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5 Powerful Ways E-Commerce will Grow your Industrial Distribution Business

Why is E-Commerce important to your industrial distribution business?

Purchasing via e-commerce is increasing in the business-to-business (B2B) world. A 2019 report from Forrester Research forecasts that US B2B e-commerce will reach $1.8 trillion and account for 17% of all B2B sales in the US by 2023.

Today's buyers expect the same B2C customer experience from their B2B partners. They are used to having detailed data on everything from product availability and pricing - anything less is quickly becoming dissatisfactory. The “typical” B2B buyer is tech savvy and your sales channels and process should cater to them.

Traditional distributors find their industry is rapidly changing, and the services they were once valued for no longer provide as competitive an advantage as they once did. Adding e-commerce to your selling channels can increase sales volume. Forrester studies show that 60% of B2B companies report that their B2B buyers spend more overall when these customers interact with multiple channels.

How can E-Commerce Grow your Industrial Distribution Business?

1. Improve the Customer Experience

Devising a customized and memorable user experience across channels increases customer satisfaction and loyalty. One way to do that is by creating a website with e-commerce integration which allows your customers to access previous orders, open backorders, past invoices and more, facilitates the buyer experience.

Buyers that can use features that make the shopping experience personalized and easy, such as wish lists, favorites, live chats, and order templates, are more likely to order from your company. These features free up your customer service reps to do more revenue generating work and spend less time looking up order information for customers.

2. Build Customer Trust

E-commerce sites have value for industrial distributors because they easily display many of the products they have including images, specs, details, etc. Most industrial distributors' competitive advantage is wrapped up in their services, timeliness, and other value-added services, and these aspects should be clearly delineated on the website.

By providing online product pages with helpful content, distributors can demonstrate their product knowledge and build trust.

Many industrial distributors provide custom fabrication services (such as building power units, manifolds, control panels) and cannot price everything they sell on an e-commerce page. However, an e-commerce site can provide examples of fabrications and include images, manufacturer specifications, and a Request a Quote option. The best way to attract more website traffic is to back every product you produce with more content and more helpful guidance.

3. Grow Your Business

As distributors expand their online presence, it becomes easier to tap into new markets. An integrated E-commerce solution can help grow your business by increasing the visibility of your products and services, allowing you to expand your market range.

Shoppers now search online via mobile devices about 50% of the time, so it's important to have mobile-friendly versions of your websites to provide a smooth buying experience. Google is also giving more weight to mobile with new algorithm updates, awarding and penalizing sites according to their responsiveness. An E-commerce solution provider that is experienced in your marketplace will understand how your content should be laid out and scaled down on smaller screens.

4. Provide Digital Upselling

An E-commerce website can help you upsell by highlighting promotional items or suggesting products that existing customers are likely to want or need. Providing wish lists and favorites reminds customers about additional items they may want to order.

5. Seamless Data Flow via Integrated Systems

Having an E-commerce site integrated with your ERP business management solution allows for seamless data flow between systems and updated information.

A study by Aberdeen Group, "Customer-Centric ERP: Integrated Systems for Customer Satisfaction", found that the ability to have a more comprehensive, timely and accurate view of inventory availability, order status or cost of selling a product provides organizations with important information that helps them reduce costs and improve revenue.

Aberdeen stated that companies that integrate their back-end ERP systems with e-commerce activities are well positioned to establish such visibility. As a result they enjoy a 90% greater year-over-year increase in annual company revenue and reduce customer care costs by 12% annually, increasing company profitability.

Partnering with the right e-commerce provider facilitates a powerful buyer experience and increases sales.

Aldrich Web Solutions, a provider of integrated e-commerce applications, has partnered with Tribute, Inc. to provide distributors with additional selling channels. Their WebAlliance E-Commerce Suite of products was built specifically for distributors and integrates with TrulinX ERP software for industrial distributors that provide value-added services.

Aldrich's WebAlliance Suite of products will allow you to serve your customers better by:

  • Customer access to past invoices, previous orders, open backorders, and more
  • Wish lists, favorites, and order templates make shopping personalized and easy
  • A Live chat service (included at no additional cost) so you can chat with customers as they shop

Benefits of WebAlliance E-Commerce Suite for TrulinX:

  • Website items populate from your TrulinX data
  • Customer-specific pricing populates from TrulinX data
  • Customers have 24/7 access to view their orders, invoices, account history, and more
  • Website and app orders automatically imported to TrulinX
  • Ongoing support from dedicated staff
  • Easy to use Content Management System with drag-and-drop content editor …and much more!

Now is the time to implement an e-commerce solution integrated with your TrulinX ERP software system to position your company for growth and create customer loyalty.

For more information on WebAlliance E-Commerce Suite of Products for TrulinX software, visit Aldrich Web Solutions E-Commerce Website for TrulinX Software.

Author

Nina Baker

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Tribute, Inc. is a provider of ERP business management software for distributors and system integrators in the fluid power, hose, motion control, automation, fluid handling & pump industry who provide value-added services.