A Big New Player in the Online B2B Marketplace
Amazon’s B2B marketplace, Amazon Business, has received a lot of media attention lately. Sales are booming on the platform, and why not? Flexible account and payment options, fast shipping, price comparisons, what’s not to like?
But there’s one big market that neither Amazon nor Amazon Business has cracked.
While B2B and B2C customers alike have come to expect Amazon-like experiences when buying online, the truth is…Amazon isn’t designed to sell parts for highly complex machines and equipment.
Large original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), who make things from heavy construction equipment to assembly line machinery, can’t effectively sell spare parts for their machines on Amazon.
If you make equipment with lots of moving parts, you need a system that is built to manage all those parts, while also understanding that machines are a collection of a related set of parts and assemblies.
Have you ever seen an exploded assembly illustration with a parts list on Amazon? You haven’t, and there’s a reason for that. Amazon’s eCommerce interface is designed to display single products, and it serves that purpose extremely well.
Of course, Amazon’s commerce platform is backed by a powerful database, but the database architecture is not organized to recognize hierarchies of parts, sub-assemblies, assemblies, and machines.
The purpose of an illustrated parts catalog is to make finding parts fast and accurate, but Amazon’s parts lookup is extremely limited: you can conduct a keyword search by part number or name. If you have experience in the OEM aftermarket arena, you know how reliable a 5-year-old part number is, which is not at all.
Service workers, dealers and equipment owners often need a clear visual reference in order to identify a manufacturer’s part number or description. That’s why parts books printed on paper are still seen as valuable tools, even in this digital age.
What is the best current solution for modern OEM part sales?
A number of commercially available applications focus on managing complex parts data and producing digital catalogs. Some of these, however, are only useful for parts lookup and have no commerce capabilities.
Digabit’s Documoto is one system that combines a powerful database to manage part information, a responsive interface that makes finding the right part simple for any user, and the ability for customers to buy parts directly from the digital catalog.
Documoto is also designed to support data exchanges with other applications, like enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. This is the key to building efficient processes in a digitally focused organization. Data and information must be able to flow between applications and business units with a minimum of data duplication and human intervention.
Documoto’s cloud technology and database architecture may appear straightforward, but they are truly leading edge for manufacturers who want to manage and sell thousands of parts online. If you’d like to explore the potential of growing revenue through online sales, while optimizing order processing and fulfillment, you should check out Documoto.