Wholesale customer experience
In an ideal world, there would be no waiting, no queues, and instant gratification. You buy something, and it arrives. Every day, we hear of Amazon trying different ways to making buying easier. From delivery drones, to ‘dash’ buttons for toilet paper, to buying a chain of stores like Whole foods, Amazon is trying and testing it all. Needless to say, while the majority of businesses don’t have Amazon’s R&D budgets, we can certainly learn from their trials and errors.
For companies in the wholesale business, the point of sale is often a phone call, email or face to face meeting. All these interactions are super-important. They help you to grow relationships and learn more about your customer’s needs. That said, when we look at Amazon’s success, there’s a bunch of lessons we can analyse to improve your customer experience in wholesale.
Find your products online
Amazon has made it super easy to find a product on their site. They have optimized for google search results, and their own search and browse is good.
Point 1: Good, easy to understand categorization of your products to make them easy to browse. This ability to browse your product categories, plus good search functionality, helps your stockists in so many ways, as they plan out their purchases.
Provide product information
Amazon gives everything you need to know about a product. From nice product images and descriptions, to customer reviews to providing alternative sellers to buy from, they have an amazing job of compiling all of the information you need to make a purchasing decision.
Point 2: Depending on your business, the equivalent might be detailed product specs and product attributes, great product descriptions, high quality product images, skus, prices, and other relevant information. Having this accessible via a phone, tablet or desktop, is of huge benefit for your stockists.
Make it simple to order online
Amazon’s buying experience is good for buying a small amount of products. There’s a yellow buy button, and you are lead through the steps quite nicely. It’s not beautiful and not the simplest, but it does the job nicely. You can buy while watching tv, when you’re out and about.
Point 3: There’s a huge convenience for your stockists to order from you online. They can walk around the store, look at what they need and place an order then and there from their phone. Make sure to use systems like iStockist, which have an optimized customer experience for bulk, regular purchases online.
Fulfillment from online orders
Once you have a few successful purchases with Amazon, it makes it easier to shop there than at an alternative. You have an account, your credit card is on file, they deliver things in one piece. It becomes the no-brainer for an eCommerce purchase, just as your local store is a no-brainer for a food purchase.
Point 4: Similarly, if you accept orders online, make sure that fulfillment is seamless. Notify your customer with updates on the status of the order, and deliver smoothly. As a result buying from you becomes the default option when ordering online.
Integrate your systems
Amazon has a highly integrated supply chain, with their fufilment centres getting order information in real-time. Partners can integrate with Amazon’s apis so that their back-end systems also get orders in real-time.
Point 5: For best results, integrate your backend systems for products, stock and finance with your online ordering system and automate as much as possible, so that things are one-touch. This just makes life a lot easier for you.