Nearly 60% of the respondents in a recent survey said they prefer using ecommerce for purchasing laboratory supplies. They like that it's faster and easier to search for, learn about, and compare products using a well organized website. That's not surprising since people have less time and are working harder than ever. Jobs are scarce, personal productivity is high and budgets are basically flat.
The growing preference for online purchasing should be good news for distributors. They've refined their ecommerce capabilities better than most manufacturers and suppliers. Amazon has recently hired additional people to manage their lab supply business, signaling their increased interest. Distribution channels are getting stronger.
The potential casualty from a marketing perspective is a company's brand. Manufacturers and suppliers can lose the most powerful aspect of their business: their identity. But they suffer from the same problems everyone else suffers from - no time, no money. Hopefully they won't resort to scattershot efforts at leveraging social networks, ratcheting up marketing emails or jumping into content marketing without a plan.
Marketing tools are more abundant than ever, but the time available to use them properly is not.
The potential result is a lot of time wasted; but more importantly, erosion of precious brand identity.
There's no substitute for simplicity.