More and more companies are selling their products on their website. If you don’t have a robust connected E-Commerce application to your front-end accounting/ERP system, your company is at a great disadvantage. In today’s marketplace, customers want a rewarding and fast experience of buying the correct product from your site. If there is confusion, or out of stock items, or a lack-luster online storefront, buyers will just move on to your competition.
Supply chain challenges, especially ongoing ones, make it tough for businesses to split their focus between addressing those issues and implementing or optimizing their e-commerce experiences. As a result, those who do already serve buyers online are worried about keeping their customers happy, aware that buyers’ opinion of their suppliers is impacted by the quality and reliability of service and fulfillment.
Customer experience (CX), trust, and relationships are, unsurprisingly therefore, among the top focus areas for manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers. And it makes sense. Supply chain channel partners that rely on each other and on the stability of their long-term customer relationships for their business success would, naturally, have a laser focus on keeping those relationships strong and intact.
Knowing your customers and delivering the best customer experience is more important than ever. To understand how to capitalize on revenue, no matter the channel, it’s not enough to just get your business online. You have to master the kind of e-commerce experiences your customers want. But if you’re facing hurdles, this may be more of a challenge.
Sana Commerce (a proven E-Commerce Solutions provider) has identified 3 Key Challenges Affecting Distributors to be watchful for:
CHALLENGE #1: ORDER ERRORS AND DATA INACCURACY
Despite largely wanting to engage and buy online, B2B buyers are often being hindered by inaccuracies in data and online order errors with their vendors. As mentioned before, if your buyers do not have an engaging and accurate transaction, they will just move onto your competitors site. In addition you may loose a customer for the long term. It is critical, then, to have a seamless and real time connection between your ERP/Accounting system and E-Commerce solution. Anything else will open your online business up to failed commerce along with annoyed buyers.
CHALLENGE #2: LACK OF SYSTEMS INTEGRATION, MULTIPLE DATABASES
Whether it’s a lack of sufficiently modern technology or a reluctance to embrace new ideas and processes, most B2B organizations feel that holdovers from the past are the two main obstacles they face in their journey toward digitization.
A “Best-In-Breed” ERP-integrated solution ensures that your web store always populates real time data, like product and inventory information. It also uses your ERP system as a single, central data hub or “single source of truth” to minimize data maintenance and eliminate data silos entirely.
CHALLENGE #3: DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER SALES
The third and final challenge is in many ways also an opportunity: expansion into direct-to-consumer (D2C) sales. While many manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers worry that D2C sales are tightening competition among them, it also offers a huge advantage to the vendors who can successfully expand into a D2C business model.
For B2B organizations, the battle to take the biggest share of D2C profits has begun. B2B e-commerce has enabled this growth in direct-to-consumer sales, which has presented a new revenue opportunity and stream for many B2B organizations. Beyond these new opportunities, however, even without expansion into new business models or revenue streams, B2B businesses can still benefit plenty from investing in an online sales channel. In fact, B2B businesses that are already taking advantage of E-Commerce systems have experienced major benefits.
On average, according to research from Sana Commerce, has seen ROI within the first year, a 22% increase in revenue growth, and a 21% increase in profitability. 91% also say that their e-commerce solution has improved sales order process efficiency.
Get the complete document and download the Supply Chain and E-Commerce Guide for Manufacturers, Distributors and Wholesalers