Last week we talked about our myth #1: “E-commerce primarily benefits large companies with big IT budgets.” Now it's the turn to explore our second myth. To read the full article, please go to:


MYTH #2: “E-commerce will disintermediate me from my customer.”

With the increasing commoditization of products and services in today’s market, many sellers view their personal relationships with customers as the main asset distinguishing them from competitors—and fear that e-commerce could distance or separate them from those relationships.


The truth is that e-commerce doesn’t end the discussions you have with customers; it simply changes them. And while some aspects of your interaction may go away when you implement e-commerce, other more valuable components take their place. Rather than clinging to old ways of doing business, you can use e-commerce to become a stronger partner and collaborate better with customers to cut costs and work together more effectively. Instead of feature-function-benefit conversations about what you sell, you can discuss strategic concerns that tie your products and services to how your customers do business—making your relationships more sustainable, not less.



Tammy Wagner, enterprise account executive at SHI International, a global provider of technology products and services, explains how this has worked for her company—enabling SHI to replace day-to-day exchanges about logistics with more strategic interactions that drive real customer benefits.


The result? “It actually has given us the time to spend on the relationship, whereas before it was more working with transactions and things like that,” Tammy says. “It’s really freed up our time in such a way that we can show them the commitment and value we can bring them as a partner…it certainly has increased our business substantially with our customers, and our role has changed from a sales role to more of a trusted partner or consultant type role.”


For example, SHI uses e-commerce analytics to help customers negotiate better deals on purchases, and recently saved one customer $14,000 on its purchase of monitors—made possible through SHI’s clear visibility into projected spend patterns for the next year. Wins like these have helped SHI turn e-commerce into a key competitive differentiator that connects them to customers in a whole new way.



In The Next Blog: Myth #3. “My e-commerce process is complete when I can deliver information and take orders online.”

If you don't want to wait until tomorrow to learn more, then go to Which Online Catalog Is Right for You? to read the full article.