Opportunity is high for B2B e-commerce, according to the eighth-annual MDM distribution e-commerce survey conducted with Real Results Marketing
Sales Channel Strategy
Even multichannel by itself isn’t enough to keep up with customers’ changing shopping and buying preferences.
Traditionally focused on field sales, distributors have not historically been strong in marketing capabilities. But as customer demographics change, how distributors market has become increasingly critical to long-term survival. Because if distributors don’t keep pace with how customers want to shop and buy – which is largely electronic – they’ll lose ground against the competition.
What’s the difference between omnichannel and multichannel? The difference is subtle: Omnichannel is really an integrated version of multichannel. In other words, the customer’s experience is the same no matter how they interact with your business.
Each distributor must strike the right balance to meet their customers’ needs. The risk is too great to get the resource allocation between field sales, inside sales, customer service reps and electronic channels wrong. No distributor can afford to use a one-size-fits-all strategy anymore.
As the world of distribution continues to shift to digital, the way that customers want distributors to communicate with them is shifting as well. To gain a better understanding of these changes, Real Results Marketing has surveyed more than 10,000 of distributors’ customers across diverse sectors and geographies. The goal of this ongoing Shopping and Buying Survey is to gain a fuller understanding of how customers want to shop and buy by asking the customers themselves.
Jonathan Bein, managing partner of Real Results Marketing, spoke with Lindsay Young on the 3 Aspens Media podcast, Attract. Engage. Grow., about the importance of understanding what your customers want.
Most distribution companies take a similar approach to touting their position in the supply chain, with 80 to 90 percent of distributors believing their value proposition contains at least one of the following attributes: product selection and availability, speed of delivery and pre-sales or post-sales expertise.
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.