The barrier to e-commerce entry has declined significantly for distributors, allowing many more mid-market and small companies to sell online, according to Jonathan Bein of Real Results Marketing.
Bein was featured in the recent MDM Webcast, the 2015 State of E-Commerce in Distribution.
"The good news for some of the smaller market companies is that the barrier to entry for getting into e-commerce has dropped significantly," Bein said in the webcast.
Mid-market and smaller companies can deploy one of a few e-commerce platforms, or a hybrid of them, including:
- Homegrown – These platforms are developed from scratch often with some third-party software components, e.g., a shopping cart.
- ERP-provided portal – The portal provides an e-commerce solution that is pre-integrated with the ERP system, typically with limited functionality and ability to customize.
- Mid-market – These platforms have more functionality than the ERP-provided portal, but they are not bound to one ERP backend system. Generally, mid-market players appear in companies with revenues up to $750 million.
According to Bein, since the nascent stage of e-commerce often takes longer than expected, there is almost always a good rationale for small distributors to use a mid-market platform or ERP-provided portal to get going. Switching to a more sophisticated platform can occur in the transition to the development stage.
Read more about how distributors are entering the world of e-commerce in 2015 State of E-Commerce in Distribution or access the Webcast at https://www.mdm.com/events/82-the-2015-state-of-e-commerce-in-distribution.