Distributor E-Commerce: The Cost of Doing Nothing | Industrial Distribution

Twenty years ago, distribution looked very different. Trucks were hand-loaded. Buyers relied on print catalogs and fax machines. Customers frequented showroom locations. It wasn’t surprising if entire sales teams shared a single computer. Today, automated packaging and lift assists make truck loading easier. Print catalogs are moving online. Customers aren’t stopping in as much as they used to. Everyone expects to be enabled with their own device.

The point is, things look a lot different than they did 20 years ago. Modern B2B buyers prefer to self-serve whenever possible, salespeople want to be digitally-enabled and the Amazon’s of the world are setting the gold standard for seamless user experiences. The world is changing fast. Compounding the usual rate of change is the disruption we’re seeing from B2B marketplaces, hiring challenges and of course the COVID-19 outbreak.

Nevertheless, distributors are rising up to the challenges and serving their customers through it all.

Most distributors have quickly realized that in order to maintain business through boom and bust, they have to find new, better ways to serve their customers and their employees. But what about the less agile distributors? What benefits could be lost if you don’t transform with eCommerce?

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