Manufacturers and distributors should sell through B2B online marketplaces to provide the broad scope of products, purchasing experience and convenience their customers want, ecommerce veteran Karie Daudt of Perficient writes.

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Karie Daudt

B2B commerce is changing constantly, and the need to capture prospects and existing customers’ attention on another level is drastically increasing.

Manufacturers and distributors must leverage technology within their commerce strategy to deliver a competitive advantage and benefit the overall business in the long run. Utilizing marketplaces as part of a B2B commerce strategy can benefit both manufacturers and distributors by providing a unique and seamless experience for both prospects and existing customers.

A marketplace allows a manufacturer to cultivate a relationship with prospects and customers while allowing their channel partners to thrive.

Today’s digital commerce age requires B2B sellers to provide prospects and customers the ability to research and buy with ease and convenience. Marketplaces can provide manufacturers and distributors this advantage by delivering an extension of new products, experiences, and convenience to their users.

Manufacturers: Create Independent Partnerships

Manufacturers have traditionally relied on their channel partners to sell and service their products. However, manufacturers are looking for more ways to interact with both prospects and customers to sell more products.

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Typically, many prospects and customers alike will start their research at the manufacturer’s level to solve the need at hand. For some manufacturers, this means selling to the customer directly and passing by the channel, but for others, it is to interact more with the customer while still supporting the channel.

Regardless of how a manufacturer chooses to go to market, a marketplace can create a stronger connected relationship with users while still supporting their channel in the process. For example, a manufacturer can sell their product directly to a customer via a marketplace and allow their channel partners to fulfill the orders, or a manufacturer could leverage a marketplace to manage and sell products across business units to a specific target market.

The bottom line is that a marketplace allows a manufacturer to cultivate a relationship with prospects and customers while allowing their channel partners to thrive. This digital relationship is a win-win situation and formulates a partnership that strengthens both the manufacturer and its channel partners.

Distributors: Step Outside the Box

One of the biggest obstacles for a distributor is the ability to differentiate from other distributors effectively. In today’s market, products and services on their own are not strong enough to be considered a differentiation for most distributors, but how they are sold can help.

A marketplace provides distributors the ability to differentiate from the competition. Distributors can sell their products and services that differ from what’s available in a typical commerce channel, and they have the opportunity to drive revenue with new customers and market to new target audiences.

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Different types of marketplaces allow distributors to go after new target audiences and sell more products by bringing in new products and services from other sellers, without taking on any responsibility for shipping or product availability. Distributors can become a one-stop-shop for their current and new consumers and give the consumers the benefit of dealing with fewer vendor relationships. Overall, distributors have found a new way to market and sell their products and services and differentiate themselves from their competition.

Elevate Your Strategy with B2B Marketplaces

Marketplaces are an emerging yet pivotal step for manufacturers and distributors to differentiate themselves as they compete within their industry and create stronger relationships with their customers. The advantages of marketplaces are changing how B2B businesses sell to their consumers and how their business evolves in its digital commerce journey.

Karie Daudt is Senior Commerce Consultant at Perficient. With more than two decades of experience in digital commerce, management, and business development in the manufacturing and distribution industry, she helps clients identify problems and works to align them with the right technology solution to fit their needs.

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