Last updated: Google Shopping for Suppliers sharpens aim at industrial markets

Google Shopping for Suppliers sharpens aim at industrial markets


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Google isn’t limiting its foray into e-commerce to the retail sector. The company is also attempting to connect buyers with suppliers in the U.S., China, and Germany with Google Shopping for Suppliers.

Unlike AmazonSupply, which sells products directly to buyers, Google Shopping for Suppliers instead uses search to connect customers with the right suppliers.

With a B2B e-commerce market that is expected to grow to $559 billion in 2013, according to Forrester, it makes sense for Amazon and Google to take steps into this realm. However, some skeptics say simplistic solutions like the ones these brands offer won’t be able to meet the complex needs of B2B customers.

The alternative would seem to be a new way of looking at e-commerce that would enable all the complexities of supplier-buyer relationships. One single platform isn’t going to be the answer.

Google Suppliers: The marketplace transforms

Industrial Distribution reports that Google has introduced mechanical components, including fluid power, hose-related products and power transmission components, to its line-up of industrial products, which already features electrical products.

The move doesn’t surprise us one bit, and its a smart strategic gambit to capture a portion of the nearly 70 percent of B2B customers who are buying from companies that offer no e-commerce options.

Yes, that’s what we said. A little less than three-quarters of the entire B2B marketplace is buying from manufacturers and distributors who still haven’t enabled any form of e-commerce by 2013.

It sounds hard to believe in an age during which even our peas and carrots can come to our kitchens via the Internet. But the fact of the matter is, B2B purchases require a lot more investment—on the part of both seller and buyer—than buying your shampoo from

What smart marketers are doing is looking toward e-marketplaces in 2013 to boost their e-commerce offerings. And let’s not forget that complicated purchases and sales cycles still sometimes require a human being behind that screen.

We think Google will capture some portion of this market (along with Amazon Supply), but B2B marketers know the time has come for a serious commitment to connected commerce. While it may not look exactly the same as the B2C experience, we predict that by 2014 the number of customers buying online will increase sharply.

Those who choose not to play will wind up watching from the sidelines.

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