26 January 2009
Recent discussions in the market have led me to realise that “eCommerce” is often only associated with placing orders.
But people often forget there’s also the front end of the buying process. What about automating the process of being found/sourced?
For example ShipServ Pages is a free-to-use service for buyers where suppliers for minimal investment can promote themselves to the maritime buyer community. Plus all the content is optimized for Google – so hopefully supplier listings come highly in buyer searches. e.g. I just did a search for “Repair Overhaul Hong Kong” on Google – the first 9 results were for airplane repairs and irrelevant to shipping. #10 was the first maritime entry and it was a link to Pages. Clicking thru to Pages gives you a list of maritime suppliers you can then review and send direct enquiries too.
But there’s also a bigger goal here. All of this begins to build a digital fingerprint of trading activity that can be used positively to inform buying decisions. Would it not be useful to know that a supplier previously unknown to you has been used by 10 of your most trusted peers ? Or that a supplier has a track record of fulfilling orders for something he promises he can supply?
Surely this is a bigger prize outside of just pure automation that none of us should take our eye off.
John Watton, VP Marketing, ShipServ.
Email me at email@example.com with your views.
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