How can Distributors Compete Against Amazon?
Amazon has become a formidable force in our marketplace, disrupting business strategies the world over. This has placed a particularly heavy burden on traditional distributors, who often don’t know where to begin in developing an online presence. And who can blame them? The internet is inundated with eCommerce sites, and until recently, eCommerce platforms could only be implemented through expensive, complicated in-house projects.
However, there’s been a radical shift in eCommerce as several vendors, including Magento, have made it possible for companies of any size to launch business on the web. While manufacturers are beginning to make strides in adopting this software to conduct online B2B transactions, distributors remain painfully behind. In this post, we explain how distributors can implement eCommerce to widen their influence in their industry.
Make Online Shopping Fast and Easy
Ultimately, companies want a fast, easy B2B shopping experience, but these often fall short of online B2C transactions. Building a robust eCommerce site that meets customer expectations entails a careful consideration of your clients’ needs and online standards by using data and your software’s functionality. We’ve compiled some of the crucial features necessary for a website that drives traffic and revenue:
- Shipping: Customers want options, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to shipping. Some want your product ASAP, while others can wait til the next week. Include an array of shipping options to meet each buyer’s needs. Also, include order tracking to keep consumers aware of shipping progress.
- Site functionality: Visitors to your website won’t stay long if they can’t find what they’re looking for. Magento eCommerce helps users maintain a functional site by providing customizable templates. These enable businesses to easily organize their website and provide a cohesive, enjoyable experience. It’s also critical to include a search feature on your eCommerce platform. Depending on your merchandise, you might want to offer advanced search categories that allow visitors to drill down into colors or other specifics to get them to the right product quickly.
- Customer service: Distributors can’t create a site without including some form of customer service. With artificial intelligence gaining prevalence in enterprise technology, sites are increasingly employing chatbots that can automatically answer basic queries or get visitors in touch with professionals. At the very least, distributors must include easy-to-find contact information and forms throughout their online store.
Website platforms are becoming more sophisticated than ever as customer expectations are increasing. This makes it imperative for distributors to leverage eCommerce tools to craft functional, interactive websites.
Distinguish Your Business
The worst thing a distributor can do is try to mimic Amazon; you can’t take on the eCommerce giant. But, you can win over buyers with specified needs by capitalizing on what sets you apart from Amazon and distributors in your industry. That especially goes for value-added distributors. Make your added services and expertise loud and clear throughout your site to tell the world that you’re the best at what you do.
Content comes into play big time here. Don’t just post your products without context. Provide landing pages, downloads and a blog to highlight each product as well as your services. This is also how you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Show online shoppers that you know the industry inside and out. A thoughtful content strategy doesn’t just prove your expertise; it boosts your SEO ranking, driving more traffic to your website. Craft messages using strong keywords that are relevant for your target audience to bring them to your site and convert them into your next customers.
Integrate eCommerce with ERP
We mentioned earlier that building a quality online store requires using data, but what data? In the age of big data, distributors struggle to drill into massive amounts of information. The key to getting the most from your data is integrating your enterprise platforms into a single source of truth. Magento eCommerce is powered with business intelligence (BI) tools that automatically generate reports that analyze the performance of your website, campaigns and promotions. This insight enables businesses to make smarter strategies that improve customer attainment and retention.
But distributors often operate their systems separately, resulting in information silos and inefficiencies. Connecting eCommerce and ERP into one platform eliminates duplicate data by automatically syncing information between the two systems. This means that data is automatically updated throughout the entire enterprise, maintaining accuracy at all times. Plus, eCommerce orders are immediately available in the ERP system to get orders ready and shipped to customers in no time. An ERP-eCommerce integration improves speed and precision to drive optimal customer experiences.
It’s not easy to stay up with the fast changes in our digital environment, but sophisticated software solutions certainly help distributors modernize their processes and customer journeys. To position customers at the center of your distribution enterprise, it’s critical to launch an eCommerce site. Datix, an eCommerce expert, knows all the tips and tricks to get your online store up-and-running to become a top seller in your industry. Our 20 years of experience with distributors equip us to provide premium software solutions that steer your business in the right direction.
On top of that, Datix also creates premier enterprise integration solutions. Unity is our landmark integration platform designed to connect Epicor ERP with an array of software, including Magento eCommerce, to form one seamless platform. Our experienced consultants provide fast, simple deployments and take care of configurations, customizations, updates and errors once the system has gone live. There’s no easier way to run your enterprise.
To make your distribution company a fierce competitor in the digital age, contact Datix today for our robust enterprise software services and solutions!