Mobile is no longer the future, it has arrived and is here to stay. Today, we rely on our mobile devices more than ever and for a myriad of reasons. So much so that the number of smartphones is predicted to outpace the number of human beings by 2021, according to Computer Business Review.
For wholesale distributors, being able to conduct business and sell to customers via mobile is not an option, it’s required. Today’s tech-savvy buyers expect to be able to search for products and purchase on a mobile device, despite a more complex buying process. But there’s much more than buying that’s elevating mobile.
Business owners and executive leadership want to be able to monitor how their business is doing from a mobile device. As a wholesale distributor, you’re on the go. You might be out in the field with sales representatives, at home or in your warehouse, where you need to check in to make sure your business is running smoothly.
Mobile matters for you and your customers as a wholesale distributor. It’s a high-contributing factor as to whether you’ll succeed in the long term. So, let’s jump into why a mobile strategy is so important for wholesale distributors.
Why Mobile Matters for Your Customers
Today’s B2B buyer is searching for products and buying on a mobile device more than ever before. Not only have technology-loving millennials—who make up 50% of the labor force— have aged into the workforce, but the consumer buying experience is so advanced that B2B buyers expect a similar experience.
This is why B2B eCommerce is a necessity for wholesale distributors today. Think B2B eCommerce may not be necessary to grow your business? Consider that Forrester predicts that “B2B eCommerce will hit 1.8 trillion by 2023.”
Furthermore, to truly succeed as a wholesale distributor today, you need a robust B2B strategy. It should be optimized for mobile and allow customers to login to view their pricing, place small or large-scale orders and self serve their own needs for everything from paying invoices to viewing their personalized credit limit.
Not only do you need an eCommerce portal for desktop buying, but your customers need to be able to log into it from their mobile devices. Your products pages and photography all need to render perfectly on mobile.
For these reasons, wholesale distribution companies need to take a digital-first approach, primarily through the use of robust inventory management software, towards their entire business through the implementation of B2B eCommerce and much more. Without such software, you’ll struggle to put the customer first and excel at inventory management.
Mobile Makes Running Your Business Easier
Choosing the right inventory management software to run your business is critical, even outside of how it helps you manage your warehouse and inventory. One of the most important criteria that it should meet is that you and your employees have access to a mobile application that helps you conduct business anywhere, anytime.
Let’s consider a few examples to demonstrate how important mobile is for specific areas of your business.
Mobile Makes Sales Possible Anywhere
For sales representatives, it’s critical to be able to sell anytime, anywhere—whether at a trade show or while visiting with a customer. Gone are the days of complex grid orders being completed on paper and then faxed into customer service. Today, sales should take place not only in your B2B portal, but from a salesperson’s mobile device.
In addition to being able to place orders, your salespeople should be able to accept payments on the spot or give customers the option to pay at a later time via an invoice.
In addition to being able to serve the customer, your salespeople need access to sales data and reporting in order to help keep them on track to hit their sales goals. Being able to view sales to date plus varying factors helps ensure that your representatives are keeping tabs on their own progress.
Keeping tabs on sales from a mobile device is equally important for sales managers. By being able to view overall sales, sales by region and sales by period, managers can be sure their teams are on track to hit their targets.
If individual sales reps are not on track to hit their sales numbers, this gives sales managers an opportunity to investigate why or work with marketing to run a promotion or discount in order to boost sales.
Mobile for the Business Owner
Managing your wholesale distribution business is your passion and your livelihood, so you want to know how your business is doing at all times, not just when you are at your desk.
Whether you’re on vacation or in the office, your inventory management software should include a way for you to check in on your mobile device. You want to be able to check the overall health of your business, sales numbers and learn of any fires you need to put out not from your desktop, but from your mobile device.
You should be able to view dashboards that you give you a quick, overall view on how each department is performing so that you always know if there’s an issue that requires your immediate attention. If you’re gone for an extended period of time, you should be able to leave your business site, yet remain in touch as if you were there.
In essence, mobile really shouldn’t be just a strategy. It should be at the core of your business. It can help you manage your business and inventory, sales and any other matters that require your attention.
After all, business doesn’t just occur anymore between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Today, business takes place 24/7. So, you should be able to check in how and when you need to, making it possible for you to run a smooth operation, all from your mobile device.
If you’d like to learn how Systum’s mobile application can help you better run your business, fill out the form below.