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Beyond EDI: Techniques that Support Online Marketplace Digital Connectivity

To connect with B2B buyers, companies need to expand their thinking about technology-based B2B connectivity. Find out how to think outside of EDI to increase the value of this opportunity for sales.

Nowadays, B2B buyers aren’t only buying goods from catalogs and salespeople nowadays. They’re turning to e-commerce websites and e-procurement hubs to buy the items they need. Amazon, Shopify, and other marketplaces on the internet are becoming the hotspots of B2B buyers.

EDI Systems Still Matter

Thinking beyond EDI does not mean that EDI systems aren’t important. They’re still essential to exchange information swiftly and efficiently between businesses.

But they’re not the only means to share information between sellers and buyers. This is where the B2B connectivity in digital form comes into play.

What Is Digital B2B Connectivity?

The idea connected to digital connectivity rests upon two concepts: B2B connectivity and digital connectivity.

Remedi defines “B2B connectivity” as one company that does transactions with another. “Digital connectivity” refers to the company that sells products through an online platform. Digital B2B connectivity therefore is associated with B2B businesses that sell online.

Why Digital B2B Connectivity Requires Thinking beyond EDI Systems

As we said in earlier, EDI systems aren’t going any time very soon. But, there are a few issues with EDI systems.

To begin with they’re able to connect to the limited number of data sources. Furthermore, they’re not “heavy” to run on devices that are mobile. They’re also designed to process large quantities of data. EDI systems cannot access specific data in real time, such as the status of an order.

New Channels for B2B Buyers and Sellers

Here’s a summary of the latest channels available for B2B sellers and buyers:

  • Amazon Seller Central – customers purchase from you via Amazon’s portal
  • Amazon Vendor Central – You sell your products directly to Amazon its own company, and it sells the items to its customers
  • Shopify is like Amazon Seller Central
  • Marketplaces, such as Target, Walmart, and Cabela’s that utilize drop-shipping

APIs: Filling in Gaps in EDI Systems

Certain of the new channels discussed above can be used in conjunction with EDI systems. However, in order to improve connectivity to B2B digital networks APIs could help fill in the gaps EDI systems leave.

APIs provide instant information transfer in real-time. If you’d like to know the status of a specific purchase is APIs are able to find the information.

“APIs can fill in the gaps that EDI systems create”

In addition, APIs can connect to more sources of information than EDI systems are able to. For instance, APIs could share information from IoT sensors that can inform you about the state of your delivery.

It also allows for simpler onboarding in comparison to EDI systems on their own. When combined with APIs, EDI systems allow users to improve connectivity between B2B companies and take advantage of new opportunities.

Buyers from B2B will always continue to purchase products online because of the ease. Participating in B2B portals and marketplaces doesn’t only give you a competitive advantage right now, it will allow you to remain current and relevant in the near future. 

It is important that your software and APIs can help you maximize this potential. Are you ready to incorporate?

Read More : Where to Start When Creating a Small Business

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