Amazon

More Business Buyers using Amazon

In a recent survey by B2BecNews, it was discovered that nearly 8 out of 10 business buyers were using Amazon to purchase and you would naturally think that it would be a place where manufacturers and distributors are planning to sell their products, if they are not doing so already.

Corporate buyers would love to see more sellers on the Amazon marketplace, but the survey revealed that the manufacturers and distributors surveyed had no future plans to sell on Amazon marketplace.

The survey, which covered corporate buyers from a range of industries including automotive, consumer electronics, industrial and healthcare products found that a staggering 78.4% of B2B buyers researched and made a purchase from Amazon Business, and it is possible that number would be even higher if more manufacturers made their products available on the B2B channel.

Only about 40% of manufacturers sell on either Amazon Business or Amazon.com, and nearly 50% of manufacturers that don’t sell on Amazon, did not have any plans to do so. 10% planned to do so in six months or less, just over 5% thought they would do so in six months to a year, another 13.5% had plans to sell in 1 to 2 years time, so many are ignoring the opportunity to tap into potential buyers who are seeking products that they may sell.

Corporate buyers, who are accustomed to buying online for their personal purchases, are looking for the same ease and simplicity when they make purchases for their business. Amazon B2B offers buyers a streamlined shopping experience which equals the ease with which buyers shop online for themselves.

Manufacturers and distributers who have a website or portal for buyers often believe that they don’t need to be on a marketplace, but research is showing that this is not the case. The opportunity to buy several types of products from different suppliers in one place is also attractive to busy executives.

The numbers below indicate where buyers are most likely to go for their purchases:

Amazon Business – 78.4%
Alibaba – 36.5%
ThomasNet – 28.4%
Global Sources – 24.3%
Wholesale Central – 16.6%

If you are interested in selling on a B2B portal, but not sure where to start, contact xocbox to learn how we can help. Tel 858-752-3803, or email info@xocbox.com.

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Predicted Retail Trends in 2018

Five  important retail trends to look out for in 2018 were outlined in a recent report by Synchrony using data from a consumer survey carried out in January 2018.

As you would expect technology and AI featured heavily in the list, and here are the highlights below:

1. Voice Technology – 51% Shop Using a Smart Speaker

The report shows that 30 percent of consumers now own a voice-controlled device, and this is good news for retailers as consumers are using these devices to shop.  51 percent of these owners are shopping using a smart speaker.  Many retailers are also looking into ways to use voice technology coupled with AI, such as using purchase data to automatically order regularly purchased items.

2. The Car as a Connected Shopping Channel

It is expected that by 2020, 75% of new cars will be connected to the internet.  This will mean that drivers will be able to make purchases in advance from their car.  This is an exciting opportunity for retailers and many are already investing in location technology and the connected car is a great way to use location marketing to drive additional sales.

3. Using AI to Create Customized Shopping Experiences

Many companies are already exploring this technology.  A Gartner survey of  IT and Business Leaders carried out in March 2017 found that over half of those taking part in the  study expect to be using machine learning within the next three years.

Retailers are exploring AI in connection with personalization, as studies have shown that 51% of shoppers said that receiving a relevant offer from a retailer would make them more likely to shop there more often.

Retailers are also exploring more ways to use machine learning for automating customer offers based on past behavior, managing stock and inventory levels, and personalizing offers, and gifts.

4. Retail Mobile Apps

The Synchrony Study revealed that 63 percent of those in the US, and 81 percent of Millennials, have downloaded a retailer mobile app and the time spent shopping with a retailer mobile app is on the rise.

Retailers have a perfect opportunity to find out more about customers shopping habits and preferences with an app, and are able to present further relevant information and offers through the app, and shoppers love apps because they have access to more offers and the ability to purchase items quickly.

5. Social Responsibility

Shoppers love shopping at retailers that share their values and some shoppers have said they will even stop shopping at a store that is at odds with their beliefs.  In response to this many retailers are donating to charities or disaster relief, or working with a group to help achieve their core beliefs.

So there are many considerations for retailers to take into account over the coming year, as consumers embrace technology and information in innovative ways to change the way they shop.

 

 

 

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Same Day Delivery Shipping Wars Heat Up

In December 2017 we learned that Target had acquired Shipt for $550m in order to let Target customers order groceries and other products online and have them shipped to their home addresses from nearby Target stores.

The goal of this acquisition is to allow Target to offer same day delivery from approximately half of its stores by mid-2018, adding even more stores by the holiday season.

Not all categories of products will be included but it will start with groceries, electronics and other household goods and plans to include all product groups by the end of 2019.

Today Bloomberg reported that Amazon is considering acquiring some of the properties left vacant by the recent bankruptcy of Toys R Us. There is no information on what exactly Amazon plans to do with these stores, but it could continue to expand its bricks and mortar store operations and expand its bookstores which also serve as retail outlets for its Echo devices.

Another possibility for Amazon is that the acquisition of more retail outlets would allow for a bigger network to place inventory closer to where shoppers live, and would allow faster delivery to ecommerce shoppers in more areas.

Amazon has already placed merchants under pressure with the amazing speed and success of its Prime delivery, and as Amazon’s advancement with drone deliveries continues, the competition to keep up with faster delivery times grows more fierce.

Amazon’s goal is to develop a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles that can deliver packages to shoppers in under 30 minutes, and today it was reported that it has been granted a patent for a delivery drone that can respond to human gestures, with the hope that this will help Amazon to figure out how drones will interact with customers who are in the vicinity of their doorsteps.

Walmart’s approach is slightly different, but equally important. Walmart announced that it is planning to put Fedex Office locations in 500 of its stores over a two year period. Not only will they provide the usual FedEx services, but Walmart customers can also have online orders that are being delivered by FedEx held at a Walmart store for pick up.

As big box retailers think or more ways to get products to our doorsteps in the quickest possible time, the shipping challenge continues for niche online stores to compete.

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