A small distributor with a big appetite for business-to business ecommerce is rolling out its latest digital initiative: a B2B marketplace for the fastener industry.
Bay Supply, an industrial distributor based in Farmingdale, New York, which has been selling a wide array of fasteners to big and small companies since 1961, is rolling out a new marketplace on BaySupply.com to bring together buyers and sellers in what the company calls a disparate industry. r
“The fastener industry is fragmented and outdated—the industry needs a better way to leverage technology to streamline quote-and-order processes,” says CEO Clifford Bernard. “Sourcing fasteners requires an incredible amount of time and research online, and the current process just doesn’t make sense for anyone in the supply chain anymore.”
To attract digital buyers and sellers, Bay Supply is offering free registration to distributors that sell fastening products, with plans to offer digital buyers more than 2,000 types of rivets, bolts, threaded inserts and related fastener products and tools.
Bay Supply will also work with distributors to add new categories to better position their product offerings, the distributor says. Digital tools available on the marketplace include automated workflows and dashboards that can be accessed by multiple users.
“Fastening manufacturers are building their digital catalogs for their brands on their corporate websites, but they’re only reaching a small percentage of the buyer community with limited exposure,” Bernard says. “Manufacturers need to present their brands and the unique value their products bring to an application, and they need to do this where their competition is.”
Bay Supply spent two years developing the platform, which currently has about 60 distributors signed up as sellers, says chief operating officer Michael Eichinger.
The marketplace was designed and launched in conjunction with McFadyen Digital, an ecommerce and marketplace consulting firm. The marketplace was a new extension of Bay Supply’s Magento ecommerce platform.
Fastening-product sellers complete a three-stage registration process culminating in signing up payments processing. Bay Supply will collect 9% of each completed transaction on the marketplace, the company says.
The timing is right to launch a B2B marketplace for fastener products “and we were uniquely positioned to do so,” Eichinger says.
Bay Supply first launched a B2B ecommerce site in 2009, after the company realized the popularity of retail ecommerce was taking hold in B2B markets as well. Today, digital commerce accounts for about 34% of total sales, the distributor says.
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