Have you decided that you’re unwilling to risk the success of your business by sticking with the status quo? If so, it’s time to start researching what a best in class solution looks like and how to find one that will fulfill your needs in a cost-effective way.
Your individual priorities may differ, but the list below can help you get started in the right direction.
Web & Mobile Ordering Platforms
Start with what you know about wholesale buyers. 69% of buyers are already using online ordering and 57% of buyers not yet ordering online are interested in doing so. Furthermore, 40% of buyers want to order using a mobile application.
A new system that doesn’t offer both web and mobile capabilities should be a non-starter from the perspective of your current customers, and prospects you hope to acquire in the future.
Purpose-Built for Foodservice
Not all online and mobile ordering systems are built equal - in fact, one of the easiest mistakes you can make is to implement a one size fits all solution not specifically built to support and improve the things you do every day.
For example, a best-in-class B2B eCommerce system should at least support:
- Fully customizable catalogs and order guides for each customer
- Order minimums, delivery fees and dates, and order cut-off time notifications
- Inventory management, order management, and order check-ins
- Deals, promotions, volume discounts, catch weights and custom pricing
This is just scratching the surface of the many features that a B2C system designed for retail selling may not support, but that are critical to running your business.
Either you may not be ready to switch to a new system entirely, or, you may want to use a new eCommerce platform alongside an existing (e.g. ERP) system. Before you decide on a new system, ensure that it will integrate and supplement your existing one and make your day-to-day workflows easier and more efficient.
The integrations do not need to be extensive, as long as you can get your data into and out of the two systems.
Ease of use
Many of the reasons wholesale buyers love mobile and online ordering systems can be summarized as ease of use. Think about it - a mobile and online system is always available, and is self-serve, meaning a buyer doesn’t have to call, text, email, or fax in an order. Instead, they can simply log in via a computer or mobile phone, place an order, and be on their way. If needed, buyers can use the chat functionality built into the system to communicate with a supplier or a sales rep.
Ease of use goes beyond that with features such as:
- being able to browse and search large catalogs
- set up recurring orders
- be on top of delivery dates and times
- check-in orders and manage credits
- and many more!
As we mentioned, key decision-making criteria will vary depending on individual business needs. Making a list of what features are most important to you will help you narrow down your options.
What does a best-in-class B2B eCommerce solution look like to you? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org (or comment below) and let us know!