Wholesale Distribution Trend 2018: Growing a commerce ecosystem
As we move quickly into 2018, we are seeing more and more B2B sellers investing in eCommerce technology so that they can provide the same easy ordering and frictionless customer experience that online retailers enjoy.
As B2B businesses move towards a more online retail approach, there are a few trends B2B businesses should take advantage of in order to build their wholesale ecosystem and stay competitive. These trends include producing supplier-agnostic content, utilizing social selling, creating transparent pricing, having real-time customer service, creating enhanced buying, streamlining shipping processes and enabling real-time payments.
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In 2018, wholesalers will be able to create commerce ecosystems that are stronger than ever: online wholesale stores will become increasingly discoverable through search engines, price negotiations could happen in real time rather than taking days, and the ordering process will take place virtually using online catalogs and payment gateways.
B2B customers typically aren’t looking for a specific brand but instead are seeking information to solve a problem. Supplier-agnostic content refers to brand content that brings prospects into your sales funnel by providing valuable information and earning their trust. Providing supplier-agnostic content on your wholesale website is a great way to bring buyers in whilst educating them on the problem they are experiencing.
Did you know that 72% of B2B salespeople who are active on social media outperform their competitors? Nowadays, to be successful, wholesalers need to focus on solving problems, asking questions, and forging personal relationships rather than simply delivering a sales pitch. Utilizing social media to push out content and promotions can drive lead generation and build your brand’s awareness.
Transparent pricing and product information is the number one factor in encouraging repeat B2B orders. B2B sellers need to focus on building a pricing structure that is straightforward and honest (no hidden tricks or fees). Having transparent pricing also allows you to build trust with your customers.
Real-time customer service
B2B customers should be able to get the information they need from a real person in a timely manner. This means providing customer service through live chats, website, mobile, and even giving customers the option for self-service. Great customer service can go along way, by enabling you to have long-time customers.
As it applies for all types of customers, B2B customers want the buying process to be straightforward and hassle-free. A B2B businesses’ online store or catalog needs to have advanced product search and filter functionality so that customers can easily find the products they are looking for. Customers should also have regular updates on their order status once a purchase is made. This advanced customer experience is becoming more and more common in the B2B market.
All wholesalers should aim to improve their shipping support for their customers. Enabling split shipments (such as fulfilling and stocking up on items while others are back ordered), and separating invoices for orders and shipments, can go a long way as it allows businesses to more accurately track their accounts receivables.
As international buying grows, so does the need for streamlined B2B payment technologies. Setting up a real-time online B2B payment system provides a more sophisticated customer experience, which includes immediate transaction statuses and a faster payment process.
As demonstrated above, technology has and will continue to have a huge impact on B2B sellers’ commerce ecosystem. Technology has enabled B2B sellers to have commerce ecosystems that are stronger than ever!
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