O2 Blogue

Building materials: how digital marketplaces can drive growth in the industry

Rising demand for infrastructure, in part driven by Generation Y and Z establishing their households, fuels economic growth. Simultaneously, digital tech has surged, offering untapped potential for this industry.

However, current tools and technologies struggle with evolving markets. To remain competitive and adapt to the demands of the digital age, construction-related industries must embrace change, including venturing into online building materials marketplaces, and luckily, global giant Amazon is targeting the construction industry.


Embracing the online marketplace and navigating technological challenges

Marketplaces like Amazon have revolutionized how we buy and sell products, presenting significant opportunities for building material resellers and distributors. By the end of this year, Amazon Business sales will reach $30 billion. Without a doubt, these platforms provide extensive avenues for expanding into new markets and cultivating stronger customer relationships.

Yet, when adapting to online marketplaces, the industry must confront challenges such as limited awareness, resistance to change, and industry complexities. Despite these valid concerns and the daunting nature of the transition, we believe that the industry cannot afford to overlook the substantial benefits of having access to a broader market. 


Roadblocks in the transition to online marketplaces

Regardless of the widespread popularity of online marketplaces, specific technical industries, such as businesses that sell building materials, often encounter barriers when deciding how to transition. Here are three scenarios that can account for this difficulty:


Product information syndication and marketplaces

It’s no secret that suppliers have to deal with an array of products, each with its unique specifications, attributes, and variations. Syndicating accurate and consistent product information across various sales channels, including building materials marketplaces, distributor websites, and retailer catalogues, may seem impossible.

However, embracing effective product information syndication processes and tools can transform this challenge into an opportunity.


Complex product information management 

Building materials are known for their complex characteristics and specifications, making accurate management crucial. From the different material types, dimensions, and finishes to certifications and compatibility with other products, ensuring your customers access comprehensive and precise product information is non-negotiable.

Thanks to robust product information management systems and practices, you can empower suppliers to navigate these intricacies effortlessly, providing customers with detailed and relevant information. 


Dynamic pricing and real-time inventory

Market fluctuations, seasonal demands, and availability can impact pricing strategies and inventory management. To maintain your competitive edge, you require a system that supports flexible pricing strategies, such as volume-based discounts or custom pricing for specific customers, and ensures real-time visibility into your inventory levels.

Real-time inventory management systems serve as invaluable assets in accurately tracking stock levels, preventing overselling, and providing up-to-date availability information to your customers.


Find success with product information management (PIM) and syndication tools

While the complexities at hand may present challenges, they are certainly surmountable. To overcome these hurdles, as a reseller or distributor, there are technology-driven solutions you can deploy:


Product syndication tools

Innovative tools like ChannelEngine and Feedonomics are designed to simplify product data distribution across multiple channels and online building materials marketplaces to ensure it remains uniform, accurate, and up-to-date across diverse platforms.

By employing these syndication tools, you can effortlessly expand your reach, maintain a consistent brand image, and efficiently tap into the vast customer bases of various online marketplaces, thus maximizing your sales potential and overall success.


Product information management (PIM)

PIM systems are pivotal in efficiently organizing and centralizing product data. They excel in streamlining and enhancing product information, making it paramount for seamless integration into online marketplaces.

By diligently managing product details, PIM systems can empower your business to present its offerings accurately and attractively, ultimately enhancing its visibility and appeal to potential customers on various digital platforms.

To discover the power of PIM and get expert insights on streamlining product data and enhancing marketplace integration. Download our comprehensive PIM white paper.


O2 Web’s tips for outshining online marketplaces

Here are a few tips we’re sharing with you to help you establish and enhance your brand visibility by elevating your online presence.

  • Provide a superior user experience: Implementing PWA (Progressive Web App) technology can significantly improve load times, making navigation effortless and enjoyable for your audience and ensuring that your website offers a seamless and responsive experience, particularly for users on mobile devices.
  • Enhance the customer experience: Implement advanced search functionalities such as Bloomreach and Coveo to empower users to find products or information swiftly, enhancing their overall experience.
  • Offer rich product information: Make use of PIM technology to enable you to provide high-quality images, detailed descriptions, and accurate pricing information, creating a compelling product presentation.

Looking to leverage the power of online building materials marketplaces? Download our free ebook “Ecommerce foundations: winning strategies for the Building Materials industry”.

The O2 Commerce agency

O2 Commerce is a growing full-service digital agency specialized in the development and performance of integrated, scalable and innovative e-commerce solutions for B2B and B2C. Since 2006, we have been developing e-commerce platforms using the latest technologies. Therefore, we develop hand in hand with our clients the strategies and necessary actions to take their performance to the next level.