Wholesale food suppliers who implement and use B2B eCommerce platforms are seeing tremendous benefits that are revolutionizing the customer experience in a number of ways. What problems can an eCommerce solution solve for you?
Eliminate Paper Catalogs
First, B2B eCommerce can help you eliminate the dreaded paper catalog from your company’s list of sales collateral. As you know, your products and pricing are always changing, and it is expensive to continue to print and mail updated catalogs to your customers. However, this expense and process is a necessary evil because you need your customers to have an up-to-date catalog so they can discover and order new products from you.
Thankfully a B2B eCommerce solution, like BlueCart, comes equipped with digital catalog software that can be used to house your extensive lists of products with high-resolution photos, product descriptions, related product recommendations, recipes, and always up-to-date pricing. Furthermore, digitizing your catalog gives you the ability to easily personalize the catalog for each customer, along with custom order guides, buyer-specific pricing and promotions, and more.
Not only does this make your life easy because you can add, remove, or update products and prices anytime. It also makes it incredibly easy for your buyers to search and discover new products from the convenience of their smartphones or computers. It’s no surprise that digital catalogs get buyers to purchase more products and increase their average order size.
What's more, your customers can jump-start new orders by taking advantage of advanced functionality such as order history. This saves them the hassle of starting a new order from scratch every time but gives them the flexibility to add or remove items as necessary.
Error-free Ordering And Hassle-free Returns
When you eliminate the need for a sales rep to function as an order taker, you also eliminate the mistakes that can occur when a sales rep takes an order over the phone, then manually inputs it into an ERP system. Mistakes can happen simply because a sales rep mishears a buyer, or hears correctly but writes it down incorrectly, or they simply make a mistake when entering items into the fulfillment system.
Digitizing the ordering process and making it self-service through an online ordering system or mobile app for buyers takes the sales rep out of the equation and frees their time to do more important and more impactful things for your business. It also gives your buyer confidence knowing that their order was inputted correctly and they will get the products they want. Not only this, but your customers will have pricing transparency upfront and know exactly when their order will be delivered. Furthermore, buyers are able to use both product notes and order notes functionalities to give specific instructions to you about an individual product in an order, or the whole order (for example, please deliver at the freight entrance).
Now, let’s imagine a mistake did happen, like a product is out of stock after an order is placed. Or, maybe your customer changed their mind after placing a mobile or online order. With a B2B eCommerce platform, your sales reps can simply edit an order, or issue a refund or credit, using a built-in returns functionality. This makes it easy for both parties to stay in the loop and know exactly which items are being returned and how much money will be refunded or credited.
An Always-on Communication Channel
Sometimes, the ordering process isn’t as simple as adding an item to cart and going through the checkout process. In these instances, it can be frustrating for your buyer to find the time to call and connect with a sales rep to get their questions answered. Take a moment to think back to the general B2B buyers’ ordering process, and the annoyance surrounding missed calls, voicemail, and playing phone tag. If neither your customers or sales reps want to deal with that during ordering, then it goes without saying that they don’t want the hassle later on in the process, either.
With a best-in-class B2B eCommerce solution, you don’t have to worry about communication delays. Modern systems have built-in messaging functionality that consolidates all communication between a buyer and a sales rep and ensures questions and concerns are addressed in a timely fashion and nothing slips through the cracks.
Buyers can ask questions as they explore your catalog or during the checkout process, and your sales reps can answer those questions without breaking a sweat, from the convenience of their smartphones. This always-on communication can help your sales reps sell more efficiently while exposing customers’ to new product lines and growing average cart sizes.
Stand Out In A Changing Industry
The wholesale food distribution industry is one of the most competitive markets to succeed in. According to Forrester Research, nearly 15% of U.S. B2B sales are forecasted to be placed using online channels by 2021. By adopting cutting-edge technologies that provide your customers with a simple and convenient purchasing experience, you are helping to ensure customer loyalty, and guaranteeing business success by making your wholesale distribution company stand out against the competition.