Mention the word ‘ecommerce’ and the immediate association is with consumer platforms like Amazon and Takealot. But the global business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce market is also booming, representing an estimated $8 trillion in annual sales and forecasted to grow at a compounded annual rate of 18.7% through to 2026.
How can this growth and the rapid developments in retail and B2B sales impact local businesses and how can those of us paying attention make an impact and help our communities future-proof their investments? At Tarsus Distribution, we've spent considerable time thinking about exactly how ecommerce will change technology sales and how we can help our channel partners, as well as small and medium businesses (SMBs) to take advantage of the growing online shopping trend. We consistently promote digital transformation and customer relevance as defining markers of ongoing success and business growth. Our investments in inventory management, warehousing and logistics over the years mean that we already have the back-end infrastructure in place to ecommerce-enable our partners.
Recently we’ve taken things a step forward by working with a handful of resellers to get them up-and-running with a secure ecommerce storefront. Our ambition with this ecommerce enablement programme is to facilitate digital transformation across the value chain. This initiative will help create a more efficient and globally competitive SMB sector and IT channel.
This solution focused approach forms part of our wider vision of preparing the entire ecosystem to adopt more advanced digital ways of transacting, promoting and processing, as this enables all of us to become more efficient and deepen economic viability. Our goal is to make basic transactions simpler for everyone, so that IT resellers can focus on the high-touch interactions that add business value for SMBs.
Working with a few key business partners, we have launched a proof of concept that can support channel partners to rapidly get up and running with a fully enabled transactional ecommerce website. Depending on the reseller’s level of digital readiness, this can be accomplished in as little as two weeks. What we’ve noticed within the traditional, transaction-based community of resellers, is that unknown costs, perceived difficulty, and lack of expertise are seen as barriers to ecommerce entry. This enablement programme tackles these concerns, removes them and enables resellers to go live with an online shop, under their own brand, without needing to reinvent the wheel or make substantial capital investments.
We’ve launched a complete solution that includes ecommerce website development, search engine optimisation and a world-class payment gateway. Our channel partners retain control of their customer information and relationships, and they gain the ability to service orders around the clock.
SMBs are able to order online, interact and pay securely. As a strategic partner, Tarsus Distribution handle’s the logistics of fulfilling the order. SMBs benefit from access to a 24/7 storefront, along with fewer phone calls and less paperwork to place a simple hardware order. They can still turn to their trusted reseller for support and advice—offering the efficiency of ecommerce while maintaining a personalised touch.
The lines between B2B and B2C customer experience are becoming ever more blurred and adoption of digital channels is soaring. Business owners want it to be as quick and easy to order IT hardware online as it is to get a new television delivered to their homes. At the same time, the inherent complexity of enterprise computing means that they value their service provider’s counsel and expertise more than ever.
Working together to achieve success the result is undoubtedly that SMBs get the best of both worlds: a user experience as frictionless as consumer ecommerce platforms, along with enterprise-grade service and support throughout the value chain.