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Wholesale B2B eCommerce

5 Easy Ways to Increase Profits in Food Distribution

Written by
Rianna Greenfield

As you are well aware, there is a monumental change happening in the foodservice distribution industry as buyers are demanding tech forward eCommerce solutions. Companies are working to meet this need, and in doing so, are identifying great ways to increase their profitability in the changing wholesale distribution landscape.

What are some methods you can implement to grow your business’s revenue?

1. Say no to paper

Suppliers incur a decent amount of costs associated with printing and mailing paper catalogs, order forms, invoices, and even marketing collateral. Furthermore, every time you make a change, you have to go through the process of making the modification, reprinting, and mailing the new materials to your customers. These actions all lead to unnecessary expenses.

Not only is digitizing these parts of your business incredibly easy and cost-effective, your buyers actually want you to go digital and strongly believe it provides them with a better experience. Digital catalogs are easy for you to update any time you want to add new products or change pricing, and they’re easy for your customers to search and browse. Similarly, digital purchase orders and invoices are easy to send, reconcile, and archive.

2. Do it once, and do it right

The problem with the traditional order taking process is that once you’ve taken the order, whether by phone, fax, text, or email, someone needs to reenter the order into your ERP or fulfillment system. This increases the chance of errors and creates unnecessary labor costs for your business. We’ve heard countless suppliers lament, “my sales reps have become order takers!”

By transitioning to a B2B eCommerce system that integrates with your ERP or fulfillment system, not only do you eliminate the labor costs of order reentry, but you also minimize order entry errors and let your sales reps build long-lasting relationships with their customers.

3. A personalized experience, made easy

A common issue for suppliers using outdated sales methods is the ability to offer custom catalogs and exclusive deals. Your buyers want a unique and personalized ordering experience, and unfortunately, you will not be able to provide this with old industry practices.

Adopting a mobile and online ordering solution will provide your sales team with the tools needed to effectively create custom catalogs and promote exclusive savings to their customers. In addition to keeping current buyers happy, your company will have the opportunity to attract new customers by offering savings on their most purchased products.

4. Re-think your customer service approach

B2B eCommerce technologies have changed the way consumers interact with businesses. Are you able to provide your buyers with a quick and convenient transactional or customer service experience or are your outdated processes slowing you down?

When you adopt a mobile and online ordering solution, you are gaining not only valuable communication tools, but also a set of features designed to make the ordering process seamless and transparent.

For instance, an all-in-one communication platform makes it easy for your sales reps to:

  • Eliminate time-consuming phone tag or back and forth texting during off-hours
  • Nurture and maintain relationships with new and current customers with in-app messaging
  • Navigate the sales process from end-to-end with options to review, update, or modify orders, and suggest new products
  • Provide best-in-class customer support

The changes happening in the B2B distribution industry are exciting and can lead to a number of opportunities for your company to increase profitability. These are just a few examples of the many changes your company can make to be successful in the evolving wholesale environment.

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