Last night, was Groundhog Day. I spoke to yet another Distributor who said on one hand “of course, we want to implement e-commerce to grow our company.” Then, he follows it up with, “but we have always done business this way – and it works.” What is holding him and so many others back!?! Here are three questions (fears) that I get asked by these owners:
How Will E-commerce Impact My Business?
This is a great question! However, it should be re-phrased to how should e-commerce improve my business. All too often, when speaking about e-commerce, the focus is on the revenue side. The talk is all about orders and will you get more? In truth, a properly thought-out e-commerce system should positively impact revenues, but MUST improve internal efficiencies. Meaning – more profits!
How? Consider the number of work hours required to key in orders received by phone, email and, yes, even fax. How many people does your company dedicate to handling customer inquiries about their account status, what items were on their last order, shipping status, inventory status on a particular item?
Just in this department alone, ell this effort costs money and takes away from the bottom line. Think about it, how much does one or two customer service people cost? How much do errors and delays cost? Now think about the impact on the other departments as well.
With a well-thought out, structured and integrated E-commerce platform, your customers will look up those queries on their own without the need to speak to someone. They can place their own orders and see what you have in inventory. So, not only should the number of orders increase, and at the same time, you can save labour costs in your customer service department. This E-commerce platform will eliminate the vast majority of these issues resulting in a stronger bottom line.
We Can Wait Until the Timing is Better…Right?
This is where fear of the unknown overtakes logic. Flashback to a time when your company could perform without cell phones, email or proper software? Years ago, we could get away with it, but no longer. These have become the minimum for all businesses. Well…E-commerce is having the same affect. We always think only about B2C companies like Amazon and eBay, but in reality, e-commerce is having an even bigger impact in the B2B world. Years from now, when you realize that the timing is right, your competitors will have a significant advantage over you and then what!?! Look at how many companies waited until the timing was right: Blockbuster, Kodak, Blackberry and most recently Toys R Us. It is essential to get started now with integrating E-commerce into your business or, sadly, you may join this list.
This Will Cost Too Much… Can’t We Just Use A Simple, Off The Shelf Solution?
You see, a simple, off the shelf product does not work effectively with wholesalers, manufacturers and distributors. As each company is unique and has its own set of software solutions to run their business, proper integration is required, and it is far from simple. The real solution is a complex, yet adaptable and scalable e-commerce solution with a back end that anyone (without any IT experience) can manage. You need to look at this is an investment, just like a new piece of equipment. The system should generate a measurable ROI in a reasonable time. Remember, this is not only supposed to generate more revenues, but save your company time and money.
Not sure where to begin or what e-commerce solution is appropriate for your company? That is where the team from SimboliQ comes in. We have the business and technology experience and knowledge that can help you plan your e-commerce project. Regardless of your size, SimboliQ can help you make the right decisions for your company for today and years to come. SimboliQ works with other firms to offer you a one-stop shop regardless of your online needs. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 916-8647 to setup a meeting where we could discuss your needs or for more information, visit our website at www.simboliq.com.