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Wholesale B2B eCommerce

Outdated Ordering Systems Hurt Wholesale Food Distributors

Written by
Rianna Greenfield

The usual ordering experience for most B2B buyers is inconvenient and there is a lot of room for improvement. Let’s start by taking an honest look at your buyers’ current ordering process, and then compare it to how adopting a modern B2B eCommerce solution can help your elevate your customers’ experience. 

Step 1: Using The Dreaded Paper Catalog

It all starts with an incomplete, outdated, and cumbersome paper catalog. Most buyers who switched to BlueCart’s B2B eCommerce platform tell us that they previously stuck to ordering the same exact products week in and week out because there was no way for them to search for and discover new products. Additionally, these buyers felt frustrated because they did not have access to thorough product information or up-to-date pricing that would help them try new products. 

Even when ordering the same products over and over again, buyers are dependent on a sales rep functioning as an order taker. They have to call during business hours, and hope they’re able to connect with the sales rep, just to place an order. Otherwise, the game of cat-and-mouse begins: you call and get the voicemail, you leave a message and wait for a callback. Or, your sales rep calls the customer back, hoping they can connect with the buyer outside of the busy lunch or dinner rush hours. 

Step 2: Missing Important Post-Sale Information

Next, after the buyer is able to connect with a sales rep, there are still the questions of order cut-off time, delivery date and time, order minimums, promotions, volume discounts… the list goes on and on. 

All of these variables can change at a moments notice, often taking sales reps and customers by surprise. Without having access to up-to-date information, your reps are left in the dark when it comes to critical parts of the ordering process, and your buyers may miss out on great deals.

Step 3: Dealing With Delivery and Order Uncertainty 

Finally, once the order is placed, the customer can only hope that the order was taken correctly over the phone and that the items will be delivered on time. Without a digital order confirmation, or the ability to monitor and track the delivery process, the buyer is left in the dark until their order arrives. Once it does, they must manually receive it, check it against a purchase order, and if there are any errors, go through the long process of returning and requesting a refund or credit.

When you think about how inconvenient the customer purchasing experience is, it's not surprising that wholesale food distributors are adopting B2B eCommerce solutions at such a rapid pace. Your buyers want to give you their business, but if someone else makes it easier and more convenient for them, you can’t blame them for switching suppliers. In fact, over 70% of B2B customers have said they would switch vendors if another company provided a better, more seamless digital experience. Knowing this, why wouldn’t you adopt a B2B eCommerce solution for your business?

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