About half of those distributors that have implemented a transactional website aren’t happy with their results, according to a recent MDM survey. As we wrote in our last blog post, to stay in the ecommerce game today, office supplies, jan-san and other distributors must offer an online experience that includes:
- Easy access to order and invoice history
- Quick reorder capabilities
- Product reviews and recommendations
- Inventory visibility and availability by location
- Customer-specific pricing
- Favorites or frequently-ordered lists
- Role-based access and approval
- And more
If you can do this, the data show that B2B buyers will respond. In a 2017 UPS Industrial Buying Dynamics Survey, 80% of buyers said that they would be likely to shift spending to a more “user-friendly website.” A good website is a magnet, especially for younger buyers.
The key is to offer a modern web experience. In addition to features that most buyers expect today, don’t underestimate the importance of the look and feel of a website, which reflects directly on your business.
Another important component of a successful B2B ecommerce website: an omnichannel experience. Customers want self-service options, but they also want to be able to rely on the distributor’s team when they need it.
In other words, it should not only be easy for a customer to search, find and purchase the product you need on your website, as well as access account history. It should be easy for a buyer to pick up the phone halfway through the purchase and talk to an outside sales, inside sales or customer service representative to complete the purchase. And the website should be linked with a distributor’s other systems, including ERP and CRM, so that a customer’s experience is seamless, no matter who they engage with and when. Serve your customers in the channel they prefer, which could be website, phone, mobile, branch, a digital assistant, chat or face-to-face.
To help distributors meet the toughest ecommerce requirements, Enavate has upgraded its Customer Connect eCommerce web platform. One of the features is the Sales Rep Connect, which supports distributors’ needs to provide an omnichannel experience to their customers. Sales reps can access accounts for customer-specific ordering, item-price manipulation, contract maintenance, customer sales history and more. Learn more about our Customer Connect eCommerce platform.
About the Author - Brett Vest
Brett is a Managed Services leader with more than 20 years diverse experience in eCommerce development, marketing, integration, and implementation. For the past eight years, he has worked in the Microsoft Dynamics space as well, as the eCommerce space at ENAVATE, combining his skills to assist customers with their implementation and support needs. Brett resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with his family and enjoys the diverse city life, sports, and outdoor activities.