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How E-Commerce And Digitization Are Changing Sourcing [Podcast Ep16]

 

Transparency and accessibility.

That’s what the internet brings to the table.

It’s easier than ever before to access products and suppliers from all over the world.

This increases competition and puts downward pressure on margins.

How are you going to stand out from your competitors?

How are you going to stay profitable in the long-term?

You’ll have to become more efficient…

Cut down lead times and be faster to market…

And always be ahead of the curve with better or more unique products.

This means:

The way you source has to be creative, even innovative.

The products you go to market with must identify with your brand.

Or give the product some greater meaning.

Yes, besides just the utility of the product, you need to tell a story around it.

Create a community around it.

Because consumers want to be a part of something bigger, in a way that expresses their values.

And because e-commerce has opened up the world so much (and made it such a small place)…

Your business will live and die on the strength of your brand and the strength of the community you’ve created around your products.

When I look for products, I usually think to myself,

“I like this product because I can create great content around it. People will identify with this product. It’s got meaning. It solves problems for them.”

And I’m not the only one.

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The Digitization of information and tasks

Imagine you’ve just visited a number of trade fairs on a trip to China.

You’re back now, but you have a solid week’s worth of data entry.

Getting contact info from business cards…

Matching the suppliers to the products…

Collating them all in spreadsheets…

And so on.

But what if you had a system or software for taking down this information digitally?

How much manual labor have you eliminated?

Here’s a practical example from my own experience visiting trade shows and meeting suppliers.

Sometimes you get so many ideas and so much info, the ability to record and refer back to them digitally, maybe several months down the line, is a game changer.

You may have had some great ideas but didn’t have the time to implement them.

And just the act of going through your digital records re-triggers that creative spark in you.

Or maybe you decided to change direction, and product ideas you shelved some time ago get you interested again.

But the biggest benefit is the ability to store away and sift through the massive piles of information you’re exposed to on a daily basis.

Because there’s no way you can make sense of, or act on, everything at once.

You need time to digest, time to plan, time to execute.

Digitization gives you the ability to capture all the time and effort you put into things like product research and supplier relationships.

That’s not going to happen if you only record information in notebooks.

And here’s another thing:

If an “archive” of one brain gives you that much of an advantage…

What would happen if your entire buying/sourcing team had access to one centralized database storing all your information?

The increase in productivity and efficiency would be enormous.

Conclusion

That’s the last of the clips from our webinar with Tom from ShowSourcing.

I hope you found some useful info you can apply to your business.

We’ll be back with brand new content for you soon!

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