A version of this post was initially published on Food Logistics.
Since the pandemic began in 2020, online shopping has increased and the overwhelming demand has fast-tracked digital transformation in the supply chain industry. With in-store shopping options being limited, companies have had to get creative on how to get their products online. Those in the food industry are adopting new business models, new supply chains, and new technologies to either get online or meet the demand for their current online business.
Previously, a big hesitation to adopting an eCommerce model within food manufacturing and distribution was the return of investment with potentially little customer adoption. Many companies have reported that choosing the wrong platform led to an expensive system that made it difficult to manage their B2B workflows and user experience goals.
With little choice but to go online, companies in the food industry are now looking for a B2B system that will go to market quickly, provide a fast return on investment, and streamline their supply chain due to increased demand.
Food Manufacturers Influenced by B2B eCommerce
To stay competitive, companies in the food industry must first be discoverable online. Food distributors have narrow time margins on distributing their products and eCommerce can actually help improve distribution speed and efficiency.
By building B2B relationships on a digital platform, companies can reduce their costs, increase their efficiency in procurement, and improve their delivery speed to their customers.
Food manufacturers and distributors who are adopting B2B eCommerce as an inevitable business model are finding that they are able to build better relationships with their customers by improving the supply chain, and even discover they can lower the cost of their food.
Distributors can also provide an improved customer experience by giving their customers access to shipment tracking information, estimated delivery times, and improved order fulfillment.
B2B eCommerce platforms help manufacturers and distributors upsell products to their buyers. By being better informed on best-selling products and demand, sellers can make suggestions on high-performing products and recommend purchasing those in higher quantities.
Companies can even use their platform to promote customized content according to customer segments in order to market special deals during peak season for certain food items.
B2B eCommerce Platforms Enhance Food Manufacturing and Distribution
In order to help meet food safety protocols, B2B eCommerce platforms can help monitor and track the chain of custody after packaged food is shipped off for delivery. Distributors can have full visibility with real-time tracking to ensure on-time deliveries. Once an order is delivered, customers can then log into the online portal to automatically report any short shipments, price discrepancies, and even food quality issues.
All of this information is then stored into the platform and the distributor can be notified immediately of any issues. Having a streamlined digital process speeds up this buyer/seller interaction and helps keep customers informed and satisfied throughout the entire process.