In a recent blog post, we shared the story of an industrial distributor whose own sales staff finds their online catalogue so hard to use that they’re telling customers to go to a competitor’s website to find what they want and then call them back!
Managers at industrial distributors will piggyback on the obvious error of sending a customer to a competitor’s website to point out, “You asked them to CALL you?!”
Fact: the people that will be driving the industry in the next 20 years are Millennials.
Shocking fact: Millennials are between the ages of 22-40 in 2022. A recent highlights a painful truth; Millennials hate talking on the phone, and more than 2/3s of them would rather shop online than in-store.
Distributors, most of these people don’t want to talk to you, and they don’t want to come to your store.
Meeting your customers where they are, and how they’d like to be interacted with, rather than making them come to you is simply good business. Not just for distributors, but for the whole industry.
It’s shocking to us that trades like welding are so full of cutting-edge tech (robotics, cobotics, etc.), yet have a sourcing and procurement system that really hasn’t changed since 1997.
Nikki Noble, Director of Welding and Professor at Lambton College chatted with us at our booth at Fabtech Canada and let us know that “…adding more online tools will help to make skilled trades more appealing to young people”
So as a distributor, how are you bringing value to your customers? Hiring more sales staff to increase your presence in the market? That’s not very cost-effective. Also, it’s hard to scale, and that strategy still won’t help you with the smaller independent companies, as they are hard to maintain relationships with.
In 2022 sourcing products is literally taking contractors hours a day of searching through a myriad of poorly maintained websites, old-school paper catalogues, and <gasp> calling and talking to people on an order desk.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you HAVE to be online and you HAVE to do something more effective than your competition.
ClearSource offers a turnkey digital e-commerce solution for industrial supply distributors to have a fully realized e-commerce solution with RFQ capability.
Customers can quickly find, source, request a quote, and order without anyone on your staff having to maintain your e-commerce store!
Customers can retrieve their own past receipts at tax time, saving your order desk time and effort. We’ll also help you understand their purchasing patterns to give you powerful business intelligence that can drive meaningful, profitable change into your daily activities. Most importantly, you’ll have exposure to an even larger market so you can grow your business.
If you’re a distributor trying to sort out e-commerce, please reach out. We’re here to help!