Can I Afford an Integrated Website for Prophet21 or TrulinX?
We hear this question A LOT! Customers often see the scope of WebAlliance e-commerce for Prophet21 and TrulinX and ask: Am I going to be able to afford this?
Let's talk about the pieces of WebAlliance and what they mean to your business.
When we all think of a website, we think of e-commerce…
- Buying online
- Placing orders
- Anything related to purchasing a product or service from a distributor
This is one of the easier items to quantify… if your customers are not buying online today, you want to answer the question: why not? Businesses are quickly headed toward an online buying process. This makes sense given that current business trends mean that people need to be able to do more work on their own schedule from remote workplaces.
Work-from-home and remote-work policies mean that your customers are no longer 8-5. It is almost impossible for most distributors to staff their phones 24/7 to answer custom inquires. Your website can do this for you.
The cost of one sale that you did not lose (note that this doesn't say a new sale you gained, but one you did not lose) could, in many cases, pay for the entire monthly cost of WebAlliance.
The number one request of online e-commerce is:
What is my price, and do you have it? We’ve all done it… you have a need for something, before we get in the car, we grab our phone, head to the website to see if the widget we need is going to be available. Your B2B customers are no different.
In the past, customers did not mind picking up the phone to check in with you about pricing and inventory. However, the trends have shifted. Today, people want to know what you have before they pick up the phone. They want to research the products they need BEFORE they call you.
Distributors that do not identify and respond to this trend are losing customers every day. If you do not allow your customers to see pricing and inventory before they call you, they will find that information somewhere else, and that is who they are most likely to call.
If your customer strikes up a conversation with a different distributor, what is the likelihood that they will call the ‘other guy’ for their purchase or next time choose them vs. you? Could the cost of one retained customer pay for the entire price of a WebAlliance website? It is very likely.
If your old e-commerce system is slow and provides users a poor search experience or it makes them view a ‘please wait’ screen while they search, what is the likelihood they will continue to use your service over a competitor?
Customers today are informed and empowered more than ever before. A website that is slow, difficult to use, or does not provide good search results is inviting them to find another place to get that information. It is clear to see how a WebAlliance website can become a path your customers LIKE to use for their product information needs.
Online Customer Service
Consider this question: If your bank did not offer you the ability to do online banking with them, would you keep using that bank? Most people view online banking as a requirement to consider being a customer of a bank. Increasingly, your customers feel the same way about your website.
If your website is failing to give users an easy-to-use, easy-to-access path to things like tracking numbers, past invoices, order history, current statements, backorder information, etc., then your customers are getting frustrated.
Call any of your customers and ask them if they LIKE calling in for a tracking number. In all the cases we know of, no one answers that they ENJOY calling someone to request a copy of an invoice, a tracking number, or an order status.
On the other hand, every time they call, and your CSR team provides this kind of information, there is a cost associated. We cannot tell you if your cost is $1.00 or $10.00, or something in between, but we all know there is a cost.
Your employee must:
- Stop what they are doing
- Change direction
- Find the information
- Provide it to the customer
- Confirm they received it
- Get back into their work
How much did this cost? How much customer frustration did it add? WebAlliance for Prophet21 and TrulinX could have easily handled this for you.