Innovative technology is changing the way businesses operate and how they interact with customers. This is a simplistic statement, which means different things to different industries. For wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers, this means an upgraded customer-facing interface with practical implications. Meeting customer expectations for retailers vs. wholesalers involves the difference between their integrated order management systems.
Finding quality B2B order management software can mean scoping out the best features, but it also means having complete control from multiple sides. You can adjust your chair to fit you, but is the software you're using able to adjust as much as you'd like it to? You need to find software that doesn't force you to adhere to its own rigid structure.
Paper-based order handling methods can't keep up with the speed and accuracy required by today's wholesale businesses. This is why it's so important to use portal software that is specifically made to handle all of the demands of this environment. This software doesn't just accept online orders from customers. Instead, it modernizes the entire operation so orders are handled better no matter which channel they come through.
Wholesale is a hard business to be in. There may not be manufacturing or consumers to deal with, but profit margins tend to be relatively thin, which means that even small mistakes can cause major problems. One of the biggest issues a business can run into is falling behind because of an old fashioned wholesale sales process. Technology moves quickly, everybody else is keeping up with it, so you have to too. Even the things that used to be cutting edge are now obsolete. Obsolete things waste time, and wasted time means lost money. Many of these outdated things can also lead to problems and mistakes that don't happen with new sales software, and some of your customers simply won't do business with a wholesale company that isn't using new technology. Luckily, there is software that can solve all of these problems. Here are a few of the things that you might be doing that can be modernized.
As a member of the B2B industry, you're no doubt trying to find order management software with the ability to give more personal connections to your business customers and partners. Software that makes it easy for your customers and partners is the one you obviously want, and personal portals go a long way toward that goal.
Consumers have grown comfortable purchasing online over the last decade, as advancing technology brings greater access, security, and convenience. While customers are being catered to through mobile apps and website E-commerce optimization, the difference between B2B and B2C ordering is beginning to disappear. B2B wholesale E-commerce ordering resembles B2C ordering more and more.
The main catalyst for this B2B ordering transformation, is cloud-based order management software solutions for wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers. These SaaS solutions are integrated with popular accounting systems like QuickBooks Desktop. Businesses specializing in B2B sales are taking advantage of innovative solutions to upgrade their order management systems, in order to respond to the growing expectations of their customers.
Is it a slow process for your customers to order from your company? This can frustrate customers who have become used to having instant ordering ability in their private lives. These customers see that it's completely possible to make ordering one-click easy, so they are no longer satisfied with the old processes when it comes time to buy in bulk for their companies. It might be time for your B2B e-commerce business to start modernizing the order process.
Here are some things you can do that customers will immediately appreciate:
With the advent of cloud-based technology, wholesale e-commerce is a growing trend for B2B direct purchasing. Overall e-commerce sales in the U.S. alone have been steadily increasing yearly by an average of 15%. According to an InternetRetailer.com article on April 2, 2015:
In a report released today, Forrester Research Inc. forecasts that business-to-business e-commerce sales in the United States will reach $780 billion this year—more than twice the most recent figure of $304.91 billion in U.S. retail e-commerce sales released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, for 2014—and is on course to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.7% until it reaches $1.13 trillion in 2020.
If you are running a wholesale or distribution business and can’t keep up with customer orders or updating information for your team it may be time for you to invest in B2B e-commerce software. Besides deciding what type of software you need, you also must decide what type of IT investment you are ready for and that is where the cloud vs. on-premise software comes in.
No doubt you've heard plenty about the cloud and how it can be the right choice when you are looking for an affordable solution. You've also likely heard about on-premise options and why some find it preferable. Your choice may come down to personal preferences. Nevertheless, you'll want to weigh both options carefully to see what the pros and cons are.
You’ve realized that in order for your B2B wholesale or distribution company to keep growing it’s time to invest in B2B e-commerce software that takes you to the next level. You have customers that want to order online and a sales team that needs more modern tools. There are many turnkey options out there that can get you up and running quickly. But how do you know which one to choose? The software demo is going to be crucial to your buying decision. However, these demo events can be over in a flash.
Here are some things to keep in mind before the demo and questions to ask during the demo to slow things down and elicit the vital information you will need.