But much of the discussion at the event was centered on building an ecommerce presence in the traditional sense. And while, depending on their customer base, distributors do need some level of ecommerce to compete today, we believe that the definition of ecommerce for many distributors has become too narrow. We heard far too much at the event about building and using web stores, a base requirement to do business, and not enough about how other digital tools can enable distributors to actually differentiate against the giants like Amazon and Walmart in today’s competitive market.
As Justin King of B2X Partners shared in the opening session, “The Company That Kills You Will Look Nothing Like You,” distributors’ moats are not as big as they frequently think they are. The processes, systems and people that have made most distributors successful to date are exactly what will keep distributors from embracing innovative ideas.
So if ecommerce isn’t the answer – if it’s just a need-to-have, but not a differentiator – how can distributors stand out today? How can they ensure that the moat they have built will keep the enemy at bay?
In his presentation on Day 2, Jonathan Bein of Real Results Marketing talked about how customers want to do business with you in the most efficient way possible. For some customer bases, field sales reps are no longer the preferred channel. Instead, they want to interact with inside sales, or they want to be able to automate reorders. If you can’t provide a seamless omnichannel experience, customers will start to go somewhere else.
This desire for efficiency means that digital solutions like automated inventory replenishment are a solid strategy for distributors to stand out in a crowded market. Distributors have a huge opportunity to offer automated replenishment based on actual usage as part of their value-added services. Consider these benefits we’ve seen our distributor partners and their customers receive from using eTurns automated inventory replenishment solution:
See how eTurns can become part of your digital plan. Request a demo today.