The era of providing siloed ecommerce via a single website is dead. Instead, enabling your customers to trade with you seamlessly across all channels is the way forward. Legacy solutions lack the vital functionality needed to compete in today’s omnichannel world. A world where the online customer experience will make or break a sale. Wholesalers that fail to upgrade their ecommerce platforms to meet the omnichannel challenge risk jeopardising their brand and falling behind their competitors. We’ve outlined 7 ways you can revolutionise your b2b ecommerce capabilities:
Replace legacy ecommerce platforms to increase omnichannel capabilities
Like you, your customers are also striving to keep costs to a minimum, save time and reduce unnecessary manual tasks. As a result, they want information that is easily accessible and comprehensive. Customers also want to do businesses through whatever channel they prefer to use. Wholesalers that fail to upgrade their ecommerce platforms to meet these omnichannel demands risk jeopardising their brand and falling behind their competitors. Migrating to a digital-first ecommerce platform means you will have access to the most advanced tools and functionality to maintain a competitive edge.
Utilise digital marketing to attract customers
In our survey to discover if digital marketing was perceived as a valuable tool for wholesalers, 85% of respondents stated that having a digital marketing strategy was very important for business growth. However, nearly 40% said they had no such strategy in place. SEO, Social Media and PPC Advertising are all essential to promote your products and maximise online sales. However, we recognise that not all businesses have the time, resources, or appropriate skills to carry out an effective digital strategy. Therefore, outsourcing your digital marketing may be a better option. This will give you access to a team of experts who can help you plan, coordinate, and carry out appropriate digital activities.
Design your site appropriately to ensure retention
When thinking about the design of your ecommerce site, ensure you’ve considered the customer’s needs, not just what your business likes. For example, food and drink wholesalers or foodservice companies should consider a busy chef ordering supplies. Would they appreciate a site containing plenty of lifestyle content and bombardment of offers and promotions, or would they prefer a site where they can find and order the products they need as fast as possible? Therefore, it’s essential that websites are tailored to meet the needs and expectations of your target audience so that you keep them engaged and interested in your products.
Optimise order management to reduce fulfilment issues
Poor inventory management, miscommunications and warehousing issues can all affect the order fulfilment process. Unfortunately, if you can’t fulfil customer orders with ease, your sales will suffer. If you have complex logistics needs, then you need an Order Management System (OMS). One that provides centralised order tracking and real-time inventory management. By implementing an OMS you will be able to better manage stock, process orders and then pick, pack and despatch across all your channels.
Ensure your ecommerce site is mobile responsive
Buyers are no longer tied to a desk going through product catalogues. Instead, they can conveniently purchase products anywhere with an internet connection. However, ecommerce sites that are slow and unresponsive on mobile devices cause dire consequences for wholesalers because customers are less likely to stay, and the business loses a sale. Upgrading your ecommerce platform to one with Progressive Web Apps (PWA) capabilities will not only deliver better online experience for customers, but eliminate the costly and time-consuming process of maintaining a traditional App.
Integrate to deliver better customer experiences
Poor integration between business systems can cause significant problems for you and your customers, from inconsistent information across your sales channels to overselling due to problems syncing stock levels. These issues impact the performance and success of online sale and ultimately affect the customer experience. The goal for wholesalers today is to integrate all back-office systems with customer-facing platforms to provide a single, seamless customer experience.
Expand your online capabilities to reduce future disruption
When supply and demand levels continue to fluctuate the best thing that you can do is diversify your online channels to mitigate future disruption. For example, selling to consumers through Click and Collect or B2C ecommerce has helped many wholesalers maintain sales in disruptive times. In addition, you can utilise your delivery service as a mobile sales opportunity by bringing your products to key locations and selling direct to business and consumers through mobile point of sale. Finally, it’s not just you that can benefit from ecommerce opportunities. You can ensure your retail and foodservice customers can generate revenue through “white label” ecommerce solutions, providing them with their own online presence, product catalogues and fulfilment by you, their supplier.