As a consumer, you might purchase household items or groceries online, but how often do you use the internet to purchase business goods? If you don’t at this point, there’s a good chance you may in the near future.
According to Statista, retail e-commerce sales are expected to more than double between now and 2023. In addition to purchasing products, consumers are increasingly using the internet to perform product research and read reviews.
Jansan distributors are starting to see the online purchasing trend appear in their industry. While relationships and cost still play a major factor in where end-users buy, many are looking for distributors who offer more convenient solutions, including faster delivery and better e-commerce.
According to Sanitary Maintenance Magazine’s recently published, 2019 End User Purchasing and Service Survey, “nearly 40 percent of end users purchase more than half of their cleaning supplies via e-commerce with jan/san distributors… Plus, 56 percent of end users indicate they will buy even more products online if distributors improve their e-commerce capabilities
If you’re a distributor looking to capitalize on this opportunity and capture more sales, you’re probably wondering what’s next. How can you take your in-person relationships online and what other some ways it can benefit your business1. eCommerce gives your customers access to all the information they need, when they need it.
No more running back out to your car to grab a brochure or waiting on new catalogs from your manufacturers. When you have a robust eCommerce system in place, your customer simply goes to your website and views the product they want to purchase.
An eCommerce platform with a Product Information Manager (PIM), such as Inform’s eCommerce Pro, allows you to populate that online item page with anything you want to include, such as technical data, product brochures, multiple images and more. Everything is right there where they need it.2. eCommerce makes it easier to do business.
With traditional purchasing relationships, your customer might have to call a rep or someone else in your organization to place an order. If that person is available, it could require one or more phone calls to communicate and complete that order.
With Inform’s eCommerce Pro, your customer can place an order anytime of the day or week, making it easier than ever to complete that transaction.3. With eCommerce, you still hold the keys to the relationship.
A lot of our customers think that migrating to an eCommerce platform will force them to compromise their pricing and service, when actually it makes it easier than ever to define the parameters for doing business.
When you use Inform’s eCommerce Pro, you have full control over pricing and shipping controls. For example, if an order needs to meet a minimum cost in order for you to deliver, you can easily set those guidelines.
In addition, your customers can log into their own personal portal which shows them pricing and items that are specific to their business and contract. This includes sales and order history, wish lists and more.4. An eCommerce system can help you attract new buyers.
Online searches are dictated by keywords. When your product matches the keywords a prospect customer enters, you have a much greater chance of that search converting into a sale.
Inform’s eCommerce PIM saves hundreds of product attributes which improves its searchability. Whether someone is conducting a web-based search or is looking for a specific product on your website, the more keywords and attributes you have in place, the more likely the right product will appear.
As the research shows, your customers want more eCommerce capabilities. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to see you or someone from your company. They just want the convenience of ordering through an online platform. By implementing those solutions, you’ll not only meet that need, you’ll likely find that it improves several other facets of your business as well.