Print is not as universal as it once was (though it’s still very relevant for some customers), and even in-person sales rep visits, long considered the gold standard of customer-relationship building in distribution, are declining in popularity in today’s efficiency-driven market. In fact, 20 percent of customers we surveyed said they want a sales rep to visit no more than once a year, and a surprising 15 percent don’t want any visit, ever.
Amazon continues to build share into traditional distribution channels. Their obsession for the customer experience raises the bar high for suppliers – distributors and manufacturers – whether you sell through them or not.
With all of these websites, how can your site stand out from the competition? Why would someone choose to click on a link to your site? About 90 perfect of Google traffic comes from page one placement in search results. Conversely, less than 10 percent click on the second page of the search results. At this point, it may sound daunting to even think about getting on the first page of Google’s search results. Fear not! Read on to learn how a distributor’s website can be a formidable presence within Google search results.
Nearly 45 percent of distributors’ customers we surveyed want the ability to request a chat with a customer service rep online (see Exhibit 1). We expect that number to grow as chat becomes more common and Millennials gain increased purchasing responsibility. Even now, many customers are more comfortable communicating via chat than on the phone – in part because it can be more efficient.
Shopping happens before the transaction; it includes finding, researching and selecting a product, but not buying or purchasing the product. Make no mistake: It is important to be easy to order from. But a customer’s shopping experience is a distributor’s real opportunity to differentiate.
Distributor priorities for e-commerce investment continued to evolve in 2017. In our latest research, improving customer experience and increasing the frequency of website transactions and usage were noted as the top e-commerce priorities in our survey of 300 distributors and manufacturers.
This article examines the initial results of the 2018 State of E-Commerce in Distribution Survey and how the industry’s e-commerce offerings are maturing. Subsequent reporting will examine the changes and additional topics in more detail.
While distributors are growing their use of digital vehicles, it may not be quickly enough. Many still rely on trade shows, print flyers and branch-based events despite customers’ decreasing preference for these channels.
This article examines how distributors across sectors approach marketing, what they consider the most effective channels to be and the frequency with which they conduct their different marketing vehicles.
We have talked to many distributors who are still determining whether to offer an e-commerce store front or not. We hear common themes in the reasons for not pursuing e-commerce.