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From electrical contractors to electricians to building owners who need equipment for upgrades or new installations, virtually everyone is firing up their laptop, tablet, or mobile phone to research products, connect with distributors, and make purchases.
In its US B2B eCommerce Forecast: 2015 to 2020 report, Forrester forecasts U.S. B2B e-commerce to grow from $780bn in 2015 to $1.13tr in 2020. That means that within five years, e-commerce will constitute 12.1 percent of the total $9.39tr B2B commerce market in the U.S. At the same time, e-tailing behemoths like Amazon Business are infringing on electrical distributors' turf and large distributors are honing and refining their already-mature e-commerce offerings. Lastly, mobile e-commerce (or, m-commerce) – driven by the consumer who has grown more comfortable making purchases on smartphones and other mobile devices – is on track to hit $700bn by 2017, according to research firm Digi-Capital.
"As e-commerce continues to grow and evolve, it cannot be business as usual for industrial distributors," said Jamar Cobb-Dennard, a sales and marketing expert in Indianapolis who has designed and executed sales and marketing strategies for numerous companies, in a recent TED magazine article. "To compete in the 21st century e-commerce marketplace, they need to implement a number of strategies – with thought and integration – into their traditional sales and marketing efforts."
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