Distribution Strategy Group, formerly Real Results Marketing, conducted its ninth-annual State of eCommerce in Distribution survey from October-December 2020, updating the leading benchmark in distribution for adoption and drivers of ecommerce in the wholesale distribution industry. This is the first report based on this research. The second will be a playbook on what to do in response to this data in 2021 and beyond.

The adoption rate of ecommerce in distribution soared in 2020 with a weighted 26.3% increase from 2019 to 2020. We define adoption as meaning a company can accept a transaction from a shopping cart. Adoption is not a measure of ecommerce success or maturity.

The percentage of distribution companies offering ecommerce varied widely depending on company size and sector. About 25% of companies under $50 million now offer ecommerce while 47% of companies larger than $1 billion do. The increase in ecommerce in the under-$50 million category is staggering: from 13.4% in 2019 to 25.1% in 2020, or an 87.3% increase.

The more-than-$1 billion category saw an increase of 45.4% to 47%. Given the significantly smaller number of companies in this category and the larger beginning base, this is not surprising. The JanSan sector leads with more than half of companies offering ecommerce in 2020.


Download Part 1 of the exclusive report on ecommerce adoption and maturity in the distribution industry to learn:

  • Trends by sector and company size
  • The impact of the pandemic on ecommerce adoption and maturity in distribution
  • Expectations for B2B buying trends post-COVID
  • What’s driving ecommerce investments
  • How manufacturers are leveraging ecommerce



Dean Mueller is Partner at Distribution Strategy Group. He has more than 30 years of experience in sales and marketing and helps distributors build holistic digital strategies that drive a significant shift to online sales, improve profitability and grow customer satisfaction. Take your digital strategy to the next level. Contact Dean at dmueller@distributionstrategy.com.





Jonathan Bein, Ph.D. is Managing Partner at Distribution Strategy Group. He’s developed customer-facing analytics approaches for customer segmentation, customer lifecycle management, positioning and messaging, pricing and channel strategy for distributors that want to align their sales and marketing resources with how their customers want to shop and buy. If you’re ready to drive real ROI, reach out to Jonathan today at jbein@distributionstrategy.com.




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