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Mastering B2B as a Distributor: A Business Growth Odyssey

Working Hard. Wearhouse Workers.

In the dynamic world of business-to-business (B2B) distribution, mastering the art of distribution can be both rewarding and challenging. Distributors play a crucial role in the supply chain, acting as intermediaries between manufacturers and end customers.

Turning B2B challenges into opportunities often requires a proactive, adaptable, and innovative approach. It’s essential to stay customer-focused, monitor industry trends, and be open to change to remain competitive and thrive in the ever-evolving B2B landscape.

Perficient recently took place in Optimizely’s B2B Summit. We spoke alongside experts at Optimizely and TestEquity and addressed how economic headwinds across 2022 and 2023 have impacted the growth of B2B vendors. We covered industry insights and actionable tips to optimize the B2B commerce experience all of which we will dive into below.

We’ll explore key strategies to help you master B2B as a distributor and transform abundant challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation.

  • Changing Customer Needs: Know, adapt, and evolve with your customers. Tailor offers according to emerging trends and customer pain points through market research. Explore the idea of using CRM systems to drive customer retention and referrals to better understand and cater to customer needs, which are more cost-effective.
  • Data Security Concerns: Invest in robust data security measures to reassure customers. Emphasize your commitment to protecting sensitive information as a competitive advantage.
  • Lack of Innovation: Encourage, generate, and implement ideas that can lead to new products or services. Foster a culture of innovation within your organization.
  • Limited Marketing Resources: Leverage digital marketing and social media to cost-effectively reach a broader audience. Collaborate with complementary businesses for co-marketing opportunities.
  • Environmental Sustainability Demands: Develop eco-friendly products or services and highlight your commitment to sustainability as a unique selling point.
  • Global Expansion Challenges: Identify overseas markets with high growth potential and adapt your strategy to cater to local preferences and regulations.
  • Technological Advancements: Embrace emerging technologies like AI, IoT, and blockchain to streamline operations, enhance customer experiences, and gain a competitive edge.

Leveraging technologies that allow buyers and sellers to stay connected is more important now than ever. Punchout is a procurement technology solution that plays a significant role in helping B2B businesses achieve business growth.

Streamlined Procurement Process:

  • Many B2B businesses struggle with complex and time-consuming procurement processes. Punchout streamlines this by allowing buyers to access a supplier’s catalog directly from their procurement system. This simplifies the ordering process, leading to quicker transactions and reduced administrative overhead.

Improved Customer Experience:

  • Providing an intuitive punchout experience enhances customer satisfaction. Buyers can easily browse, compare, and purchase products within their procurement systems, leading to higher retention rates and increased wallet share.

Increasing Wallet Share, Retention, and Loyalty:

  • B2B companies can grow their business by offering punchout catalogs that integrate seamlessly with buyers’ procurement systems. This makes it convenient for existing customers to continue doing business and attracts new customers looking for streamlined procurement solutions.

Customized Offerings:

    • With punchout, suppliers can offer customized catalogs and pricing to individual buyers or specific customer groups. This personalization can lead to higher sales and loyalty as it caters to each customer’s unique needs.

Data-Driven Insights:

    • Punchout systems generate data on buyer behavior and preferences. Suppliers can analyze this data to gain insights into customer needs and purchasing patterns, enabling them to make data-driven decisions to improve their offerings and marketing strategies.

Reduced Errors and Discrepancies:

    • Punchout systems help eliminate errors and discrepancies in the procurement process, such as incorrect product orders or pricing disputes. This leads to smoother transactions and improved customer relationships.

Increased Efficiency for Procurement Teams:

    • Procurement teams can use punchout to simplify the purchasing process and focus on more strategic tasks, such as supplier negotiations and cost savings initiatives, ultimately driving efficiency and cost reductions.

Competitive Advantage:

    • Offering punchout capabilities can give a supplier a competitive edge in the B2B market. It shows a commitment to making the procurement process easier for customers, which can attract businesses looking for modern and efficient suppliers.

Integration with e-Commerce Platforms:

    • Many B2B businesses are expanding their online presence. Punchout can integrate with e-commerce platforms, allowing suppliers to extend their reach and sell products seamlessly through various channels.

Cross-Selling and Upselling:

    • Suppliers can use punchout to suggest complementary products or upsell higher-margin items, increasing the average order value and revenue.

Supply Chain Visibility:

    • By integrating punchout systems with supply chain management tools, suppliers can provide buyers with real-time visibility into inventory levels, order statuses, and shipping information, enhancing trust and transparency.

Compliance and Governance:

    • Punchout can support compliance with procurement policies and governance requirements. This makes it easier for buyers to ensure they are adhering to internal and external regulations.

In summary, punchout solutions can help B2B businesses address various growth challenges by improving the procurement process, enhancing customer experiences, providing data-driven insights, and increasing operational efficiency. Implementing punchout capabilities strategically can lead to business growth opportunities and a competitive advantage in the B2B marketplace.


If you’d like to learn more, click here to watch our recent webinar with Optimizely and TestEquity, which dives deeper into the art of mastering B2B as a distributor. Also, read more about the impact of punchout between buyers and sellers here.

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Rupa Amin, Director, Commerce Strategy

As a Director of Commerce Strategy at Perficient, Rupa helps clients see their dreams and visions come to fruition through research, strategy recommendations, data-driven insights, and implementation of ideas to build their eCommerce presence. With 20+ years in the IT industry, having served in various roles from a product owner to building complex integrations, she has developed a veritable skillset (think of Swiss knife!). She is our curious, solution-oriented strategist that is comfortable with ambiguity yet ready to challenge the status quo.

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