Top 10 e-commerce features dealers should look out for to succeed in the new world and why
Innovative e-commerce features and website functionality could be the difference between success and failure in what’s being coined ‘the new world’ – life after Covid-19.
Customers already expect ease of ordering, superior user experience and intuitive processes when they’re buying office supplies.
With online ordering expected to be more popular than ever after Covid-19, it’s important that office supplies dealers have the right tools and functionality to support their customers.
Here’s the top 10 e-commerce features dealers should look out for to succeed in the new world, and why.
1 – Cost centre management
Cost centre management functionality allows a company to order office products for multiple branches from one single account.
For example, if a company’s head office is in London and they have branches in Liverpool, Manchester & Leeds, they can set up the master purchaser in London and the others as sub purchasers.
These sub purchasers can then buy what they need within their set spend limit, while the master has full visibility and control. If an order goes over the spend limit, the master purchaser is automatically notified and can approve or reject the order.
Office Power dealer customers can also edit the baskets of sub purchasers, allowing for extra flexibility when ordering.
We think that functionality that will allow companies to manage their remote workers or spread out workforce in terms of spend and visibility of what they’re ordering, will be a vital piece of functionality for dealers moving forwards. With government talk of companies becoming legally responsible for their team’s health, safety and comfort in the workplace even if they’re working from home, this type of functionality will be more important than ever.
2 – Online invoice functionality & consolidation
Sound invoice functionality allows customers to access all their previous invoices in one place, preferably in their online account. Consolidation means customers receive one generated invoice for all their orders for that month.
Being able to access invoices in one place, online and with minimal hassle will be vital for the business customers and home workers of the post Covid-19 world.
Not only will this be important for purchasers and office managers to monitor spend and keep track of records, but also for home workers to expense their office supplies to their employer if they’re ordering from one account.
3 – Banner management & segmentation
If you think of your website homepage as your shop window, then banner management is the ability to change what offers or products you have in your display.
Segmentation is the ability to customise this display for specific customers.
Office Power dealer partners enjoy being able to use this functionality along with their sales strategy.
We feel this e-commerce feature is a vital tool for any dealer, to be able to offer relevant products to individual customers and promoting specific offers to relevant customer segments, to help maximise sales and minimise margin depletion.
4 – Query management system
A query management system is a centralised, online point of contact where customer can submit questions about a product or order. Your customer service team should have full visibility of all queries, how long ago they were logged, whether they’re open, in progress or resolved.
This functionality not only saves time for your team, but enables customers to easily submit queries, requests and questions and see in real time how they are progressing.
Office Power dealer partners have seen record Customer Satisfaction Score levels throughout the Covid crisis, thanks to functionality such as this which makes responding to customer needs easy.
5 – Triggered email functionality
Triggered email functionality enables emails to be sent automatically in line with customer actions. These can be marketing emails, follow ups, transactional and financial messages.
If you needed to send emails individually to each customer every time they apply for a credit account or register on your website, then you’d be at your computer all day – or you’d need to hire someone to do it.
Therefore, triggered email functionality is an incredibly useful marketing tool particularly for the post Covid-19 landscape.
Being able to keep in contact with your existing customers automatically as their behaviour changes, means you can focus on growth.
6 – Favourites functionality
Favourites functionality does exactly what it says on the tin, allowing customers to ‘favourite’ certain items on the website.
These items will then appear as a list in their account section and can easily be added to the basket for next time.
Features such as these which promote custom shopping will be as important ever post Covid-19, as customers will expect online shopping to deliver that same level of personalisation as on competitor websites.
7 – Past purchases
Just like favourites, past purchases are an important piece of functionality to have on your site, allowing customers to view any past orders or items in their account section.
Any functionality which makes it easier for customers to order from you are like gold dust when it comes to pitching your offering against that of your competitors. This is particularly relevant for life after Covid-19.
8 – Ink & Toner finder
Ink cartridge sales have increased exponentially since people started working from home, and we expect to see this rise again once businesses start to reopen.
There’s a plethora of options out there, but nine times out of ten your customers will only be looking for one brand and type to suit their printer.
So, having an ink & toner finder tool on your site can help customers find what they need quickly and easily, deterring them from shopping around with competitors.
9 – Quoting functionality
Being able to provide customers with quotes – and fast – is essential for keeping contracts and customers during the pandemic and as we begin to emerge from it.
Having expert functionality which is quick, user-friendly, and automatically translates into pricing on the customer’s website is something Office Power dealer partners have enjoyed throughout this time.
10 – Smart search website functionality
Smart search functionality uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to recommend relevant products across categories which often sell together or within the same category when on a product details page.
The vast majority of customers use the search bar to navigate to products they’re looking for, so it’s important that your search function recommends relevant products and allows you to cross sell into other categories to help boost AOS and margin.
There’s nothing more annoying that searching for a product on an ecommerce website and seeing irrelevant products.
Whatever your contact strategy is for the weeks and months ahead, making sure you have the functionality and technology to support this will be crucial for getting orders in, recovering from this crisis and boosting business growth once more.