Amazon Vs. Knowledge-Based Suppliers



Bill Gates: “Content is where I expect real money will be made on the internet just as it was in broadcasting”

When customers have a question on how to use a product, or troubleshoot an application, Amazon isn’t much help.  What’s your story? If you’re like most industrial/electrical suppliers, you do more than just ship boxes, right?

Not long ago, distributors were saying: “Can a webstore really help us?” Soon they discovered they were asking the wrong question. The question became, how can our “web presence” help our customers?

Without Great Content, You’re Becoming Extinct

Early e-commerce adopters have captured online real estate (traffic and search engine positioning). Now, they’re securing that position by creating substantive, educational content to maintain that status. Just listing products without educational, informative  content about them will make you a dinosaur headed toward extinction. That’s because the web’s success is based on providing answers to our questions (i.e. Product and Application Solutions).

Position yourself as a subject matter expert with a unique offering. Amazon can’t compete with the knowledge-base and subject matter expertise of the industrial/electrical supply chain community . Search engines will reward you too.

Take, for example, Grainger’s INFOLibrary and Resource Center which contains, procedures and training to help your workplace run effectively and efficiently. There are 100’s of articles, and the library continues growing. Why would Grainger do this? Because customers are not just looking to buy products; They are searching for solutions, and that’s what search engines want to deliver us, and that’s what Grainger articulates.

The first page of Google has only 10 positions. Content and links to your products influence your position because search engines love fresh content!. If supplier e-Commerce sites contain the same catalog numbers and product attributes, what differentiates you? What’s new? Google gets bored fast these days. Data alone can be a commodity.

Bill Gates’ 1996 Prediction Becomes Reality

Your site is a hub. The rest of the internet are the spokes. What are you doing to send inbound traffic from the spokes to your hub? Gates was right: Start publishing. “If you want some insights into where the content marketing industry is headed, it will help to take a look at where it’s been.”, says Joe Pullizi of the Content Marketing Institute. Bill Gates said it best back in 1996: “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the internet just as it was in broadcasting”.

Consider adding resources or hiring outside help to create good content.

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