Going to a distributor website to find what to buy is more popular than talking to a sales rep, customer service rep, or looking at print material. In fact, shopping at a distributor website is significantly more popular than these other approaches.
This article examines the results of the 2016 State of E-Commerce in Distribution Survey and how the industry’s e-commerce offerings are maturing.
Results for the 2016 state of distributor e-commerce survey
Results from the 2015 distributor marketing survey
Opportunities remain for distributors to improve marketing plans and measurement as a means to increase marketing effectiveness. The 2015 distributor marketing survey covered several areas of marketing, including biggest marketing challenge, vehicles, channels, measurement and pricing.
The type of products sold online have a factor, with MRO products generally having higher online adoption. However, the biggest and most important factor for a successful e-commerce adoption – and growth velocity – is having a strong strategic plan for the digital sales channel.
Research from the previously published annual 2015 State of E-Commerce Study indicates that more than 41 percent of distributors are generating less than 5 percent of revenue through e-commerce.
B-to-B purchasing is experiencing a major shift toward a multichannel model with an online focus. Online firms, such as Amazon, have elevated our expectation of how a transaction is completed.
Because of reduced barrier to entry, distributors of all sizes have now launched or are launching an e-commerce capability. However, a significant percentage of these distributors are seeing very little revenue traction through their e-commerce site, even after several years.
February 2015, State of Distributor E-Commerce survey of more than 400 distributors conducted with Modern Distribution Management. Ongoing Shopping and Buying survey of several thousand end users from multiple distributors.