Public and private customers increase online spend every year. As new generations of buyers mature there are more and more demands for goods and services available online for suppliers.
In Czech market there are approximately 20 portals that mediate demands with proper suppliers. Customers are promised to find qualified, relevant suppliers that have proper experience and references in exchange for contact details and description of demand. Which is more advanced service than look for proper supplier using web search engines like google.com or seznam.cz but less complex service than using online auction portals that remain domain of enterprise companies purchase departments.
Business mediation portals
Services of mediation portals are free for buyers, yet suppliers are mostly asked for various payments.
When it comes to public customers that are obliged to conduct public tenders in order to find proper supplier – monthly or yearly fees are asked to get up-to-date information about new tenders that appear on thousands of public subject profiles. Such service sends notifications about description and subject of tender to suppliers that match their profile filled during registration and start of service.
Weaknesses of such service are obvious – in case that description and subject of public tender does not match the profile – supplier gets no notification. Which is followed by missing important opportunities in cases that proper description is provided in following attachments and documentation mostly at more complex deals.
In case of private demands suppliers are asked to pay for each demand they are interested in. Such procedure in practice means that suppliers are overwhelmed by small inquires that require payments for contact disclosure.
Mediation by Artificial Intelligence
State of the market remains suboptimal as customers do not get information on the most relevant suppliers (as their demand is shown only to paying ones) and suppliers miss some of the opportunities as well as well as they need to handpick relevant demands for their services.
Artificial Intelligence that would be able to understand:
- texts of offers of suppliers out of their websites, product information and descriptions of services provided by marketing materials or presentations and
- texts of inquiries provided by procurement documentation or simply by text generated by customers
has potential to bring significant innovation in the field. Value added may bring:
- weighted match of inquiry profile and supplier profiles
- more relevant customer demand and supplier references match
- checks of qualification criteria for public tenders
- reduction of administration during registration processes
- supplier matches that are independent on payments from supplier side
- valuable market research information
Artificial Intelligence offering
No matter potential benefits our marketing research showed that mediation portal operators have no interest in such innovation in their field.
Our research showed that mediation portal operators are mostly unknown or unavailable – which is understandable as their services do not satisfy many of their clients even though most of businesses have been offered such services (even by more of mediation portals).
Out of mediation portal operators reached none of them develops business by way of product development – preferred way of development is customer acquisition.