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Internet trading, 1 step forwards, 2 steps back?

By Stuart McLaren on Thu 08 May 2014 in Web & eCommerce

I speak to many businesses who tell me ‘that’s very interesting Stuart, but our business really isn’t suitable for trading online’. The truth is that this is rarely the case, the issue is more about the perception of trading online.

Often the thought process is along these lines…

‘The thing that we do differently to our competitors is that we offer a personal service and great advice/expertise. If I were to send my customers to a website to buy from me we would lose that contact and that personal service.’

Or issues like…

‘But my customers couldn’t buy online because there are some products that are bespoke for a particular customer – I wouldn’t want others to be able to see those and certainly not buy them’

Or…

‘We have some negotiated pricing for customers on particular items, I don’t want to maintain those price lists twice, or have to remember to upload a new price every time we negotiate one – this is bound to go wrong & then the customer would not be happy’

How about…

‘Most of our customers buy on account, but I don’t want to give them a bigger credit limit by setting up an online limit & then having the original credit available if they phone in as well’

As you’re probably starting to realise, the list goes on…

  • Customers like to buy  the same thing they had last week
  • Only some people at my customer are authorised to place orders
  • We have to ship to several different addresses for some customers

The truth here is that most of us have only 2 internet shopping experiences – as a retail shopper on a Business to Consumer Site, or as a regular customer on a site that clearly has cost £Millions to create (Tesco, Amazon etc).

There is a third way – eCommerce specifically designed to cope with all of the issues above… and more, designed for the Business to Business environment, allowing more interaction & even better service than telesales, and the golden nugget of really making this work? True and unrivalled integration to back office accounts where the critical intelligence already resides.

So, if you thought that internet trading might be 1 step forward technologically, but perhaps 2 steps back customer service and internal process wise then think again.

Find out more about moving online here, or just give one of our consultants a call on 01494 486301.