Online marketplaces can help boost operational efficiency for food and beverage industry

One of the most sizeable influences of Covid-19 is the changing consumer behaviour. And as we are slowly pivoting from managing the crisis to recovery and the reopening of economies, it is clear that the changed behaviour patterns are here to stay. Additionally, many of the longer-term changes in consumer behaviour are still being formed, giving companies an opportunity to help shape the next normal.

One of the changes that are inevitable is the digitalisation of business to business e-commerce. In 2020, business to business has overtaken business-to-consumer sales through online transactions, with business to business reaching a worldwide market value of $7.7 Trillion, as opposed to the $2.3 Trillion of business-to-consumer. The World Economic Forum has estimated the UAE’s 2020 e-commerce market to be valued at $27.2 Billion. The e-grocery market grew by 300% during the third quarter of 2020 in the UAE, while Saudi Arabia’s market has grown by 500%.

The new consumer behaviour spans all areas of life. The decision-making process on how we work, how we entertain ourselves to how we shop in our personal lives and even while procuring elements to run our business, is also evolving. Rapid delivery, greater product choice and transparency overpricing are elements we have come to expect in both personal and professional settings.

When it comes to business to business food and beverage market, the industry has stayed traditional over the years and now has a lot of space for improvement when it comes to innovation, going paperless, and overall business optimisation.

Instant overview of the market propositions

Being smart in the food and beverage industry essentially means giving the customer what they want like choice, price and service. An online marketplace is a business model that has integrated these core principles to offer increased product choice, competitive pricing, and a superior customer experience, without the restraints of inventory and logistics. It also grants customers a 360-degree view of every product including pricing, origin and availability. Customer support is an added advantage, as it helps put customers at the core of the business.

Intuitive order process

Product selection is a complex process and quite time consuming for buyers if purchases are made without efficient systems and without formal purchasing agreements from various suppliers. With the use of technology such as big data and machine learning, online marketplaces can help businesses identify their purchasing pattern and ease the process of placing repeat orders. Vendor evaluation, spend analytics, and demand forecasting are some of the most popular benefits of data analytics in the food and beverage sector.

Complete transparency in supply chain

The food industry and modern-day shoppers have changed beyond recognition. One of the biggest challenges faced by the food and beverage operators is the reliability of the supplier with regards to the quality of the product delivered and the delivery timing.

In online marketplaces, it is essential for us to list suppliers that can provide the best of authentic products and also provide timely delivery to ensure the customers keep coming back.  To gain a competitive edge over business rivals, meet customer expectations, and keep costs to a minimum, major supermarkets, and food companies large or small are now much more conscious of the need to map out and understand their supply chains. In this day and age of the experience economy, business to business online marketplaces can enhance the customer experience by making the journey easier and seamless and provide more than just functional and rational benefits

The digital transformation in the food and beverage industry has turned processes that were disorganised, time-consuming, and burdensome into something simple and convenient helping organisations recover the lost revenue and to save more.

SupplyMe, is an online business to business marketplace that connects local food suppliers with restaurants, hotels, cafes, supermarkets, and other foodservice businesses of all sizes help businesses move forward. Igor Nikolenko, Co-founder and CEO, SupplyMe.

Igor Nikolenko, Co-founder and CEO, SupplyMe.