Today's B2C or B2B customers want it all. They want fast shipping, or free shipping, ready product availability and to purchase products however and wherever they would like. As a distributor, you face a choice—you can either deliver what consumers want or lose business as people vote with their wallets.
What is the perfect customer experience today that will give your distribution business the competitive edge? The key is omnichannel commerce, which simply means delivering a truly consistent shopping experience regardless of where the consumer chooses to engage a retailer or supplier. A perfect order made through omnichannel commerce will be shipped for free within a day or two, accurate, complete, damage-free, easily returned, and competitively priced.
To succeed in an omnichannel world, your business needs fully-integrated wholesale distribution software that connects all of your core business systems—from supply chain, CRM, retail channels, financials, inventory, to other processes. However, most Australian companies still struggle and lose productivity with fragmented data silos that don't share information and can't automatically pass an order from one point to the next.
Your wholesale distribution business needs NetSuite's omnichannel suite. You can manage your entire business through a single SaaS platform. All of your business data is connected. With NetSuite, you can meet the demands of 21st century consumers while improving your efficiency and adding to your bottom line. Now that's truly transformational.
The traditional model of distribution is rapidly changing. Today, B2B customers increasingly act like consumers and want self-service tools that give them instant access to product information through their mobile devices. Many consumers are beginning to buy directly from wholesalers and manufacturers through easy-to-use ecommerce websites.
How can distribution businesses meet the demands of 21st century customers? Here are a few keys to optimising your wholesale distribution business for today's constantly evolving landscape.
Australian wholesale distributors are dragging their feet when it comes to adopting ecommerce. Despite 75 percent of businesses wanting to grow their ecommerce channel, only 10 percent are currently able to receive orders directly online.1 As an Australian distributor, it's important to recognise that B2B buyers are increasingly tech-savvy.
Millennials are moving up into procurement and management roles vacated by retiring Baby Boomers. They shop on their iPads and smartphones and expect highly informative, content-rich and fully-functional ecommerce websites that allow them to transact easily in one place at any time. This generational shift is happening right now and will speed up over the next five years as the last of the Baby Boomers retire. Wholesale distributors must stop treating ecommerce sites as "add ons" and, instead, view ecommerce as the critical hub of their businesses.
1 Frost & Sullivan, Making the Web the Centrepiece of Your Organisation Report
Along with convenience and rich functionality, buyers want information—lots of information—and they want it right now. Today's consumers research online and they appreciate credible content that helps them make decisions. Provide this content for them through your ecommerce website and consumers will be much more likely to trust and purchase from you.
Rich, online content offers more benefits to your business as well. It increases your website's credibility with search engines, leading to higher search engine rankings and more organic search traffic. Online content can also boost your social media and email marketing efforts. All of these activities work together as you push out great content and build a reputation as a resource for valuable, trusted information in your market.
Distributors must create opportunities and nurture relationships with their B2B customers and partners. Why not offer your suppliers opportunities to communicate with and connect to your end customers? Everything you do should be aimed at making business easier for your suppliers.
So you have the attention of your customers, but how do you keep it? You must constantly experiment to increase customer loyalty. So dream big, and be sure you have a platform that can grow and scale quickly, offering you the chance to implement new solutions as your business grows.
Running a successful wholesale distribution business in Australia requires keeping pace with changes in technology, the economy, workforce demographics, customer needs, pricing models, and much more. These challenges often put smaller, independent distributors at a disadvantage to national or international operations. With limited resources, independents may suffer from poor inventory management, outdated technology, insufficient finances to support growth, and the like. But it doesn't have to be this way.
NetSuite levels the playing field with QuickStart. For a fixed fee and scope, Australian wholesale distributors with up to 10 users can get up and running with cloud ERP typically within three months. With fast and easy implementation, independents can realise the benefits of a modern cloud ERP solution quicker to accelerate time to market, lower costs and compete against larger players. NetSuite scales with your business so you stay ahead of the curve.