Crude oil prices were mixed in Asia on Monday as the market turned cautious ahead of a key OPEC meeting near the end of the week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dipped 0.42% to $58.70 a barrel. ICE Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., rose 0.47% to $63.77 a barrel. This week, market participants will focus on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries highly-anticipated meeting on Thursday to see whether major producers plan to extend their current production-cut agreement. Click Read More below for additional information.
Customer loyalty shifting. Four primary market forces identified.
Industrial distributors are facing changing market conditions that are challenging their long-standing business models. The UPS (NYSE: UPS) Industrial Buying Dynamics study, conducted by global research firm TNS, revealed buyers are increasingly willing to purchase outside of their existing supply base. The study identified four significant forces that are impacting how the relationships between industrial distributors and their customers are being redefined.
According to the UPS study, 38 percent of online industrial product buyers sourced products from a new supplier (vs. 34% in 2013) and 72 percent said they would shift spending to a distributor with a more user-friendly website.
“Customer loyalty today is built on a different foundation than the one distributors have built over generations,” said Brian Littlefield, UPS director of industrial manufacturing and distribution marketing. “Once price and quality standards are met, buyers are willing to explore vendors that better fit their needs, whether for a more convenient website, a better price, or simply someone who quickly answers product questions.”