Online marketplace for F&B industry SupplyMe announces its official launch for the UAE region

The Dubai based start-up aimed to streamline the operations for HoReCA business can be used to source quality products from a wide network of dedicated regional suppliers

Igor Nikolenko, Co-founder CEO, SupplyMe

Igor Nikolenko, Co-founder & CEO, SupplyMe

Dubai, UAE – SupplyMe, a new online B2B marketplace that connects local food suppliers with restaurants, hotels, cafes, supermarkets, and other foodservice businesses of all sizes, has announced its official launch with a primary focus of helping companies in the F&B industry embark on their digital transformation journey and provide a better buying experience for customers.

For years, eCommerce was considered to be a B2C game, a channel best suited for consumer brands and retail transactions. The market has witnessed major shifts in buyer behavior and B2B eCommerce is now challenging the authority of traditional sales channels with B2B reaching a worldwide market value of $7.7 trillion, as opposed to the $2.3 trillion of B2C. The World Economic Forum has estimated the UAE’s 2020 e-commerce market to be valued at $27.2 billion. In Q2 of 2021, funding in MENA-based e-commerce startups grew by 380% quarter-on-quarter, with a corresponding increase of eight deals.

SupplyMe application available on Google Play Store and App Store is focused on one of the fastest-growing verticals i.e. the HoReCa sector in the region. With social distancing and contactless communication becoming the new norm, the online marketplace is an ideal solution to help them streamline their operations and meet fast-changing consumption and purchasing patterns.

67% of the buyer’s journey is now completed digitally. 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience and personalization forms a huge part of delivering the best customer experience. The marketplace acts as an interface and empowers suppliers in the industry to list their products effectively, acquire new customers, have easy access to all sales related activities, provide the flexibility to run promotions, create flexible price models and most importantly offer a secured platform to manage transactions and payments easily with reduced paperwork.

Commenting on the official launch, Igor Nikolenko, Co-founder & CEO of the platform, said “Despite being one of the oldest industries, the food & beverage industry hadn’t changed much according to the times. However, the shift in consumption and purchasing patterns witnessed in 2020 led to B2B food industry embarking on its journey to embrace innovation, going paperless, and be more efficient. With the invention of cutting-edge technology, the industry is reshaping their operations for delivering a seamless and high-quality online purchasing experience for their customers. The app can help businesses to tap into new and difficult-to-reach markets, prioritize customer service, lower operating costs and increase the bottom line.”

For customers on the other hand, the marketplace strives to improve the online B2B food market to simplify and speed up the process of buying without any phone calls, bunch of documents, and bothersome paperwork. It provides F&B businesses with an instant overview of the market propositions, increased product choice and a superior customer experience, without the restraints of inventory and logistics. With the use of technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, online marketplaces can help businesses identify their purchasing pattern and ease the process of placing repeat orders. Vendor evaluation, spend analytics, and demand forecasting are some of the most popular benefits of data analytics in the F&B sector.

“Technology, particularly as a communication tool, is an integral part of everyday life for millennials. B2B buyers favor omnichannel communication methods for quick and instantly gratifying information. 94% buyers prefer to complete their B2B purchase online without a sales representative. Hence the demand for online marketplaces will accelerate in the future, giving buyers the option to self-serve online i.e., to research, find, buy, and manage their purchases through a single web-based platform. This will also help them deliver personalized online experience and interact with them using channels they are present on. From ordering, payment confirmation, shipping and tracking all the information will be available to the buyers in an instant and in doing so, it will save them a significant amount of time,” added Husam Bardawil, Co-founder and COO at SupplyMe.

During the beta phase of the launch, SupplyMe has catered to businesses in the UAE and in the next 12 months, the company aims to extend their presence in other GCC countries, with their priority being Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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