Distributors with strong digital sales capabilities are growing rapidly and gaining market share during this pandemic.

Serving your customers and meeting business objectives during this extended crisis requires a strong digital sales strategy. eCommerce capabilities are a ‘must have’ when social interactions have to be minimized and in the long-term eCommerce will be a required option for buyers to do business with you as part of the new normal.

Second Phase, A Billtrust Solution, has identified the top requirements to look for in an eCommerce solution during these uncertain times to serve your customers and drive sales now and into the future:

  1. Turnkey Solution. Especially at this time, you need a webstore that is quick to turnaround, eliminates hardware requirements, and is built on a common,
    extensible, and always-up-to-date architecture. Your platform must be easily customized for the unique needs of your business, should support existing functionality, serve B2B and B2C customers, and be easy to manage.
  2. Online Ordering. With social distancing still prescribed, this is the most obvious benefit to eCommerce, but not all B2B sites are created equal. Sites should allow buyers to order/reorder in the ways that best work for them including Quickbuy (project procurement), Quickpad (BOM reorder), punchout, file or P.O. import, or product configurators (supply chain data transfer).
  3. Mobile Options. Apps are preferred by some buyers because they are ideal for scanning barcodes, searching by voice, viewing maps of nearby branches and receiving push notifications. Apps should also support online ordering/reordering, account management, quoting, shipping and tax calculators, etc.
  4. Product information management (PIM). A robust PIM is the most valuable resource for distributors carrying 10,000s to 1M SKUs in good times or bad. It is the framework from which your operations become more efficient and your customers receive a more valuable experience.
  5. Quoting and Pricing. During uncertain times, some buyers may want to negotiate prices on high-ticket items. You need a system that emphasizes customized pricing, bidding and quoting, rule-based product groups for daily project purchases, and deal promotions.
  6. Intelligent search. Your customers need to be able to easily find product SKUs and information they need 24/7 without help from a sales rep.
  7. Payment workflows. Some buyers may need to pay in installments while others may prefer to pay upfront for recurring orders. Tight integration with your Infor SX.eERP supports these payment options, workflow approvals, and more.
  8. Flexible Discounting. Being more open to discounts and pricing minimums can be important at this time. Your webstore should provide flexible pricing and promotion capabilities for you to offer individual customers or groups.
  9. Automatic Product Recommendations. Innovative eCommerce should include AI-based tools that automatically display what buyers need more readily, which increases opportunities for upsell and cross-sell, drives sales, and boosts average order value.
  10. Advanced Digital Marketing. Advanced digital marketing tools are necessary to both support your current customers and grow your business. eCommerce should be integrated with advanced SEO, social media and email tools as well as providing website alerts and notifications.
  11. Remote Sales Management. Distributors need tools for salespeople to continue to serve your customers, build relationships and improve reliability as a supplier — even while they work from home.
  12. Live chat. To deliver timely and personal responses to our buyers 24/7 or during a limited set of business hours.
  13. Security. Your webstore must offer high availability and redundancy and be highly secure because hackers are often more active during crises.

The ability for distributors to stay competitive in the future calls for smart digital strategies designed to meet the unique demands of your buyers. Second Phase and NSA bring together the technological power and know-how to help you with digital strategy and eCommerce success. Second Phase has more than 18 years of experience serving distributors and manufacturers exclusively and provides the only complete eCommerce, PIM, and mobile app solution that is seamlessly integrated with Infor SX.e.

Learn more: https://www.secondphase.net/contactus/

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