Buying Group Success in 2020

January 5, 2020

With 2020 here, it’s time to take a hard look at your Buying Group and the value proposition it offers to your members. The following strategic areas will shape your group’s success in the coming year.


Re-evaluate your communication strategy, both with your members but also with your preferred vendors. How many touchpoints per year do you have with your members and vendors? Is your email template or newsletter template old and dated? As millennials play a bigger role in independent businesses, are you speaking to them? Think about value – your communications need to express the value you offer but also need to be valuable in and of themselves.

Think About What You’re Not Doing

What can you do to add extra value to your members? What challenges do your members have that could be better solved with a collective approach? What are Buying Groups in other countries or sectors offering their members that you aren’t? This is where attending international Buying Group events like Accelerate are valuable.

Make Data Your Competitive Advantage

If you haven’t already, define the KPIs that are key to your group’s success. Identify how advanced your analytics are – from descriptive to predictive, perspective or automated, real-time to after-the-fact. Make sure you are using analytics when defining and measuring your strategy.

Go Mobile

Mobile makes up over 60% of social media time in the U.S. Providing information and services to your members should be a key part of your group’s strategy.

Start Focusing On Product Content

The biggest complaint I hear from members is that they lack product content. A strong e-commerce presence is necessary to survive, but effective web selling requires exceptional product content. Maintaining rich product information within a PIM is time consuming and costly. Savvy groups will step in and begin managing and distributing this content on behalf of their members.


Disruptive innovation and understanding how technologies are changing business models is the key to future successes. In this age of disruption, threats typically don’t come from direct competitors but from a rapidly changing environment and new challenges being faced.

Factor In Millennials and Generation Z

Millennials and Generation Z are coming into the fold. Most of them are digital natives. They are comfortable using a broader variety of channels, devices, and technologies, and they expect a consistent experience throughout. They demand fast, real-time responses. How will your Buying Group cater to this growing segment within your membership?

Taking the time to look at these seven areas will keep your Buying Group current within an ever-changing marketplace, maximizing the success of both your group and your members in 2020.

Written by Steve Seguin


LBMX offers a business-to-business marketplace platform, helping independent businesses, their buying groups, and suppliers buy better and sell more. Its Private Group Marketplace for Groups has transformed billing and ordering, rebate management, real-time analytics, e-commerce and product information management across the building materials, HVAC, plumbing, sporting goods, industrial supply, manufacturing, and agricultural industries. Its LBMX Supply Cloud platform allows suppliers to look at their industrial distribution customers through one lens, offering full EDI, PIM, Analytics and Payments.

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