B2E: Is your business prepared for the new supply chain?
As business owners, most of us are familiar with the concepts of having B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) relationships. Whether your target audience is the end consumer or is another business determines how you market, what products you choose, and many other facets of your business.
A new supply chain concept is emerging that is taking the business world by storm, whether some companies realize it has a name or not. B2E usually means Business to Everyone and in some cases, it makes functioning as a business easier. In other ways, it makes things much more complicated compared to being able to focus on B2B or B2C.
In his Forbes article, Steve Denton, CEO of Ware2Go, talks about how the pandemic has forever changed how we conduct our lives from doing most of our shopping online to many people formerly committed to an office every day now working remote long-term.
“These significant cultural shifts have pushed us firmly into the era of B2E, or “business to everyone.” Quite simply, the supply chain has needed to adapt to the new reality that our customers do not think of themselves as B2C or B2B; they are just customers,” Denton wrote. “To compete in today’s environment, you must not only meet them in the channel or media where they want to engage but also deliver to them with a supply chain that exceeds their expectations. The pandemic accelerated this reality and has put us on a transformative path.”
Denton goes on to describe the three concepts that are necessary for the new supply chain to be successful:
- Acceptance-realizing that there will be no “return to normal” and that consumers are going to be doing even more purchasing online than they used to do during in-person store trips. Customers are not expected to give up the ease and efficiency of online grocery ordering, for example.
- Flexibility-companies will need to figure out how to cater to anyone anywhere, which will include a wider ranger of supply chain and logistical capabilities. Many of features, such as an increase in LTL (less than load), already exist but will expand.
- Acceleration-the pandemic accelerated the digital transformation, and the supply chain is catching up. It must speed up its acclimation to the changing and expanding needs of the consumer.
A major aspect of acclimating to serving the B2E market is diversifying distribution channels. According to this article on Inc.com by Dotcom Distribution CEO Maria Haggerty, addressing several key differentiators between B2B and B2C is vital for success with understanding the B2E supply chain.
“Purchase channels today are in a state of flux, putting the onus on sellers to cater to all relevant buyers and end-users, including wholesalers, retailers, and e-commerce customers,” she writes. “It’s called B2E–or business to everyone–and it necessitates that companies diversify their distribution channels to optimize selling potential.
“What a company stands for and what it provides don’t need to change, but proper supply chain management varies dramatically by distribution channel.”
According to this article on Agility PR, another part of this process is understanding how to market to “everyone.” That will involve understanding how their needs and interests have changed. For example, more Americans are spending time cooking at home, enjoying pets, and other activities that are focused on staying and working at home.
“Americans’ willingness to try new brands during the lockdown spans product categories, as some 61 percent have tried new grocery brands, 34 percent have tried new vitamin and supplement brands, and 28 percent are trying new pet supply brands,” according to the article. “Many consumers are seeking to stock up for new work-from-home and homeschooling duties, as well as hobbies like cooking, exercising, and engaging with their pets.”
Is your company needing to change how it approaches its sales? Our final mile and courier services can make a difference in how you deliver to your consumer, be it a business or a family. Let us know how we can help you navigate the new supply chain.