The Primary Industry Sector is constantly experiencing unpredictable and dynamic competitive pressures. Because of this, the strategic leaders of these businesses need to leverage every asset at their disposal.
From agriscience to supply chain streamlining, there are many traditional fields where primary industry typically allocate their resources in the search for additional efficiencies. One potentially fertile area that has still yet to be fully investigated is B2B trading portals. Despite this, online platforms are gaining momentum, with the implementation of new technologies enabling improved transactional processes and valuable data capture. This article describes four ways in which online trading platforms can help Primary Industry.
1.Better access to markets
Online trading platforms are designed to facilitate the simultaneous participation of multiple contributors. Traditional models rely on limited and segregated modes of interaction (phone, email, etc.) which require parties to interact in (mostly) one-to-one settings. B2B markets are the opposite. They encourage participation and thrive in an environment of liquidity, transparency and activity. The inclusion of additional participants leads to more access for more traders and more products. The more options buyers and sellers have the more likely both parties are to locate the specific product and price that they are searching for.
“Consolidated integration solutions, embedded integration, and Cloud services brokerage are examples of how IT solutions are evolving to meet more demanding IT user requirements.”
- Benoit L’heureux (Gartner Network)
E-Commerce markets are more democratic and enable new suppliers and purchasers to partake in the process. This results in improved visibility for both existing and new business streams.
2. Gains in efficiency
B2B trading platforms lead to gains in efficiency primarily through the following mechanisms:
- Simple implementation processes.
- Significant reduction in resources allocated to manual processing.
- Replacing outdated databases with scalable, cloud-based software.
These factors are making it difficult for manufacturers and distributors in primary industry to ignore the potential benefits of moving to an online trading model. Additionally, the more complex information technology suites become, the more difficult it becomes to align and incorporate legacy processes.
Automated sales processes (which help drive the outcomes listed above) are an obvious benefit that many will point to when reframing transactional models into a more contemporary and mobile framework, but there are additional, more subtle benefits that might not be as readily apparent.
3. Expanding brand presence
B2B platforms allow companies to control their brand narrative. Every time a customer goes online to make a purchase or participate in the market the online platform they utilise is another brand vehicle. The platform, in essence, becomes a cost-effective web presence and marketing tool, establishing products and services in the context of a live marketplace.
Marketing and connections are infinitely easier when the company’s website and marketing streams are able to synchronize with an online trading portal, which often have built-in marketing tools to assist with customer outreach. Many platforms can also be SEO-optimised to ensure higher search rankings and provide an even more robust online presence.
Mobility is the key to maintaining a thriving and dynamic workforce. Perhaps no factor outside of mobility plays as big a part in employee satisfaction. Very predictably, the majority of internet searches in the U.S. now take place on a mobile device rather than a desktop. People are no longer involved in roles which keep them glued to the same seat at the same desk for five days a week, 52 weeks a year. More and more they are going to rely on technologies that go where they go, that are available when they are available.
According to a recent study by Channel Shift on efforts to move customers to an online transaction model:
“Fifty percent of interview participants have already implemented mobile strategies; 36 percent have mobile plans in the works and only 14 percent don’t intend to focus on mobile.”
If this trend holds, B2B trading is going to help facilitate growth precisely because of its in-built mobility. B2B platforms are available to all participants, regardless of their location, 24/7.
The most effective mobile commerce platforms will have an optimised user interface. They will provide intuitive options for simple, straightforward transactions. Participants will understand what they are doing on the platform and will have access to any data that is captured, which they can then use to further refine their own trading strategies.
Many players in primary industry are already embracing this technology. In the process they are transforming their customers’ experiences and expectations, while simultaneously maximising their own in-house potential.