Take it from our experts in customer order management: a web-based portal is an important tool for wholesalers and distributors. It's their lifeline to sourcing more products to satisfy their buyers. Over time, they may become more knowledgeable about your products, but they will spend more time studying your top-selling products. Top-selling items vary in each market that your wholesalers and distributors serve.
Easier is Better
B2B buyers want to use a computer or a mobile device to place their orders. Some will use your web portal each day. Others will place an order once a week or once a month. Some buyers only order when they have run out of product. All buyers prefer a seamless experience that requires as little time as possible. That's because ordering is only part of what they do. They have relationships to nurture and grow elsewhere in their supply chain. While writing product descriptions is tedious, it is something you can outsource if needed.
A Little Bit of Background
One of the reasons customers purchase a product is because it satisfies a need or a want. Smart businesses use product descriptions and category page descriptions within an order management portal to help customers understand their value proposition. Michael Skok describes it well: "A useful approach is to think of your breakthrough in the context of the 3Ds: What unique combination of (D)iscontinuous innovation, (D)efensible technology, and (D)isruptive business model are you bringing to bear and what makes it truly compelling — not just to you and your colleagues, but to your most skeptical customer?" You can use product descriptions to emphasize features of breakthrough products. These items are also perfect for displaying in prominent locations on your company website.
Here are four reasons why you need effective product descriptions in your customer order management system:
- Business buyers make better decisions with the correct details about a product. A plumber who orders a package of 3/4-inch hose nozzles will not be happy with a package of 1-inch hose nozzles. They just won't fit.
- Business buyers are less likely to complain or to return items when they know what they will get for the listed price. A good product description lists the most important features and benefits of an item near the top. Supporting details may occur at the end of the description. Omit details that will confuse a potential buyer.
- Business buyers may not have the background knowledge to make an informed selection. For example, your firm may have a family of products that appear to be exactly the same. When buyers look at a product's list price, they may think that the cheapest one is best. Good product descriptions make it easy for businesses to compare products. There may be a slight difference between two products, such as the quality of the material used to manufacture the product. Copper pipes, for example, cost much more than PVC pipes.
- Business buyers want to understand technical jargon. Many wholesalers and distributors carry thousands of products. They have a limited knowledge of each product and sometimes no experience with technical terms. Provide a glossary or another tool to assist buyers who want to learn more about technical terms found in product descriptions. A glossary must be searchable.
Manufacturers sell more products to wholesalers and distributors by improving the ordering process. Reduce the need for customer support by frontloading your investment in developing product descriptions. Each listing is an advertisement to a potential buyer who hasn't completed a purchasing decision. If you aren't the person for the job, hire people who can. Or, send employees for professional development in this area. Over time, they can develop better product descriptions to upload into your customer order management system.