I read a recent post on Epicor’s blog about AmazonSupply.com’s impact on the distribution industry and B2B vendors. I agree with Epicor’s bottom line: “While AmazonSupply may or may not be a direct competitor for your distributorship right now, either way, it’s going to shape your customers’ expectations of how they interact with your business and others in the online world. More and more, B2B customers will come to expect the same consumer-friendly experience they get from Amazon, and technology is the key to providing that experience for your customers”.
The big question is this: will AmazonSupply.com do to B2B suppliers what Amazon.com did to Borders and Circuit City? Within the industries represented on AmazonSupply.com (fasteners, cutting tools, office supplies, etc), all prices are clearly visible. This is a BIG change for B2B products. Large organizations tend to have procurement teams, who often work with a set of established vendors. Amazon’s new B2B site represents a big change from traditional corporate procurement.
Here is a quick assessment of the Amazon site:
- All pricing is clearly visible. While Amazon doesn’t seem to offer the BEST pricing, the fact that pricing is provided for B2B-type items is somewhat new and will probably change B2B client/supplier expectations going forward.
- The platform works much like Amazon.com – very easy user interface.
- Current product list is limited, but we can expect it to expand over time – perhaps even offering premium-type items and print-on-demand.
How do you see this impacting your business? Do you see AmazonSupply.com as a potential solution, or as a competitor?