Online shopping for chemicalsOnline shopping for chemicals
E-Commerce & Chemicals

Why the increased focus on digitalisation in the chemicals industry?

Well, if you are a chemical-buying customer, the answer to that question is you! The behaviour and expectation of a “good” buying experience has changed across society. That change doesn’t stop just because you want to buy chemicals. People expect a frictionless, anytime, anywhere experience in their personal lives. More and more, that expectation is being transferred to the business-to-business environment. Many organisations have increased the pace in this area and are experimenting with new types of online interaction.  

 Evidence shows that disruptive buyer dynamics have rewritten the rulebook for B2B sales. As a result, enhancing the customer experience and creating efficiencies have become the core of many organisations’ digital strategies. Over the last few years, the demand for digital tools has increased as customers have adapted into avid-eCommerce consumers. The pandemic has played a significant role, and the best prediction suggests that society will continue to demand increased flexibility.   

Three reasons why chemical e-commerce might become your “next normal”?   

1. Operational efficiency through order delivery tracking –

Online tracking and delivery status updates are commonplace across many distribution and logistic industries. The digitalisation of delivery processes, catalysed by eCommerce, means the online monitoring of your delivery is going to be more and more common across the industry. Acknowledging where your order is and when it will arrive allows customers to plan their purchases more efficiently.     

2. Transactional Convenience –

For those customers who want it, the transactional act of buying can now be done at their convenience, even if that is outside of standard office hours. While an email to your favourite customer service rep or a call with the account manager will always (at Univar) be an option, you will now be able to achieve the same transactional purchase online at a time and place that is convenient to you. Action a repeat order, request a quote, or even access live pricing; the choice is yours. The ‘always-on’ culture means that traditional business opening hours should not dictate when you can and want to interact with suppliers. 

3. Access to information –

In a B2B setting, e-commerce is as much about accessing a wealth of information as it is about buying. It allows customers to browse country-specific online catalogues, view important supporting documents and review purchasing history—all at a click of a button. The days of searching around, emailing and calling to locate documents for a regulatory submission are gone.