E-commerce has become more common for distributors and many are offering a customer web portal, an online ordering platform. Distributors are not trying to replace their current sales model, but instead are offering an option for their customers to gather information, place orders, and discover new products on their own time.
Retailers are becoming more reliant on technology to make business decisions and ensure they are providing the latest available products to meet market demands. Many retailers find frequent sales visits a burden to getting their work completed and want create a more efficient process.
Retailers want to place orders at the end of their day after they have completed their sales to get a better view of their inventory. This not only saves the retailer the effort of having to order more product after a salesperson has been in store, but it also cuts down on the amount of times a salesperson has to visit the store or call in to add on to an order. Salespeople can then better spend their time consulting with the retailers on new products and additional products that will sell well.
Not only do retailers want access to product information, they also want the ability to access their historical sales, account balance information, and distributor representative contact information at all times.
Distributors offering an e-commerce platform not only allow for easier ordering, but they also provide multiple options for communication. When customers are given options to purchase and review information they are going to feel more supported and be more apt to call their distributor. This could be the difference in giving a distributor a few extra SKU’s at a retailer, which will provide an advantage over a competitor.
Since customers are looking for other ways to order, it is time to offer an easy to use solution. Online ordering can be extremely beneficial and will keep customers’ expectations met.