Wholesales buyers are going online and probably buying from Amazon and Alibaba. In 2015, Forrester Research said 93 percent of wholesales buyers prefer to buy online. Why? Because buyers like having self-service info and the ability to order from their suppliers. Two years later, the percentage is higher still!
Interestingly, a study by Accenture found out that wholesale buyers buy work stuff on B2C websites half of the time! Two dominant examples here are Amazon and AliExpress. They are selling B2C but often undercutting B2B prices.
For wholesales suppliers who provide long-lasting products which don’t need to be delivered immediately, like office stationary or equipment, the opportunity has never been greater! At the same time, the time to act is now! This probably seems obvious to you, yet a bit difficult at the same time. Many of you have set up custom online ordering facilities over the years. Yet you might not have been too happy with the results.
The good news is technology has moved on a lot, and now there’s systems like iStockist for Wholesale eCommerce where ordering online is super-fast. More like using an iphone app. As a result, adoption by buyers is very high. No more endlessly waiting for the page to load, like most eCommerce systems!
The basic strategy
For products that must be shipped quickly, and are replaced often, you offer a local shipping option. Examples might be coffee, paper, etc that need to be replaced regularly. When the product doesn’t need to be delivered straightaway, or where you have a super-reliable manufacturer or distributor, you do dropshipping. Dropshipping means that you sell the product, and rely on the manufacturer to deliver it directly to the end-consumer.
Doing this allows you to have an product catalog that beats your competitors on options and prices. If you think of traditional print catalogs like Argos and Ikea, the cost of printing and production is high. A digital product catalog enables you to eliminate printing costs (and save trees). At the same time, you can display a much bigger range of items, because you are no longer limited by the size of your print catalog or warehouse.
Win win for the sales team
Furthermore, with wholesales online ordering, your sales force can make more sales (and more money). They can focus on relationships, support and winning new customers, rather than order taking. Self-serve buying experiences are only going to increase, so you’d better get onboard sooner rather than later.
From Forrester Research, Inc., “Death Of A (B2B) Salesman” Report (April 13, 2015)