Customer preferences continue to change and evolve. Throughout 2015 we have witnessed our customers spending more time online researching product content prior to making a buying decision. We also are witnessing customers shift away from traditional buying over the phone to placing orders online.
This trend is simply not a surprise with so many WINS for the customer and supplier alike, including:
- 24/7 access to online
- Product information spec sheets and images
- Fewer errors with product selection
- Electronic processing of orders
We know B2B e-commerce is growing at an accelerated rate. In fact Forester Research Inc. estimates US B2B sales in 2015 to reach $780 billion and is on course to grow at an annual rate of 7.7%.
To address this growth trend and retain customer loyalty, the minimum expectation is B2B e-commerce web portals will be continually enhanced to improve:
- Search engines
- Enriched high quality content
- Breadth of content offered
There is good news and there are many wins for customers and electrical distributors in 2016. The electrical industry is well positioned to address customer loyalty with improvements in B2B e-commerce web portal tools. Stay tuned to the ongoing and ever improving support from NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) and its endorsement of the IDEA (Industry Data Exchange Associations) data certification program.
Written By: Chris Carter, Director of e-Business Solutions and Content for North Coast Electric.