away with the hand-coded web pages that sometimes took Atlanta Light Bulbs developers hours to code a single product change on up to 12 pages, Root says. The new e-commerce platform lets Atlanta Light Bulbs developers use application programming interfaces, or APIs—sets of software instructions for integrating software applications—to make changes to product pages nearly instantly when DISTRIBUTOR PROFILE ATLANTA LIGHT BULBS www.AtlantaLightBulbs.com Headquarters: Tucker, Ga. Year founded: 1981 Product line: Atlanta Light Bulbs carries a range of lighting products from more than 100 manufacturers, including commercial lighting fixtures and controls, replacement sockets, ballasts and LED bulbs. Clients include contractors, electricians and designers. ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 26 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE CASE STUDIES • SYSTEMS INTEGRATION: ATLANTA LIGHT BULBS “Everything is all about complete transparency, so with a new ERP system tied to our front end, all of us will know where product data and order status stands,” he says. “The nature of B2B e-commerce is changing and older purchasing agents and corporate buyers are being replaced with younger buyers—in many cases millennials—who don’t want to talk to a sales agent or make the trek to a warehouse or store to place orders. For large orders, you need to get a quote—and the modern millennial B2B buyer doesn’t want to have to pick up a phone to do that. Today’s B2B buyers just want to get things done—right then and there.” A new ERP system in conjunction with a better e-commerce system is helping Atlanta Light Bulbs attract and retain more customers and generate bigger orders that had seemed out of reach under Atlanta Light Bulbs’ prior technology setup. For instance, the average B2B ticket on the distributor’s website is about $40, but specialty orders can be much higher—and now can be more easily processed online thanks to the ability of the new site to integrate with the ERP system and pull the correct product and pricing information. Many large hardware and home improvement retail chains may only stock lighting products 2016. But if the company expects to hit its B2B e-commerce sales target of $4 million in 2018, it needs to keep adding better functionality and even more web features, Root says. “We got complacent once when an old clunky system was making good money, and then our competitors wised up to e-commerce,” he says. “We aren’t complacent anymore.” These days the biggest forthcoming change is moving the company’s present enterprise resource planning system from the BigCommerce platform to a new ERP system from Oracle NetSuite, a unit of Oracle Corp. With a new ERP system linked to its e-commerce site, Atlanta Light Bulbs will have better and more integrated product data, Root says. That, in turn, will enable the distributor to add tools or refine existing features for generating self-service quotes, account self-management, user-specific pricing, order tracking and other features. Better integrated technology systems will replace what Root says is too much siloed information on sales and inventory within his company’s software systems for its multiple selling channels, including its showroom, telephone sales, and orders received from resellers and overseas buyers. ‘We tear the guts out of things sometimes.’ Doug Root, CEO, Atlanta Light Bulbs ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 27 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE CASE STUDIES • SYSTEMS INTEGRATION: ATLANTA LIGHT BULBS Despite having a long tenure and lots of expertise selling to corporate buyers online, e-commerce only accounts for about one third of the company’s annual sales of about $12 million, Root says. Nonetheless, the online channel helps it stand out among business buyers. “We’re a small business, and e-commerce made us a really well-known player in the lighting market,” Root says. “We need to differentiate in an increasingly competitive B2B online market.” in seven or eight categories, Root says. But new and integrated ERP and e-commerce systems let Atlanta Light Bulbs stock lighting products—including many specialty items such as particular types of light emitting diodes, LED products—that other websites may not carry. “Specialty orders are pretty big ticket,” Root says. “We have a single order we are processing now for $6,700.” Improved customer-facing and back-end business operations software systems are giving Atlanta Light Bulbs better ways to keep buyers coming back, even if they abandon a shopping cart. Atlanta Light Bulbs has reduced its shopping cart abandonment rate by 29% with such programs as RewardCamp, which provides customers credits every time they buy something; and its QuoteNinja mobile app generated more than $100,000 in orders within 90 days post-launch. QuoteNinja lets Atlanta Light Bulbs customers request a price they would pay for bulbs or related products, and receive back a quote, typically within the same day. Buyers next have the option to change or modify the quote for the quantity and product price they would pay and, if accepted by Atlanta Light Bulbs, use a purchase link to complete the order. “Customers get a message that says we’ve accepted their offer, or if their suggested price is too low, we offer them a different deal,” Root says. B ES T PR A C TI C ES SYSTEMS INTEGRATION ASSESS AND DEVELOP Start off right. Start during the strategic planning phase by documenting systems, integration points and data flows. This helps inform the scoping effort and associated costs to deploy e-commerce. Use expertise. Leverage a systems integrator who is knowledgeable and has documented expertise and verifiable references on the e-commerce technology being deployed, including integration experience with your legacy systems such as ERP. Big job. Expect integration to be one of your largest efforts in deploying e-commerce. Systems integration can be the most difficult and complex portion of building and launching an e-commerce site. Your internal resources that are familiar with your existing systems will need to allocate considerable time to this effort. Source: Guidance.com 28 ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. CASE STUDIES BUSINESS STRATEGY: CARDINAL HEALTH business conducts the majority of its electronic transactions via EDI, there’s a desire among its hospital, surgery center and medical office customers to get more medical supplies information online. “EDI is the traditional way customers place orders and is for the majority of our customers today,” Wingham says. “Most customers who use EDI still log into our website and research products. That’s our chance to engage with them and help them find the right products, to show how we can solve their need.” More than 90% of Cardinal Health orders are electronic, counting EDI, and to date only a small percentage of orders are placed on the e-commerce site, he says. But customers haven’t had all the online tools they want, Wingham says. “Our current e-commerce experiences do not fully meet our By Bill Briggs Cardinal Health Inc. wants to be more than a distributor of medical supplies. As the medical supply arm of the $130 billion pharmaceutical and medical supplies company expands its branded product lines, it plans to upgrade the customer experience and make it easier to find products and associated details. A three-year process is under way and a single medical products website, at CardinalHealth.com, will combine two existing online portals to give customers more direct access to all of its products, says Matt Wingham, director of e-commerce, medical products and services. “We want to be less reliant on our distribution business and focus on our branded products,” Wingham says. “We are trying to become more of a products company, products we sell and source.” Branded lines include surgical gloves, lab jackets and coats, isolation gowns, and patient recovery and monitoring products. The medical business of Cardinal Health accounts for about 10% of overall annual revenue, Wingham says. And while the medical DISTRIBUTOR PROFILE CARDINAL HEALTH www.CardinalHealth.com Headquarters: Dublin, Ohio Year founded: 1971 Product line: Cardinal Health manufactures and distributes medical products and pharmaceuticals to hospital systems, pharmacies, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and physician offices, and offers logistics services. ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 29 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE CASE STUDIES • BUSINESS STRATEGY: CARDINAL HEALTH Wingham joined Cardinal Health three years ago with a digital marketing agency background. At Cardinal, he was charged with building a team to help market and merchandise products and launch a new website. “We’ve been able to build a talented team of internal and external resources passionate about helping customers,” he says. The new site will focus on improving the product experience and include cart and checkout capabilities and will combine individual sites targeting acute care (hospitals), surgery centers and laboratories. The new e-commerce site will span all three healthcare categories and his team is tailoring product listings by customer segment and personalizing the online buying experience, Wingham says. It also will be responsive, automatically rendering properly on any size device. A select group of customers has offered feedback on the new site and are testing it along the way. Wingham declined to offer specifics, but notes customers’ needs and products are hard to find. Our customer wants to use the site to search, find and purchase products.” Cardinal Health’s new website, slated to launch sometime in spring of 2018, will serve up “better product information and enable ordering through an efficient shopping cart and checkout experience,” Wingham says. That’s because hospital-based customers, for example, could use the site to search for products and then alert their materials management department to place the order, based on existing purchasing agreements and contracts, he says. “We’re not trying to influence the way they purchase,” he notes. Instead, the goal is to provide information on branded products as well as those made by other manufacturers. “Our strategy is to present products in their best light by investing in product content, and to be there when the customer wants to search,” Wingham says. ‘Our current e-commerce experiences do not fully meet our customers’ needs and products are hard to find. Our customer wants to use the site to search, find and purchase products.’ Matt Wingham, director of e-commerce, medical products and services, Cardinal Health ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 30 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE CASE STUDIES • BUSINESS STRATEGY: CARDINAL HEALTH Cardinal Health has made a “substantial investment in the technology and people to support the new site.” On the technology side, Cardinal Health is working with several key vendors, including IBM Corp. for its WebSphere Commerce e-commerce platform; Adobe Systems Inc. for the customer- facing side, personalization and analytics; and, for systems integration, a combination of internal technology staff and consulting firms SapientRazorfish and Accenture. The new website aims to complement the efforts of about 1,600 Cardinal sales reps on the medical supplies side, using analytics to provide them more and better information on what customers want to know about products, Wingham says. Cardinal Health’s customers have growing expectations of performance from B2B e-commerce sites similar to the retail sites they also shop on for everyday items like shoes and apparel, Wingham says. But companies like Cardinal Health have greater responsibilities in terms of access to products needed in healthcare, he adds. “Our approach is: If we make it difficult for customers to find products, we are negatively influencing the quality of care. Shoes and apparel are important, but we need make it easy to buy from us. We are passionate about providing a great experience.” 31 ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. CASE STUDIES BUSINESS STRATEGY: GERIATRIC MEDICAL supply incontinence products to healthcare facilities throughout the state that care for nearly 2 million people covered by Medicaid health insurance—is expected to save the state $3.7 million per year, according to a document issued by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the agency that awarded the contract and administers the Medicaid program, known as MassHealth. Healthcare facilities participating in the MassHealth program will still be free to purchase incontinence products from other suppliers, though the state has recommended they purchase from Geriatric Medical for the best mix of product, pricing and service. “Geriatric Medical will work with the Executive Office of Health & Human Services to ensure that MassHealth members will receive clinically By Paul Demery When the state of Massachusetts reviewed medical products distributors for a “preferred supplier,” it chose regional mid-size firm Geriatric Medical for its mix of services as well as products and pricing. Geriatric Medical and Surgical Supply Inc., a third-generation family-owned distributor, has steadily increased its e-commerce sales over the past several years to where they now account for more than 80% of total revenue. Its online strategy is all about giving client hospitals and nursing homes what they need to do their jobs better, says Justin Racine, director of marketing and e-commerce. “We’re focused on providing the online content and order-flow processing that our customers are looking for,” he says. That focus played a big role in early 2018 when Geriatric Medical won its bid to become the preferred supplier of a category of medical supplies under a state-wide contract awarded by the Executive Office of Health & Human Services in Massachusetts, says Geriatric Medical CEO Jeffrey Siegel. The three-year contract— under which the distributor has agreed to DISTRIBUTOR PROFILE GERIATRIC MEDICAL www.GeriatricMedical.com Headquarters: Woburn, Mass. Year founded: 1945 Product line: Geriatric Medical carries medical supplies in categories including disposables such as gloves and syringes; durable medical equipment including beds and wheelchairs; skin and wound care; and janitorial. Clients include long-term care facilities and hospitals. ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 32 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE CASE STUDIES • BUSINESS STRATEGY: GERIATRIC MEDICAL Geriatric Medical provides, each of which is designed to help healthcare facilities provide better care and abide by strict government regulations. One deals with a regulation regarding the safety of bed rails. The distributor developed a webinar and other educational materials detailing how beds must be designed in a way that secures the mattress while preventing patients from getting caught between the rails. Its educational materials include information on products Geriatric Medical sells that test the beds to ensure they comply with safety regulations. Another service involves educating health facility personnel on how to abide by strict regulations for cleaning and disinfecting particular areas. Required cleansers or disinfectants and how they’re applied can differ based on the area, such as a patient’s room versus a food service kitchen, and Geriatric Medical provides webinars and other materials to show what personnel must do to ensure their facility passes inspections by health officials, Racine says. The distributor typically sells a range of products in each category based on “good, better, best” superior products at a lower overall cost to the Medicaid program while maintaining the vital services of the existing provider network,” the distributor says in a notice posted to its website and approved by the state. The state doesn’t directly comment publicly on contracts or bids, a spokesman says. The names of other bidders for the contract were not available. To stand out against other, often much larger, competitors, Geriatric Medical has developed a policy of serving as a business advisor as well as product supplier to its customers, Racine says. Suppliers like Amazon.com Inc., which has been making overtures in medical supplies distribution, and other large distributors may offer lower prices, Racine says. But Geriatric Medical strives to stand out with specialized services, he adds. “We’re not worried from an Amazon standpoint,” he says. “Their site is vast and focused on so many areas, and they work from a price point that gets them into a market. But we’re focused on creating specialized services that Amazon can’t touch.” Racine noted two examples of the services ‘We’re focused on creating specialized services that Amazon can’t touch.’ Justin Racine, director, marketing and e-commerce, Geriatric Medical ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 33 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE CASE STUDIES • BUSINESS STRATEGY: GERIATRIC MEDICAL against any competitor,” he says. The privately held company doesn’t release revenue figures. Going forward, Geriatric Medical realizes that it will need to keep improving its services as other online as well as offline distributors become more competitive. For example, one envisioned service would share with customers information it compiles on the effectiveness of particular healthcare products. “We want to get to the point where we can show if this type of wound- care dressing will improve care and result in a reduced hospital readmission rate,” Racine says. with prices that vary accordingly, and it helps each customer match its needs and budget with the most appropriate products, he adds. “We’re the experts knowing the product mix, and we play the matchmaker,” he says. The company’s focus on service while offering more than 30,000 branded products online has helped it to grow its e-commerce sales from about 50% of revenue four years ago to about 85% in early 2018, Racine says. The remaining sales come from phone and EDI orders. “We’re living proof that any online distributor can win ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 34 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE CASE STUDIES • BUSINESS STRATEGY: GERIATRIC MEDICAL BUSINESS STRATEGY KNOW THE CUSTOMER Start with your customers. Understand their needs and important website features by listening closely to them (surveys, interviews, customer focus groups). Build website requirements around a customer- first approach. In the world of distribution, it’s key to convey your value-add to customers via online channels—go beyond just product assortment and price to include things like product expertise and customer support options. Success in e-commerce goes beyond technology. It takes resources (internal and external), marketing, internal alignment, shared metrics and goals, and executive leadership. These need to be considered from the outset. Don’t make the ‘build it and they will come’ mistake. They won’t, if all you do is launch a website. Alignment with the sales team is critical. As your primary interface to your customer, the sales team can make or break your e-commerce effort. Fear and resistance is an understandable reaction from sales teams that are not informed and involved in e-commerce, but a fully aligned sales force can dramatically accelerate online efforts. B ES T PR A C TI C ES Understand your return on investment. B2B e-commerce benefits include higher share-of-wallet from existing customers, incremental revenue from new customers and organizational efficiencies. Map these out, and understand your costs across all aspects to support the e-commerce effort to create your ROI model (not just technology.) Make sure you have a “go to” leader. Get a leader in place with real authority and title (vice president or higher), and look outside the organization for talent. Many traditional distributors do not have expertise in building e-commerce. Look to retail e-commerce veterans as a good place to gain this talent. Document your plan. Create a written plan that is distributed throughout the organization, including your return expectations and overall objectives, as well as tactics to support e-commerce growth, including marketing, customer adoption, technology, organizational development, and sales channel alignment tactics. The website must be mobile. While still well under 30% of web traffic for many B2B companies, mobile traffic is increasing rapidly for all types of websites and a B2B website must be easy to use on smartphones and tablets. Source: Guidance.com 35 ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. CASE STUDIES MARKETING-PERSONALIZATION: ZORO.COM product page as it would a returning customer, as those who have purchased previously typically are worth more in terms of lifetime value, Hilbrenner said. When someone adds items to a shopping cart and arrives at the checkout page, Zoro moves him into the “ready buyer” category and offers related products on the checkout page. Hilbrenner said this has increased sales for Zoro.com, but that it’s important not to confuse a customer ready to buy with lower-priced items or force him to leave the checkout page to purchase a related product. “You don’t want to give the shopper pause,” he said. “Make it possible to buy in one click and don’t take them away from the checkout page.” Zoro has the most information about returning By Don Davis Zoro.com has learned how to get personal with website visitors. The website segments site visitors into three broad categories and adjusts what they see accordingly. The personalization strategy has increased online sales by 8-10% in a year, e-commerce director Kyle Hilbrenner told attendees during a June 2017 presentation at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago. More than 80% of buyers arriving from Google land on a product detail page, and Zoro, a unit of W.W. Grainger Inc. that targets small businesses, makes those pages the focus of its personalization tactics for this segment. To provide the most relevant offers, Hilbrenner said, Zoro feeds as much information as possible into the personalization technology it uses from Kibo, for example the content of the Google ad the individual clicked on or what search terms the visitor may have used on the site. The distributor of industrial MRO products— maintenance, repair and operations—also offers complementary products, such as a set of screwdrivers to go with a level the person is looking at. At the same time, it might not offer a new visitor as attractive a discount on the DISTRIBUTOR PROFILE ZORO www.Zoro.com Headquarters: Mundelein, Ill. Year founded: 2011 Product line: Zoro offers industrial maintenance, repair and operations products and office supplies, including power tools, industrial bearings and chemicals, safety gear, and janitorial supplies to manufacturers, resellers and retailers. ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 36 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE CASE STUDIES • MARKETING-PERSONALIZATION: ZORO.COM personalization system, contributing to the 8-10% increase in site revenue, Hilbrenner said. He declined to disclose Zoro.com’s annual sales. Grainger, No. 32 in the 2018 B2B E-Commerce 300, reported 56% of total revenue in fiscal 2017—$5.84 billion—came in through its e-commerce channels, including websites, EDI, its KeepStock managed inventory service and vending machines, and e-procurement systems, a spokesman says. Speaking with Hilbrenner in the B2B e-commerce workshop session at IRCE, Danielle Roberts, product manager for personalization and e-commerce at Kibo, advised attendees to avoid common personalization pitfalls. They include offering recommendations that are outdated, such as products that are out of stock or suggesting a site visitor buy something he just purchased. She also said recommendations in email should be updated when the recipient opens the email, which allows the seller to update the items promoted based on inventory availability as well as on any website behavior by the recipient in the interim since the email was sent. customers and re-orders the site navigation for those buyers to feature categories that the customer has previously purchased from or browsed. “We may move down office supplies, if he hasn’t purchased or looked at those items,” he said. He says this strategy has allowed Zoro, which has a catalog of 1.5 million items, to show visitors more of the products likely to be of interest to them. Because these returning customers often arrive via the home page, Zoro makes it easy for them to re-order items from that page or to buy items they have recently viewed. A year after deploying the personalization system from Kibo—which also provides order management, e-commerce and omnichannel technology for both retailers and business-to- business sellers—Zoro has seen 15-20% of site visitors engage with product recommendations, more than Hilbrenner expected, he said. Those who do interact with recommendations spend four times more time on Zoro.com than other visitors and view three times as many pages, he said. Overall, the conversion rate on the site has gone up 1-2% since Zoro implemented the ‘Those who do interact with recommendations spend four times more time on Zoro.com than other visitors and view three times as many pages.’ Kyle Hilbrenner, e-commerce director, Zoro.com ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 37 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE CASE STUDIES • MARKETING-PERSONALIZATION: ZORO.COM MARKETING GET PERSONAL Diversity. Great e-commerce sites open new digital marketing channels—create a digital marketing plan incorporating search engine marketing (Google, Bing); social media, e-mail, display advertising; and other channels. Marketplaces such as Amazon Business provide an opportunity to market your private label products and even your full line, just keep a close eye on the disruptive impact they may have on your industry. Spread the wealth. Consider re-allocating some offline marketing spend to online marketing channels. Take a test-and-learn approach to find what works best from a return on advertising spend and customer acquisition standpoint. Follow through. Measure new customers acquired through digital marketing—know if your marketing is helping to expand your addressable market. More diversity. Syndicate content in social media channels to reinforce your industry expertise and engage customers across all channels. Create new short form content with tips and tricks specifically for sharing through digital means. “Smile—you’re on.” Don’t forget video, which is the most engaging way modern buyers learn about products and obtaining product support. Source: Guidance.com B ES T PR A C TI C ES 38 ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. CASE STUDIES CUSTOMER SERVICE: SUSTAINABLESUPPLY.COM needed supplier buy-in because, while it holds some inventory, most orders are drop-shipped. So far, Sustainable Supply has negotiated free shipping terms with a few strategic suppliers. In return for absorbing the shipping fee, those suppliers’ products get preferred placement on SustainableSupply.com and in email promotions, he says. “Freight on brands and suppliers that are not participating is absorbed by Sustainable Supply, but is partially offset by marketing allowances and rebates that we have in place with these suppliers.” Through the first nine months of 2017 Sustainable Supply’s sales rose 61%. Sales usually slow somewhat in December, Fricano says. But the company likely will surpass its B2B E-Commerce 300 projection of $20.29 million in By Bill Briggs Three years of cultivating new front- and back- end technology is bearing fruit for Sustainable Supply Co. LLC. The online distributor of “green” or “eco-friendly” building materials, cleaning supplies, and maintenance, repair and operations products recorded a 67% sales increase for the third quarter of 2017, says CEO Brian Fricano. The massive sales lift resulted from new technology and a renewed focus on its customers, Fricano says. “It was a combination of things, including being hyper-focused on customer retention,” he says. “In July we rolled out free shipping on all orders, coupled with improvements in customer service and loyalty programs.” Previously, the free shipping threshold was $75, but internal analysis showed many orders topped $75 anyway. “So we looked at how to lower the barrier for the customer to do business with us the first time, but also had to have our supplier partners on board with this,” Fricano says. “We approached some suppliers late last year and got several ‘strategic suppliers’ lined up to take a leap of faith.” Sustainable Supply, which sells online at SustainableSupply.com, DISTRIBUTOR PROFILE SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY www.SustainableSupply.com Headquarters: Broomfield, Colo. Year founded: 2009 Product line: Sustainable Supply offers “green,” environment-friendly cleaning supplies and maintenance products including building materials, restroom products, HVAC equipment, maintenance- repair-operations and safety supplies. Clients range from large to small businesses and schools. ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 39 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE CASE STUDIES • CUSTOMER SERVICE: SUSTAINABLESUPPLY.COM Many of Sustainable Supply’s customers are small to midsize companies and they want to automate replenishment to avoid devoting time to the repetitious process, he adds. To use the automated reorder service, customers choose from among eligible products, as noted on product pages, then select the desired delivery frequency, ranging from one week to six months. Customers receive an email two days prior to shipping and can cancel an order any time up until 24 hours before delivery. In addition to its rewards program, Sustainable Supply recently started an account management program. Larger customers used to working with sales reps rather than strictly ordering online have been assigned account and business managers. Those managers reach out to customers that tend to place recurring orders online to try expanding the range of products they buy, Fricano says. The company also has a three-member project management unit that works with small to midsize contractors for price-quote requests and other services. Fricano attributes much of Sustainable Supply’s growth to its extensive technology upgrade. “We are wrapping up a three-year software conversion that has helped us scale up the business, including new enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and financial applications, and a new e-commerce platform,” he says. In the past, the company had three different technology platforms and a stand-alone 2017 online sales. Sustainable Supply is No. 199 in the 2018 B2B E-Commerce 300. The wholesaler has also improved customer retention and its bottom line with a rewards program it rolled out in 2016 and an automated reorder service. Customers get 5% back on all purchases and those who regularly reorder products such as cleaning and breakroom supplies and toilet paper can determine quantities and frequency of deliveries, Fricano says. ‘Freight on brands and suppliers that are not participating is absorbed by Sustainable Supply, but is partially offset by marketing allowances and rebates that we have in place with these suppliers. Brian Fricano, CEO, SustainableSupply.com ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 40 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE CASE STUDIES • CUSTOMER SERVICE: SUSTAINABLESUPPLY.COM accounting system performing those functions, but now is using Oracle NetSuite for all back- end functions. It planned to go live on the Magento Enterprise 2.0 e-commerce platform in December. The long-term I.T. project “sucked a lot of resources and energy, but we were still focused on growth,” Fricano says. He estimates the cost of the new technology at more than $600,000 but says it would have gone over $1 million were the systems hosted on-site rather than cloud-based. Sustainable Supply also operates specialized websites Eyewashdirect.com, targeting schools and businesses, and Portablehandwashing.com, which sells to food stands. There are plans for additional, focused websites in the next several years “in certain product categories as offensive and defensive acts against companies like Amazon Business,” Fricano says. First up will be a website offering building materials for smaller-scale projects undertaken by property managers, aiming for rollout sometime in the first half of 2018. While it hedges against competition from Amazon Business, Sustainable Supply does sell some products on the marketplace. Products sold through that channel mirror those already sold on the marketplace, not those more unique to its own websites, Fricano says. Sustainable Supply also sells on eBay.com and to a limited extent through Walmart.com. “We have a toe in the water,” he says. “Walmart is the best competitor to Amazon and we think they are going be a major player.” B ES T PR A C TI C ES CUSTOMER SERVICE MAKE THEIR JOBS EASIER Your web site is your online hub. This is an opportunity to make your customers’ jobs easier, and drive web usage. Things like order status checking, service call scheduling, account maintenance, parts compatibility checking, accessing technical manuals and compatibility guides, and more are all supportable through your website, and are increasingly expected by today’s business customers. Training. Your customer service and support teams are your front line to your customers, and need to be involved in the e-commerce website development process and trained once it is live. They will be expected to answer questions on website usage, and can be an important influence in site adoption by customers. If you build your site correctly, it will make their jobs easier as well. New duties. If you do e-commerce right, expect your agents to become less busy due to higher levels of customer self-service. This is an opportunity to re-deploy them to higher value tasks, such as new customer prospecting and customer satisfaction efforts Source: Guidance.com 41 ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. CASE STUDIES SITE DESIGN: W.W. GRAINGER e-commerce site, launched in June 2017 to provide quick access to products in a Spartan format dominated by basic product descriptions and groupings, will be combined with the flagship Grainger.com site, he said. And thanks in part to new tax reforms, Grainger will invest 0.2% of its capital in its “digital platform,” Macpherson said. He declined to offer specifics. Grainger’s stock market capitalization is $15.5 billion, and 0.2% of that would be more than $30 million. In launching Gamut.com in June 2017, Grainger said it was designed with “a proprietary information system that manages and organizes a comprehensive list of product attributes, application-specific imagery and rich, technical data. This enables the website to generate relevant, curated search results that help customers quickly find and purchase the right products.” By Bill Briggs W.W. Grainger Inc.’s plans for e-commerce include combining Gamut.com—a site it designed for fast search and same-day shipping—with its flagship site Grainger.com. Grainger now draws more than half of its revenue from e-commerce. The supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products reported overall growth of almost 3% for fiscal 2017. And 56% of total revenue—$5.84 billion—came in through its e-commerce channels, including websites, EDI, its KeepStock managed inventory service and vending machines, and e-procurement systems, a spokesman says. Grainger’s Other Businesses segment, which includes its Zoro.com and Japan-based MonotaRO.com B2B e-commerce sites, grew 12.5%, to $2.12 billion, for the year and 16%, to $559.4 million, in the fourth quarter. Grainger CEO D.G. Macpherson attributed most of that Q4 growth to higher sales volume, in the year-end earnings call with analysts. Sales growth was primarily driven by MonotaRO.com in Japan, which offers industrial products, and Zoro.com in the United States, which offers off-price products, he said. Grainger plans to expand online initiatives in 2018, Macpherson told analysts. Its Gamut.com DISTRIBUTOR PROFILE W.W. GRAINGER www.Grainger.com Headquarters: Lake Forest, Ill. Year founded: 1927 Product line: Grainger carries maintenance, repair and operating products, including safety, material handling and metalworking supplies and equipment. Clients range across multiple industries such as commercial, manufacturing, healthcare and government. ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. 42 B2B ECNEWS DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE CASE STUDIES • SITE DESIGN: W.W. GRAINGER B ES T PR A C TI C ES SITE DESIGN SWEAT THE DETAILS Make a buyer’s job easier. Understand purchasing workflows, and make it simple to do these activities online. Adoption flows from saving B2B buyers time and effort in the purchasing process, particularly for items that are frequently re-ordered. If you are a distributor with a large assortment, use your product expertise to help the buyer find which products work together best for their application. More of the same. B2B buyers expect to see the same pricing, product catalog and ordering features that they get from other channels like catalogs, sales reps and a call center—make sure these are in sync before a launch. Sweat the details. Take the time to document requirements and run a careful e-commerce platform selection process. Shop around. Look at multiple e-commerce platform options. Don’t underestimate user experience and design. B2B users are also consumers—they shop on Amazon, and expect a similar easy online experience from a B2B site. Source: Guidance.com www.B2BNext.net REINVENTING BUSINESS FOR A DIGITAL-FIRST ECONOMY REGISTER NOW & SAVE $300 KEYNOTE Clayton Christensen Harvard Business School Andy Hoar Co-Founder, B2B Next Kristina Howe Deluxe Corporation Sadaf Kazmi Thomson Reuters SEPTEMBER 24-26 SHERATON GRAND CHICAGO 44 Speakers 38 Sessions 28 Sponsors 900+ Attendees From the creators of Internet Retailer, IRCE*, and B2BecNews *Currently owned by Emerald Expositions LLC 44 B2B ECNEWS ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE PAUL DEMERY Editor, B2BecNews paul@verticalwebmedia.com 312-362-9534 BILL BRIGGS Senior Editor, B2BecNews billb@verticalwebmedia.com 312-362-0084 Oracle’s NetSuite unified, cloud commerce platform enables B2C and B2B merchants to streamline their business and deliver seamless customer experiences across all points of commerce by managing core business processes with a single, unified, cloud-based system covering financials, e-commerce, point-of-sale, order and inventory management, CRM, and marketing. ABOUT OUR SPONSORS Insite is a provider of powerful digital commerce solutions architected for manufacturers and distributors. The InsiteCommerce suite of products goes beyond commerce to connect people, products and channels for a rich, omnichannel experience for your customers, partners and sales team. Insite provides fully-supported, native, B2B capabilities out of the box. B2BecNEWS RESEARCH MARK BROHAN Research Director, B2BecNews mark@verticalwebmedia.com 312-362-9535 DON DAVIS Editor at Large don@verticalwebmedia.com 312-362-0014 45 B2B ECNEWS INTRODUCTION DISTRIBUTORS’ PLAYBOOK FOR B2B E-COMMERCE ©Copyright 2018 B2BecNews & Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. ABOUT B2B ECNEWS RESEARCH B2BecNews provides manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, dealers, retailers, buyers of business goods and services, service providers and others with data, analysis and information about the $1 trillion business-to-business e-commerce market. We publish each year analytical reports on key B2B e-commerce topics, including online marketplaces, business strategy, customer service, channel and systems integration, and marketing and social media, among others. The annual B2B E-Commerce 300 database and report each year breaks down the sales, operations, marketing and website metrics of the leading B2B e-commerce sites and ranks and analyzes the leaders overall and by vertical industry. We also have a robust custom research department, which provides tailored research products—in-depth reports, exclusive surveys, raw data pulls and other products—for top B2B e-commerce companies, consultants, financial analysts and technology companies. COPYRIGHT Copyright 2018, Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. All Content of the Distributors’ Playbook for B2B E-Commerce B2B E-Commerce report, whether in print or digital formats, and all content of the Top500Guide.com database version of this publication (collectively, the “Content”), is owned by Vertical Web Media and protected by U.S. Copyright and by applicable intellectual property laws worldwide. The Content is intended solely for the personal use of Purchasers or Authorized Recipients of said Content, which use is limited to viewing, analyzing and creating reports for internal noncommercial use only. Purchasers and Authorized Recipients of the Content may share such usage with others within his/ her company, but may not copy, download, reproduce, republish, sell, make available, distribute, display, transmit, share, or otherwise distribute any part of the Content to any other persons or entities without the written permission of Vertical Web Media. Purchasers and Authorized Recipients of the Content, in any and all of its formats, may not modify, create derivative works of, reverse compile, disassemble or reverse engineer, republish, sell, license, lease, sublicense, assign, incorporate into published material or any information retrieval system, or otherwise transfer any of the Content without written permission of Vertical Web Media. The trademarks and service marks “Vertical Web Media”, “Internet Retailer®”, and “Top 500 Guide®”, and any logos, designs, slogans or other source-identifying devices, including combinations thereof (excluding any third party owned trademarks or service marks) (“VWM Trademarks”) displayed on print, digital and Top500Guide.com database research products are owned by Vertical Web Media. Distributors’ Playbook for B2B E-Commerce print, digital and database research product is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This research products is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering financial, legal, accounting, tax or other professional service. Vertical Web Media makes no warranty as to the reliability, accuracy, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, completeness or suitability of the Distributors’ Playbook for B2B E-Commerce report. The 2018 B2B E-COMMERCE 300 ©Copyright 2017, 2018 Vertical Web Media LLC. All rights reserved. DigitalCommerce360.com/b2b 2018 B2B E-COMMERCE 300 3 SUMMARY B2BECNEWS B2B: A MARKET AT A CROSSROADS B2B e-commerce is at a crossroads. And the companies who want to stay in the game as sellers must quickly make the right turns regarding commerce strategy and technology investments. In a market projected to reach $1 trillion by 2019, the stakes are high. And as the data in this report shows, the companies in the 2018 edition of the B2B E-Commerce 300 are leading the way to that trillion-dollar mark. The B2B E-Commerce 300 companies, ranked on their projected 2017 e-commerce sales, altogether account for an aggregated $563.65 billion in e-commerce revenue. That’s 63.4% of the estimated total $889 billion in e-commerce sales in the United States for 2017 projected by Forrester Research Inc. The average 2017-over-2016 growth rate in e-commerce revenue for the B2B E-Commerce 300—at 7.1%—validates the 7.2% increase Forrester ‘gures for the same period for all U.S. e-commerce sales. Growth rates are often larger among smaller companies in an expanding market, since it’s easier to produce higher rates of increase from a smaller base of revenue. But the fact that the average growth rate of B2B 300 companies is in sync with Forrester’s industry-wide rate re”ects the ability of many of the 300 to continue growing even after they build a large revenue base. Among the 18 industry categories covered in the B2B E-Commerce 300, however, the annual growth rates vary widely. With several in low to middle single digits, including Food/Beverage (1.7%), Ošce Supplies (3.5%) and Specialty (6.4%), there are also six in double digits, The Online B2B Market (2017 online sales in billions) B2B E-Commerce 300 $563.7 Everyone Else $325.3 Source: B2BecNews, Forrester Research Inc. 63.4% 36.6% B2B RESEARCH the leader in b2b e-commerce data ECNEWS B2B E-COMMERCE 300 RANKINGS, DATA AND ANALYSIS OF THE 300 LARGEST B2B E-COMMERCE BUSINESSES 2018 EDITION From the Editors of B2BecNews, a Digital Commerce 360 Brand The only place where you can find rankings and key metrics on the 300 companies that control nearly two-thirds of the $889 billion* U.S. B2B online market In 2017, the B2B E-Commerce 300 collectively sold $563.65 billion The B2B E-Commerce 300 companies represent 63% of the $889 billion U.S. B2B online market in 2017 The 300 companies grew their B2B e-commerce sales in 2017 by 7.1% double the growth rate of the overall economy The B2B E-Commerce 300 is available in two formats Analysis Report A 75-page PDF report, analyzing and ranking the leading B2B e-commerce players Online Database & Report Exact web sales per company, full company profiles and the analysis report digitalcommerce360.com/b2b300/ *A Forrester Research estimate