David Franco
David Franco

Director of Strategy


In the ever-evolving landscape of the chemical industry, distributors are facing a new challenge that goes beyond the traditional complexities of the business. The rise of digital marketplaces, with their promises of efficiency and direct connections, has garnered attention, and not all of it is positive. While we won't name names, recent developments in the industry, as reported by TechCrunch, indicate a trend that could potentially disrupt the role of the chemical distributor.

Venture capitalists have long been enamored with the concept of marketplaces, and the chemicals industry has become their new frontier. The allure lies in replacing physical intermediaries with digital ones, promising efficiency and cost savings. However, this efficiency comes at a cost — the elimination of the human touch, the personal relationships that have been the backbone of the industry for decades.

One marketplace, in particular, has explicitly stated its mission to revolutionize the industry by connecting chemical producers directly with buyers, bypassing the need for traditional distributors. The belief is that the industry's reliance on field sales teams, product catalogs, brochures, and face-to-face meetings is outdated and due for a change. While we reject this belief and offer new insights for the chemical industry to embrace digital marketing, it is understandable that distributors have concerns about being edged out of a market they've served for years.

Chemical Marketplaces Trying to Replace Chemical Distributors

So, what's the antidote to this poison?

How can chemical distributors safeguard their business in the face of digital disruption?

The answer lies in the very technology that poses a challenge — developing your own digital platform. At HEXNET, we've pioneered the creation of over a dozen digital platforms for chemical distributors, and the results have been nothing short of transformative. These platforms not only provide a technological counterbalance to the digital marketplace trend but also open up new avenues for revenue and growth.

Building a proprietary platform allows distributors to maintain control over their relationships, offering a personalized experience that digital marketplaces often lack. It's about more than just transactions; it's about creating an ecosystem that fosters lasting connections.

Here are a few compelling reasons why investing in your digital platform is not just a defensive move but a strategic one:

  1. Retain Control:
    With your platform, you dictate the terms. You control the user experience, data, and, most importantly, the relationships you've built over the years.
  2. Enhanced Customer Engagement:
    A digital platform enables you to engage with your customers on a whole new level. From personalized product recommendations to targeted promotions, you can tailor the experience to meet individual needs.
  3. Data-Driven Insights:
    Understand your customers better with data analytics. Track their preferences, anticipate their needs, and optimize your offerings based on real-time insights.
  4. Brand Loyalty:
    Your platform becomes an extension of your brand. Customers are more likely to stay loyal when they can rely on a seamless, personalized experience that reflects your commitment to their success.
  5. New Revenue Streams:
    Beyond the traditional distributor model, a digital platform opens doors to new revenue streams. From value-added services to exclusive partnerships, the possibilities are vast.

In conclusion, while the digital marketplace trend may pose a challenge, it also presents an opportunity for chemical distributors to redefine their role in the industry. By investing in their digital platforms, distributors can not only weather the storm but emerge stronger, more resilient, and better positioned for the future. At HEXNET, we're not just technology partners; we're the architects of your digital success. Let's build a platform that safeguards your future.

Schedule a Demo

Are you thinking about building a digital platform for your chemical business? Click below to schedule a demo and we will show you how our technology makes managing a chemical distribution business more efficient and profitable. We will show you a demo of our ChemSource software and offer a free strategy session on how you can improve your current sales and marketing efforts.

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