What does Omnichannel mean?
Essentially, it means providing a single, seamless customer experience by incorporating all your sales channels and operational systems. The concept initially started in the retail sector in a bid to align in-store and online customer services. However, it has now increased people’s expectations of their purchasing experience in B2B industries.
Wholesale distributors should recognise that they too need to implement an omnichannel strategy to remain competitive. A strategy that combines online and offline channels and ensures that all platforms communicate with each other.
Did you know?
Research by the Aberdeen Group found that companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers!
New expectations increasing the need for omnichannel
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. Finally, they need to feel confident that you will meet their needs immediately when they contact you.
In a nutshell, they’re looking for convenience. So how can you ensure your business can meet these new and evolving expectations in a profitable way?
4 Omnichannel Strategy Essentials:
Have multiple ways for your customers to order
Ensure you accommodate the various ways your customers may want to do business with you, whether that’s via telesales, ecommerce or mobile ordering. Online channels need to offer the sophistication, ease of use and features of a B2C website – a proper ecommerce solution rather than a ‘simple’ web ordering system. Your ecommerce platform must also include the extra functionality vital in a B2B environment – like complex pricing and promotions. Whether online or offline, all channels also need to be easy to use and provide consistent information.
Ensure sales staff have everything they need at their fingertips
Sales Order Management systems with real-time features such as visibility of invoices, orders and credit limits, and fast-shop options for customers are essential. How a customer places an order, whether it’s online, via a mobile app or with a sales representative, they should be confident that they can change their orders immediately.
Accurate product information is essential
Having comprehensive product information is essential for wholesale distributors. A customer’s purchasing decision is reliant on the quality of information available to them. You can ensure you are their go-to supplier by providing consistent and relevant information across your sales channels.
However, not all product information is necessary or appropriate for every sales channel. Therefore, you need a Product Information Management (PIM) system that enables you to distinguish various sales channels and publish only the information required.
Don’t forget the importance of agility
Systems across your business should be flexible and agile enough to meet customers changing needs. In addition, close integration between front and back-end systems is critical for providing transparency and real-time information to customers.
To find out how to implement an omnichannel strategy that meets your customer needs, please contact us.