Order management software (for B2B ecommerce-oriented companies especially), isn’t just something that sounds nice, something that could be a good idea to maybe look into 5 years down the road, something that you talk about around the office from time to time, something where you say, “Hey, you know, maybe we should get that someday.”
For providers, this is beyond critical—it’s expected by your customers.
In fact, many key wholesale customers won’t even bother with a wholesaler who doesn’t have an online ordering portal with inventory, pricing, and complete account history.
These Days, Wholesalers Have Great Expectations Set on Their Shoulders—But You Know That
You can’t just provide quality products anymore.
You can’t just compete for the lowest prices anymore.
You can’t just get products where they need to be, on time, right on time, or just in time.
You can’t even just provide great customer service anymore—not if you want to beat out the competition.
Because, these days, it’s more than that—your customers demand online order processing.
In fact, that’s really just a part of providing great customer service in the digital era.
I Want You to Think About Order Management Software for B2B Ecommerce not as a Luxury, but as a Necessity—Because It Is
You already know that your business is going to improve by being able to provide products online…
Or maybe you don’t.
Maybe you just suspect that this may be the case—if it’s handled correctly.
And there are ways of doing this that can cost quite a bit more than simply getting something like Now Commerce and setting up a dedicated customer portal.
You could try to have someone build an entire web-based system from scratch...
However, setting up an ecommerce website is no small task. It generally costs tens of thousands of dollars to build one from the ground up, and it’s filled with potential pitfalls. If your product descriptions aren’t just right, if your existing customers aren’t made acutely aware of the new ordering process, if your team isn’t taught how to use the website, how to process the orders, how to get the information into QuickBooks (or whatever software you’re using), how to update inventory, how to communicate clearly with reps about inventory levels or order statuses…
It can all fall apart.
And you end up stuck with an extremely expensive product that isn’t delivering in the way you expected it to.
But online ordering capabilities aren’t something you can find a way around. The days of phone, email, and fax for order processing are long gone.
There is a better way—and your customers expect this these days not as a luxury, but as a basic level of service.
So, you can try to do all this by hand, you can go out, buy a website, and get it customized to sell your products, and then process every single order by hand…
Or, you can invest in order management software that already has a built-in customer portal that can be easily customized to fit your, and your customer’s, precise needs.
But it has to be a potent piece of software to really do this effectively.
Your Order Management Software, for B2B Ecommerce Especially, Has to Be Robust
What do I mean by robust?
Well, first of all, I mean that the software has to be able to function 24/7/365. Your customers have to be able to put in an order any time of the day or night. Your customer portal can’t just turn off at 8pm.
This is the digital world we’re talking about here, not the real world—websites don’t close up for the night.
Robust software has to be able to integrate with many other pieces of software, and to do this seamlessly. If your order management software isn’t able to integrate with something like QuickBooks, well, you have a problem.
Robust software also just has to not break down, to not have errors, to work seamlessly under any circumstances.
And it needs all of this because customers view ordering online just the same way they view a brick-and-mortar shop.
It means they have expectations that it will be available at certain times, that things will work smoothly and quickly, that there won’t be any snags, that nothing will be confusing.
Now, I realize we’re talking about wholesaling here and that the process is quite a bit different, but honestly, this is how people think—we’re all consumers, and we all have a base set of expectations for how purchasing products works.
If your customer walked into a brick-and-mortar store, a bookstore, for example, they would expect to be able to find their product. They would expect to be able to get help finding their product as long as the store is open. They would expect to be able to purchase their product quickly and easily, to be able to use any payment method they wanted, and to be able to look at other products as long as they wanted (and as long as the store is open).
Except your store (the online ordering capability you have in place) is open 24/7.
So your customers expect to be able to do all of these things… you guessed it, 24/7.
And If You Don’t Have Order Management Software (for B2B Ecommerce Businesses, This Is Especially True), Then Processing These Orders By Hand Is a HUGE Time Suck
But you probably already know this too—maybe you’re experiencing it right now.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Learn more about how Now Commerce can make the online ordering process simple, straightforward, cost-effective, and can be customized to your customers needs.