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B2B eCommerce & Customer Loyalty in Wholesale Food

Rianna Greenfield
Monday, May 27, 2019
Table of Contents

Most of the time when we talk about B2B eCommerce, we talk about current and future business. However, it can be effective in bringing back buyers who were your customers but stopped ordering. Have you ever wondered why some customers just disappear on you? Sure, it’s easy to tell when a customer leaves for a supplier offering a wider selection of products or cheaper pricing and deeper discounts. But what about those customers you never hear back from?

Why Do Customers Leave?

Based on our conversations with dozens of customers using BlueCart’s B2B eCommerce Platform for wholesale food distributors, there are a few main reasons why customers stop ordering (not including product selection and pricing):

  1. It is easier and more convenient to browse the product catalog and order from competitors
  2. It is easier to get in touch with and communicate with competitors’ sales reps
  3. There is more visibility into the ordering, delivery, and fulfillment process, with competitors

Ultimately what all of this boils down to is that most of these competitors are using a B2B eCommerce platform, coupled with mobile apps for sales reps and their buyers. As a result, they can offer conveniences such as digital catalogs, online and mobile ordering, order and delivery tracking, and live chat functionality with sales reps. Compared to a supplier not offering the aforementioned conveniences, it’s easy to see why a buyer would just disappear on you.

Make Low Volume Accounts Profitable

Not only do B2B eCommerce platforms help you attract inactive customers and encourage them to start placing orders again, but they are helpful in turning low-volume and unprofitable customers into high transacting buyers. Many of our distributors use their mobile and online ordering systems as marketing platforms, routinely running sales and promotions via their BlueCart accounts. For example, you can send promotional emails or push notifications to clients, or embed sales banners on their checkout page. By being able to offer an exclusive deal to low-transacting buyers, like 15% off their order, you are more likely to turn these accounts into profitable customers again.

But what about the accounts that, no matter what you or your sales reps do, just aren’t “worth it” to service? For instance, these customers may be too low-volume for your sales reps to dedicate time to, or, it may not be profitable for you to deliver to them because they have such a lower average order size than your more engaged buyers. When you offer self-service eCommerce options to these customers, your reps can focus their attention on more profitable accounts. Furthermore, delivering smaller orders suddenly become more lucrative thanks to advanced delivery route management software.

If you’re behind the curve on adopting modern technologies for your customers, all hope is not lost. Implementing a B2B eCommerce platform has never been easier, or more cost-effective. Many of our wholesale distributor customers have told us that after they started using BlueCart, previously disengaged and inactive customers came back and started ordering from them again, and only online and through the mobile app. All they had to do was let these buyers know they were now offering online and mobile ordering, and the rest was history.