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The 4 Keys to Effortless B2B Ecommerce for Wholesale Distributors of Any Size

April 2, 2024

If your organization attempted ecommerce in the past, “effortless” was probably not a word you would have used to describe it. Dealing with product data in wholesale distribution has been so complex and costly that many businesses steered clear of anything more advanced than posting PDF catalogs on their websites.

Fortunately, cloud-powered data exchange is changing the paradigm. In fact, the Grand Anar data exchange network is improving nearly everything about the way manufacturers and distributors share and manage robust, ecommerce-optimized product information.

Through technology innovations and subscription-based pricing, we’ve overcome many of the biggest barriers to eCommerce for wholesale distributors. In this blog, we’ll talk about four of them: high data costs, poor data quality, data standardization and management issues, and backend integration.

1: Avoid Per-SKU Data Charges and Other Limiting Cost Factors

Two of the biggest costs of launching eCommerce are development and data procurement. A platform that creates a great ecommerce experience without a big up- front outlay for data and design enables businesses to jump in the game and start growing. If you can avoid paying by the SKU, and pay a flat fee instead, then budget is no longer going to hold you back from including every product you carry – in stock or not.

Rather than paying by the SKU, distributors who pay a low flat fee to access an unlimited number of SKUs will have more robust ecommerce websites. When customers can find all the products and details they need on your site, sales go up exponentially.

2: Maximize Product Details

Extensive, detailed product attributes are the key difference between ecommerce sites that succeed and those that flop. Why are product attributes so important? They give customers the details they rely on to make their purchase decisions. They’re also what makes ecommerce such a chore to implement.

The reason early ecommerce adopters skimped on attributes was because of the massive amount of work it took to acquire attributes from a variety of manufacturers and make them all work nicely together.

3: Minimize Product Data Management

Ecommerce should mean less work for you, not more. To minimize the work, your ecommerce platform should be integrated with both external (manufacturer) data sources and your own back-end systems. Fortunately it’s not as hard as it sounds.

Why does integration matter?

ERP integrations keep ecommerce and CRM systems up to date with feature-rich product content AND current pricing and availability without the hassle of product database server maintenance. Anarus Stellar eCommerce includes integration services for many ERP systems, including Infor Sx.e, Infor CloudSuite Distribution, Epicor Prophet 21, Epicor Eclipse, Oracle NetSuite and others. Integration points include real-time customer specific pricing, product availability (global and branch level), detailed customer information such as billing and shipping addresses, order insert, order status, online bill pay and payment processing.

What is “standardized” data?

In the past, “standardized” data meant someone spent countless hours manually correcting all the inconsistencies in data formatting and terminology between manufacturers so their product specs could live side by side in a single distributor’s catalog or website. For example, three manufacturers might spell “Voltage” in three different ways (Vol., Voltage, and Volt, for example).

But that’s all changing. Today, no data formatting or cleaning is required by either manufacturers or distributors. With advancements in smart technology by Anarus, the product data of every manufacturer in the Grand Anar data exchange network is standardized to a consistent, ecommerce-friendly format.

4: Don’t Sweat the Design.

If you don’t have the resources to put a website together, you’re not alone. Very few independent distributors want the hassle of dealing with modernizing their website for ecommerce traffic. Anarus provides services to modernize the website and integrate the eCommerce interface so that companies get a seamless, modern look with little effort and a small per-page fee.

Add Self-Service to Your Sales Mix

When you offer an online resource like eCommerce, you can be “open for business” whenever it’s most convenient for your customers. You can also extend your reach by making your product lines accessible to new markets.

Instead of calling for products specs, spec sheets, installation instructions, owner’s manuals, warranty information, parts diagrams, or whatever detailed information they need, contractors are saving themselves (and the customer service team) time by getting it all online. Easy online access gives buyers the confidence that they’ve found the right products, in the right location, and in the quantity they need. They don’t have to wait for business hours to track down their parts.

Create Enormous ROI Possibilities

Speaking of effortless – there’s no easier way to increase sales revenue online. With a Stellar eCommerce subscription as low as $500 per month, each location can see hundreds of thousands in additional revenue per year. That is a significant return on investment without adding any new employees!

How to Get Started with Stellar eCommerce

The most common question we hear about ecommerce for wholesale distribution is, “How much work will I have to do?” The answer is not much at all. Give us the list of part numbers you want to show on the new site, and Anarus does the rest. Here are a few other Stellar eCommerce features that make eCommerce easy for wholesale companies:

  • Works with most ERP systems, as long as they have APIs to connect.
  • Displays product contract prices and quantity available.
  • Allows products and details to be displayed with or without ordering capabilities.
  • Supports retail/walk-in customers without accounts.

Request a demo to see what Grand Anar and Stellar eCommerce can do for your business.

Grand Anar   +   Anarus Stellar eCommerce

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