The news stories stating that Amazon is on a mission to take over B2B ecommerce in the distribution industry have been increasing since the giant released Amazon Business. We’ve read those stories, too.
It’s an appetizing arena for Amazon, B2B is a multi-billion-dollar pie and they want to gobble up their slice.
Should the competition just give up?
Dealers need to stay sharp, this is not a time to be complacent. How are you going on the offensive in the light of the potential encroachment? Some lines of action come to mind; we’d like to hear how you plan on responding or if you are staying the course and not altering an already positive go-to-market strategy.
You can focus on the value proposition you already bring to your customers. And work to strengthen it: top-level customer service, convenience, loyalty programs, trusted technology partners, etc. Dealers can “out-Amazon” the competition with a passion for treating their customers like gold. They are the precious commodity.
The number of SKUs Amazon Business offers is over 10 million. We’ve heard of an interesting approach to using this immense breadth of inventory to your advantage. Look at it as an opportunity to use Amazon as a wholesaler option. Do the research to ensure you get acceptable margins, as a dealer you already meet the requirements of a FEIN (IRS tax ID #), and can make the minimum dollar purchase or pieces required. Wholesale sourcing at a discount by buying in bulk from Amazon is an approach worth exploring. Some businesses add to their supply chain by leveraging Amazon’s MCF (Multi Channel Fulfillment) option to fulfill orders from their own website.
Begin strengthening your technology efforts. Being shrewd and knowledgeable about advancements in technology, combined with your business know-how, will propel you to making positive decisions to transform your business.
Are you willing to make changes if necessary? The attitude and passion you bring to learning new and different approaches will benefit you as we face the future, even help you invent it for yourselves.