The answer is probably going to be an enthusiastic, “YES! This is the year!” Why? Because it’s 2019 and end users prefer the convenience of purchasing their products online – according to PPAI’s latest Technology Report, 64% of Distributorships have Company Stores for their clients. The reality is, if you’re not offering online stores to your clients, your competitors are. Luckily, there are more options than ever to get your clients placing orders online with you from their own branded store.
How can you tell if an online store is a good fit for your client?
The first place to start is to pick up on some clues about how your clients are placing their orders and see if you notice a pattern:
Do they place orders and ship products to various office locations?
Do they place frequent repeat orders?
Are they shipping out small quantities of products?
Do they consistently ask for a quick turnaround on orders?
These behaviors are key qualifiers in determining if your client should be placing their orders with you online. Manually taking these orders over the phone or email can take a lot of time and energy – often resulting in a logistical nightmare. An online store solution provides a centralized ordering location, streamlining the process for both you and your client.
If 2019 is going to be the year you’ll stop the back and forth emails and phone calls and place your client’s products in their very own store, the next step is to determine how much of a store they will need.
If their store requirements are on the lighter side, a Simple Store is a great place to start. Simple Stores list all products on a single page – there’s no homepage, and there are no categories. Shoppers simply add their products to a shopping cart and check out! It’s a perfect way for your lowkey clients to place orders with you quickly and easily.
Company Stores, on the other hand, has a ton of eCommerce features specific to the promo industry. So you have more control over how shoppers place their orders, more opportunity to customize the store to your client’s brand, and more flexibility to help your client control the spending in the store with permissions, approvals, and budgets.
If you are not sure what kind of store your client will need, a Company Store or a Simple Store, we have an easy guide you can follow to help you determine which solution is best for your client. And, as always, we’re here to walk you through the process to help you determine what store solution is best for your clients.
Online ordering is not going away, demand for online promo stores continues to grow. However, online stores should not take over the distributor/client relationship. Instead, let the store enhance and streamline your client’s ordering experience with you. It is still essential to have personal relationships with your clients and to meet with them regularly. It always has been, and it always will be.