How digitalization benefits the wholesale industry (part 2/2)Quick and Easy Order Processing

How digitalization benefits the wholesale industry (part 2/2)

As more and more wholesalers recognize the potential of e-commerce to boost revenue, they are moving their sales online. Faster transactions, a larger selection of products at lower prices, plus comprehensive after-sales service are some of the main reasons that buyers now prefer the online channel over personal ordering methods.

However, B2B e-commerce in the wholesale industry is also becoming increasingly complex and multi-layered. In particular, it is important that wholesalers tailor their quotation management and order entry systems to the preferences of business customers and procurement experts—across all available channels.

This, essentially, is the whole purpose of B2B e-commerce: To give buyers convenient access to an online catalog, to provide comprehensive information on the required products and services, to create a personalized quotation for the required quantity, and to enable the buyer to place their order independently. The entire process is controlled by the buyer—at the time and location of their choosing. For the seller, the solution greatly reduces the burden on sales staff, who can use the reclaimed time for more productive tasks, e.g., one-on-one advice or handling complex, high-value inquiries.

The solution also results in time savings for companies and their buyers through customized control of approval workflows. While most companies have multiple buyers with the authorization to place orders, certain products or order values require an extra layer of approval from a manager. Using a digital sales platform, it is possible to assign a unique order-value limit or personal budget to each individual buyer. If an order value is higher than the assigned limit, an approval request is automatically sent to the manager responsible or the head of the respective cost center. This ensures full transparency for both buyer and seller and reduces the number of additional manual processes. The benefits are not only a faster and smoother purchase process, but also fewer processing errors—which in turn adds to customer satisfaction.

An integrated B2B e-commerce solution provides a range of important features and information that streamline business processes and make order entry more efficient and more productive. These features include special customer price lists, custom product offerings, master agreements, block pricing, tailored services, integrated quotation processes, full customer histories, special logistics options, and an overview of available items at all locations. 

Using these features, it is possible not only to model and replicate sales and order management processes as part of a purely digital platform but also to coordinate and synchronize all customer interaction across all available channels. The latter aspect is particularly beneficial to sales staff, who have immediate access to a comprehensive range of customer details when advising a customer, including special terms and conditions and the full order history.

B2B commerce solutions provide wholesalers with an additional sales channel and thus a valuable opportunity to reach many new customers. They also include a range of additional services for sales staff and regular customers. Deeply integrated with other systems, and equipped with an extensive database and customizable functionality, B2B solutions not only support personalized quotations, they also accelerate transactions. Ultimately, this streamlining of everyday business processes is an important driver of digital transformation.

You want to know more about the digital future of the wholesale industry right now? Visit www.intershop.com/wholesale.

Matthias Müller

Senior Product Marketing Manager

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