Four Factors Accelerating Online Ordering


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The distribution landscape is changing rapidly.

Tap the power of online ordering to fast-track sales, trim costs and bulk up your bottom line.

E-commerce is broadening its borders, expanding beyond retail to occupy an increasingly prominent place at the foodservice table. According to the food industry market research firm Datassential, online ordering is the most used and fastest-growing order method for operators.1

strength in numbers - infographic


1. Digital Technology: Speed to Feed the Bottom Line

Operators are opting for online ordering over traditional ordering methods in an effort to increase speed, accuracy and efficiency. Over three times as many operators believe that online orders are more accurate than traditional order methods such as phone or fax.4 What’s more, over half of operators who have been slow to go digital are interested in placing orders online.5 Exposed to the ease and convenience of online shopping as consumers, operators who may still order through traditional means have a frame of reference to help them take advantage of online ordering for their businesses.3

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Online Ordering Outpaces Traditional Ordering Methods

While traditional ordering methods remain prevalent, online ordering is picking up speed.7

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2. E-Commerce Powerhouses: Tapping Into the Trailblazers

Amazon may be a driving force of online ordering in the foodservice industry, but other powerhouses like WebstaurantStore and FoodserviceDirect are on the rise too. Following the lead of the legions of consumers who purchase food online via AmazonFresh and others, operators are turning to e-commerce platforms to stock their establishments. Online ordering portal usage by distributors surveyed hovers between 77% and 86% for Sysco, GFS (Gordon Food Service), Reinhart and US Foods, which has the highest usage of the group.8 Nearly one-third of operators surveyed now place orders with Amazon.9 And there seems to be ample opportunity for other portals to muscle their way into the mix.

working it out - blazing your own trail - infographic ease of use- platform growth -infographic

Ample Advantages: Operators Praise Platforms16

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3. B2B Foodservice + E-Commerce = Empowered Operators

Consumers today have the items they want at their fingertips. With a few clicks or taps, they make purchases on the fly and have them delivered with ever-increasing speed and efficiency. While many foodservice distributors and their customers still struggle under the weight of outdated manual ordering methods and clunky legacy technology, B2B buyers’ personal shopping habits point the way for online ordering to do the heavy lifting. Marrying B2B foodservice with e-commerce solutions can speed sales and strengthen the bottom line.

e-commerce solutions bring foodservice up to speed the might of digital media

4. Smarter, More Efficient Distribution: Broadline Goes Online

As the e-commerce colossus grows and online-only distributors take on overpowering proportions, broadline distributors are ramping up their digital capabilities to meet customer demands. Sysco, US Foods and GFS offer online portals that help expand their customer service, promote online ordering and deter customers from opting for other e-commerce solutions.

Smart Assets: Why Operators Choose Distribution Portals

Operators surveyed choose Sysco’s online portal for its clear product explanations, recommendations of similar products at lower cost, and exceptional customer service and delivery.16 Others choose US Foods’ online portal for its order history feature, product comparisons, and easy order process and search function.16 Enabling customers to make smarter, better-informed purchasing decisions helps ensure their loyalty.

Brilliant Strategy: Optimizing with Options21

Sysco’s e-commerce capabilities empower and enlighten customers with more options.

Highest online portal usage - infographic platform growth - infographic
powerful potential

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Order Faster, Nimbler, Smarter, Better!




1. Datassential, Pulse Topical 2017: Non-Traditional Purchasing (Dec. 2017), p. 7
2. Datassential, p. 11
3. Elmgreen, Michael, “Mobile and Web B2B eCommerce: A Competitive Edge for Foodservice Distributors,” Total Food Service (Feb. 20, 2017). Retrieved from http://totalfood.com/mobile-and-web-b2b-ecommerce-a-competitive-edge-for-foodservice-distributors/
4. Datassential, p. 18
5. Datassential, p. 13
6. Datassential, p. 16
7. Datassential, p. 9
8. Datassential, p. 20
9. Datassential, p. 8
10. Datassential, p. 14
11. Datassential, p. 28
12. Datassential, p. 12
13. Datassential, p. 27
14. Datassential, p. 21
15. Hall, John, “7 E-Commerce Trends To Pay Attention To In 2018,” Forbes (Nov. 19, 2017). Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2017/11/19/7-e-commerce-trends-to-pay-attention-to-in-2018/2/#28644fb786db
16. Datassential, p. 22
17. Pearl, Andrew, The food industry in 2018—the e-commerce trends to watch, Just Food (Jan. 1, 2018). Retrieved from https://www.just-food.com/comment/the-food-industry-in-2018-the-e-commerce-trends-to-watch_id138321.aspx
18. Datassential, p. 23
19. eMarketer, How Much Revenue Does Email Drive? (Sept. 18, 2015). Retrieved from https://www.emarketer.com/Article/How-Much-Revenue-Email-Drive/1013001
20. Martin, Ellie, “The Evolving Role of Social Media in Ecommerce,” Entrepreneur, Apr. 18, 2017. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/288952
21. Technomic Ignite, Critical Issues: A View from Sysco (January 2018). Retrieved from https://ignite.technomic.com/reports/view/critical-is ues-a-view-from-sysco-january-2018/list/ecommerce


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