For 2021 and beyond, it is a certainty that eCommerce will continue to gain momentum, even as customers make a welcome return to brick and mortar stores.
However, some shoppers may prefer to stay online even into the medium term. Retailers must develop a concrete plan to tackle this new hybrid shopping model.
Key Learnings for the Hardware Industry
The Benefits of Online Trading
2020 was a crucial year in the eCommerce sphere, with many businesses converting their stores online during the pandemic, to remain operational and trading.
But what are the benefits of Online Trading for the Hardware Industry?
Ease of expansion. Investing in an online channel is a viable option for those who physically can`t expand their premises, it`s also undoubtedly less risky and more cost effective.
The ability to respond during a crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic spotlighted retailers who had quickly transitioned to trading online.
Increase your Customer Base.
Be where your customers are. Utilise Paid Digital Marketing to target customers who are actively looking for your products,
regardless of their location.
Increase Brand Awareness
According to ROI Revolution, a substantial rise in the digital research conducted by consumers prior to purchase, has occurred. Having a transactional site increases the probability of your business being selected.
Maximise Customer Intelligence
Target new customers with Digital Marketing, while simultaneously using online store analysis to garner valuable insight into your customer’s needs and buying habits.
Transform your Sales Environment.
Dual B2C/B2B functionality allows trade customers to log into the B2C platform. There, product offerings and special account trade pricing will be re-configured automatically, specifically to them.
Add Value to your Trade Customers.
Trade Customers can input orders as required, as often as necessary directly through the website.
Increase effectiveness of your Sales Representatives.
Free up your sales representatives’ valuable time by minimising admin and travel. They can concentrate on where they excel, introducing new products and developing and maintaining relationships. Sales representatives can virtually visit trade customers and showcase their product catalogue, while logged into the online store, replacing the need for bulky, costly catalogues that need constant updating.
Reduce Order Entry Errors
Significantly reduce order entry errors with customers placing orders directly. Eliminating errors from order entry, guarantees the avoidance of returns/re-delivery, thereby further reducing costs and securing customer satisfaction.
Valuable Trade Customer Information
Make key trade customer information, including order history readily available to your sales representatives. Armed with that precious knowledge, they can easily identify what products your trade customer purchased previously and imperatively what they have not!
The new and improved nature of online and analytics reporting benefits business procedures at all organisational levels. Owners, Managers, Buyers, Sales Representatives, and online store administrators can view order levels and product popularity, enabling smart business decisions.
It’s clear that Online is here to stay, presenting a new set of opportunities and challenges for the Irish Hardware market. One that should be grasped wholeheartedly, by the launch and/or finessing of their eCommerce platforms and capabilities, as their customers move towards online and want to shop increasingly from Irish businesses going forward.
Orla Cooney, General Manager, Magico.com
This Business Support article featured in the May/June issue of The Hardware Journal