Hear our take on recent tech trends and more!
Note: This excerpt originally appeared in the September 2022 issue of OPI — you can read the full article here.
Insights from Andy Ballard, Director of Sales for GOPD
From our dealers’ perspective, the theme of the past year has been ‘flexibility.’ This is because all their customers are unique and looking for different things in terms of how they’re approached, the products they want to buy, and the support they need.
And as these buyers are now working from a variety of environments, dealers must be flexible in not only their product offering, but how items are presented, their pricing, and how they interact with customers.
Technology is a vital tool in helping a potential buyer become a customer. GOPD breaks the journey down into four steps:
- Find the dealer: potential buyers have to know the dealer has an e-commerce solution and know how to get there to shop. Appealing and frequent marketing is essential to driving them to the web store.
- Find the product: buyers need to find the products they want to purchase. Search tools and suggested buys, customised to the type of buyer, are important. Once the item is found, it should be easy to see further details on that product, irrespective of whether it’s supplied by wholesalers like S.P. Richards and Essendant or a different source.
- Price competitiveness: GOPD has a wide variety of pricing tools, and dealers can choose those that best accomplish their offering goals per customer, including our Chain Store Match or Beat module.
- Communication and automation: Once an order is placed, keep the customer updated on what’s happening.
ON-AND OFFLINE INTEGRATION
We’ve launched an intensive campaign to enhance awareness that dealers need to change their business strategy from face-to-face interaction to selling through online processes. It doesn’t mean face-to-face is dead, but it has to become integrated with e-commerce. The same goes for customer service, back office functions and accounting. Many of our dealers adopt these necessities with great enthusiasm.
As the online climate continues to evolve, digital marketing has become a significant component of selling. Our marketing partnership with Sortis Digital Marketing has seen tremendous results for dealers and helped them adapt to rapid changes. In the past, they often depended on others to do their marketing, but have then wound up frustrated by generic, cookie-cutter strategies.
Sortis has worked with GOPD dealers for years and understands how to tailor individualised marketing strategies to their specific needs instead of offering a one-size-fits-all, canned approach. By utilising tools such as email marketing, SEO, social media and direct links back to dealers’ e-commerce sites, GOPD and Sortis are helping them reach their unique goals.
All the various tools on offer don’t just benefit the end customers, of course – they aid dealers’ sales teams as well. This is because they can draw on all the information at their fingertips through a feature called Selling Suites: product availability and pricing information from multiple sources, product specifics, customers’ histories, and the ability to build quotes and orders.
E-commerce will only accelerate further so it’s high time independents got comfortable selling online and interacting with their customers in a new way.