I run an e-commerce platform designed to help companies of any size battle Amazon. I mean, full-on go to war.
Inxeption has great technology, blockchain-powered security, integrated logistics, and ideas for creating future business communities that will blow your mind. But before I go into details about all that with potential customers, here's what they tell me: If I can't help them battle Amazon right now, they may not survive. This is not about trimming a little cost here, finding a better component source there, or "taking more of our business online." My customers say that looking for small savings would be as useful as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. They need a specific, comprehensive strategy to leapfrog Amazon and bring their customers and profits with them. Because Amazon is on a 24/7 mission to sink them.
Our B2B customers—manufacturers and service companies, artisans and multi-national corporations alike—have historically paid brokers, distributors and sales forces, middlemen who have helped them get into and sell through distribution channels ranging from heavy equipment brokers to liquor store chains, from consulting and marketing partners to travel agencies.
When the consumer e-commerce upheaval began two decades ago, all these folks in the B2B segment looked at companies like Sears and Barnes & Noble and sighed: "Wow, I would hate to be those guys trying to compete with free 2-day shipping and a company that doesn't care if it makes a profit."
Well, tick tock. Today, category by category, Amazon is marching through B2B marketplaces–tractor parts, medical equipment, pool and spa supplies, restaurant appliances. B2B companies have spent years developing those markets and customers. Amazon doesn't pay a sales force or a broker/distributor or a marketing partner in these categories. Amazon can discount each and every product they add to their offerings and ship it for free!
As their sales and profits plummet, B2B companies may consider whether to ask Amazon to carry their products as well. Like a crocodile offering a lamb a free ride on its back across the river, Amazon happily welcomes them on board. The first shock is that Amazon will demand up to 55% of the transaction. Many companies could eliminate every nickel of their marketing and sales budgets and still lose money giving Amazon a cut that size.
But that's not even the biggest threat. Just a few strokes into that trip across the river, Amazon has full access to the B2B company's customers. Next, Amazon sources similar products it can sell for even less and still make a profit; it may even commission a manufacturer to create a white label product and promote that directly to customers at a discount.
Soon, all that's left of the lamb are a few bubbles in the water.
There is a way to fight back. At Inxeption, we know B2B customers can not only trim significant costs by adopting our e-commerce platform, they can strengthen their relationships with their customers instead of selling them to Amazon. Just ask Adam and Kim Burke, owners of Atlanta Spa in Atlanta, GA. The Burkes have two retail stores and they sell 150 of the 759 products they carry online, using the Inxeption platform, which both steers new customers to their web site and processes transactions. Kim says, "We could sell on Amazon if we wanted to, but Amazon takes all your profits. Why would I bother to do all this work to make $2 on a $50 product?"
The Burkes care about making their customers happy, and pool and spa maintenance is not always simple. Kim explains that when customers shop Amazon looking only for a good price, there's a tradeoff: "Sometimes people order the wrong thing on Amazon, or the product won't actually work the way it's supposed to. The wrong chemicals can damage your equipment." Inxeption's platform allows customer to instantly chat with someone at Atlanta Spa who understands exactly what their equipment needs to function well and to prevent expensive problems.
On January 8, 2018, Inxeption announced a new partnership with UPS, the world's largest logistics provider, to enable Inxeption customers to offer their customers FREE shipping. How does that work? If Atlanta Spa used to sell a spa filter for $25 plus shipping; using Zippy, Atlanta's customers will now pay $25, plus no additional shipping fee.It's that simple.
That's just the beginning of new capabilities that leverage customer and partner relationships in ways Amazon cannot. Our multi-national manufacturing customers are looking to use Inxeption to manage all facets of their customer interactions for complicated technology categories, even including product design input. We have multi billion-dollar service providers using the Inxeption platform to bundle both hard good products and services to specifically meet customer needs. We believe tomorrow's companies will create strategic, flexible business communities with product and service synergies. They can offer customization options for customers in ways never before possible.
B2B companies need no reminder that right now it's a jungle out there, and Amazon is running wild in it. Survival is going to depend on getting smarter, more integrated, and more efficient. It will mean getting even closer to customers and also joining forces with business partners.
Leapfrog the smiling croc. Think Inxeption and use industrial-strength e-commerce to fight your way out of the jungle before it's too late.