“Red Ocean” Strategies
Over the last 10 years, business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce has grown at an astonishing rate, largely fuelled by the growth in social media platforms, principally Instagram and Facebook. These platforms started by offering businesses free access to consumers, and in the early days it was possible to build a large customer base free of charge. As more and more businesses started trading B2C the opportunities in this space have become increasingly competitive and correspondingly more expensive to fight for. This has been compounded by the inevitable decline of bricks and mortar shops, that have a much higher cost base than e-commerce, which in turn creates more competition for B2C online sales.
B2B is the “Blue Ocean” for Brands
Contrast this with business-to-business (B2B) sales, particularly where a brand has designed and developed a unique product that it sells twice yearly to retailers, both physical and online. The retailers have specialist knowledge of how to market to their geography or niche and invest considerable amounts of time and money in developing their customers.
B2B e-commerce offers much lower costs than the traditional marketing channels of trade shows, physical showrooms and sales agents. Add the current trend where buyers increasingly prefer to research new brands online, and the fact that e-commerce can give brands a global footprint, and it is inevitable that e-commerce will become the prevailing channel for B2B wholesale sales.
SSAW.io is based on the dual belief that: online B2B marketing only works as part of a strategy when combined with person-to-person contact, particularly during the latter stages of a sales cycle; and, B2B marketing and sales is the development area currently offering the most scope and benefit for fashion brands, at relatively low cost. Going forward, B2B e-commerce is the “Blue Ocean”.