Why Do Distributors Need to Invest in eCommerce?

eCommerce Distribution

eCommerce: A Game Changer for Distribution 

Digital innovations are spurring businesses of all sizes and across all industries to adopt new strategies and tools. For distributors, one of these tools is eCommerce software. Traditional distribution sales methods aren’t cutting it as everything moves online. Affordable, user-friendly eCommerce solutions make it easier than ever to develop an online store that drives traffic and sales.  

Still not convinced your distribution business needs eCommerce? Keep reading to find out why it’s time to launch your online store.  

Changing Consumer Demands 

Looking through catalogs is quickly disappearing from the B2B buying process. A new generation of millennial B2B buyers are searching for products and performing transactions online. They crave the convenience of making purchases and conducting research at their fingertips. With over 75 percent of industrial buyers beginning their research with online search queries, distributors are losing out on major opportunities when they lack an online presence. 

A robust eCommerce solution can fill the gaps in customer experiences. Mobile responsive platforms enable visitors to quickly access pages when they’re on the go. An eCommerce site provides omnichannel functionality to allow customers to execute transactions and receive purchases however they want. When you add product descriptions, photos and videos to your site, you can improve product discoverability. Content such as blogs or landing pages can also help you earn a high spot in search engine results, so that prospects are more likely to learn about your business. Ultimately, eCommerce makes it easier than ever for customers to buy from distributors—and easier transactions mean higher sales.  

Growing Competition  

As more manufacturers and distributors embrace eCommerce and B2B buyers seek out Amazon Business and similar marketplaces, distributors without an online store are falling behind their competition. However, if you strategically adopt eCommerce and highlight your company’s advantages, you can use eCommerce as a tool to increase your competitive edge. Here are a few tips for optimizing your online store to win more deals: 

  • Intuitive Site Design: B2B buyers don’t have time to waste. That means they need to be able to find the exact products they need or answers to their questions instantly. To keep them on your site, make sure it’s well designed. The search bar should be easy to find, and advanced search features should be available to allow visitors to find highly specified products. Make sure your content clearly addresses your customers’ common questions. Leverage your eCommerce platform’s drag-and-drop design tools and templates to make an appealing, navigable online store.  
  • Strategic Content: All eCommerce sites need product descriptions. Product descriptions should be clear and succinct, but still enticing. However, in order to sell your products and services, you must also sell your company. What makes you an expert in your industry? How can your services and products add value to your customers? Using content management tools, develop landing pages and blog posts that establish yourself as a thought leader. Be sure to include relevant keywords and images to help you soar in search rankings. 
  • ERP Integration: Integrating your ERP and eCommerce systems results in process automation, higher efficiency and accurate data to improve the overall customer experience and streamline operations. Epicor’s eCommerce system, Epicor Commerce Connect (ECC), is tightly integrated with its ERP interface to expedite processes. Your eCommerce site instantly receives messages whenever data—such as prices, products or suppliers—is changed in the ERP. The ECC also accepts payment and sends orders directly to your ERP.  

Wrap Up  

An eCommerce site presents an exciting opportunity for distributors to reach out to new customers in the Digital Age. With Epicor Commerce Connect, businesses enjoy an eCommerce solution that’s fully integrated with their ERP, eliminating the need to maintain a separate product database and streamlining access to data. Epicor even offered new ECC improvements in its Eclipse solution earlier this year, proving the vendor’s commitment to helping distributors modernize their processes.  

An Epicor Platinum Partner, Datix is the go-to source for enterprise software solutions. For over 20 years, we’ve provided ERP, eCommerce and CRM for manufacturers and distributors. We’ve also seamlessly connected Epicor with multiple front-end systems using our Unity integration application. Our premier consultants stay on top of the latest software advancements to prepare our clients for future business growth. 

To learn more about Epicor, reach out to Datix’s ERP experts today!  


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