Online Marketplaces & EDI

Companies today are encouraged to invest in electronic commerce to reduce the cost of customer interaction. In addition to a classic shop front end, EDI and marketplace options are also available.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

B2B companies traditionally consider EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to be an excellent means of communication between companies. EDI is good for processing purchasing transactions on the buyer side and sales transactions on the seller side. EDI is mainly used to place large recurring orders from the customer to the supplier side. EDI automates these tasks by eliminating human intervention, increasing order accuracy and reducing transaction costs.

Advantages of EDI

The implementation of EDI in a company offers the following advantages.

  • EDI automates the ordering process for entering sales orders (incoming purchase orders). This usually also automates the dispatch of Advanced Shipment Notifications (ASNs) and customer invoices. This reduces manual order entry effort and eliminates the cost of sending paper invoices.
  • EDI also automates the process of shipping orders to suppliers (outbound orders). This can also automate the process of receiving Advanced Ship Notifications (ASNs) and supplier invoices. This can reduce the manual effort required to send orders (paper or e-mail) and process supplier invoices as part of the three-way reconciliation process.
  • The implementation of EDI for both sales and purchasing transactions can help companies to do business more easily, facilitating the relationship between a company and its customers. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and longer term relationships.

But EDI also presents technical challenges, especially in foreign trade (languages, taxes, standards). Need help deciding whether EDI is the right choice for your business? Contact our talented e-commerce team.

B2C and B2B e-commerce marketplaces

In recent times, sales via marketplaces have also become a further option for companies, especially in B2B, in order to reduce the costs of customer interaction. Online marketplaces such as Tmall, JD, Amazon, Rakuten, Ebay, Google Shopping or Galaxus can help you to expand your presence beyond your online shop.

Advantages of marketplaces

Maximize the opportunities of these marketplaces by leveraging proven e-commerce strategies and automatic integration of product data.

  • Reduced effort, predictable costs and lower risk when launching a product on the market: Entering international e-commerce via a marketplace can be worthwhile because of the lower initial costs. 
  • Awareness and reach of the marketplaces and new markets can be tested. In China, where Tmall and JD are the market leaders, online trading primarily takes place in marketplaces. As an online retailer, you benefit from the awareness and reach of the marketplaces.
  • Fast test results with different pricing strategies. Marketplaces can function as test shops and thus be important insights for the product launch in your own shop.
    Low technical barriers to entry.
  • Marketplaces can be used for the sale of returns, B-goods, etc. and thus a certain exclusivity can be maintained for the actual online shop.
    Especially retailers with their own brands can profit from the enormous reach and the lack of competition.
But there are also challenges to consider. How do you deal with the fact that customer data belongs to the marketplace or that there is less control over your own brand experience? Or that the adaptation of interfaces and the preparation of product data is done according to marketplace specifications? Comparable products are subject to intense competition and price pressure. Which channel offers the greatest opportunities in the target market? Do you rely from the outset on the international version of your own online shop or do you test marketplaces such as Amazon or Tmall? We help you to make the right decisions.