When it comes to business growth, your website is arguably your most important marketing tool. In today’s digital world, most people access the Internet to find information before making a purchasing decision.
Your website is likely to be the first touchpoint that new customers will have with your business and it only takes users seconds to make an initial judgement about your company. Therefore, it’s vitally important to be making continual improvements to your ecommerce website. In this blog post, we talk about 6 critical signs it’s time to revamp your website:
1. Your customers can’t order online
Foodservice wholesalers are typically reliant on telesales and field agents to secure orders. However, the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of having the capability to trade online. Throughout 2020, online grocery sales have spiked, with active online users increasing by 200%. Research indicates that this trajectory is set to continue and if ecommerce transformation is ignored, this could massively dilute wholesalers profits in years to come.
Caterers are already online and actively using technology to make purchasing decisions – our research indicates that 83% of caterers are ordering catering supplies online. Not having online ordering capabilities is a major concern when it comes to futureproofing -as customers are constantly seeking instant digital self-service with a more complete online shopping experience.
2. You rely on downloadable brochure PDFs to show people what you sell
In this age of digital self-service, downloadable/viewable online brochure PDFs are no longer an appropriate way to sell as customers now rely on richer browsing experiences that help inform buying decisions. The main drawbacks of brochures is that they are limited by the amount of space available and unable to display live information like new products, availability and price. In today’s world, this just isn’t sufficient enough for customers to make purchasing decisions.
Digital brochures can be a good supplement to other sales activity but shouldn’t be used as a primary sales channel. When it comes to effectively communicating your product catalogue, today’s forward-thinking wholesalers are implementing product information management (PIM) systems. Akeneo is a leading PIM solution which acts as a single source of truth for product data, allowing you to enrich and create deeper customer experiences through more complete product information. Data can be directed to multiple different channels, including ecommerce websites, mobile and print.
3. Your customers aren’t able to search for products
You would struggle to find any consumer who does not rely on an onsite search bar to find products when they are shopping online. But when you look at the foodservice sector, most wholesalers are not offering this facility. Put simply, this is inconvenient for modern consumers and impacts negatively on the buying experience.
Investing in effective on-site search technology is critical for ecommerce success. Enterprise-level search solutions such as Klevu, focus on ‘intelligent’ search, which utilises machine learning to provide a far more sophisticated understanding of customer queries.
Innovative on-site search solutions like Klevu place emphasis on website speed, accuracy and personalisation, seeking to inform the customer and drive the best possible search results as quickly as possible. This results in improved engagement and an online store which is able to connect more effectively with its audience.
4. Your customers can’t browse product data such as ingredients and allergens
Erudus is a leading source of product data for foodservice wholesalers. It encompasses more than 60,000 product specifications, which are entered and maintained directly by the brands. You can easily display this information on your website using their API connector, saving time and money gathering this data yourself. Not only does this offer your customers a more complete buying experience, it also improves loyalty and increases online sales.
If you are interested in a PIM solution for your business, speak to us about implementation and our ‘Powered by Erudus’ extension for Akeneo.
5. Your online store is hidden behind a portal login screen
If your online store is hidden behind a portal login screen, you are hindering ecommerce growth. By hiding your products and services from your existing and prospective customers, you are blocking their ability to browse and engage with your brand.
Upon landing on an ecommerce website, the product catalogue should be immediately visible to all users. If a potential customer is blocked from seeing what you have to offer, you are significantly reducing the chances of signing them as a new customer. On the other hand, if that user is greeted with an attractive product catalogue, promotions, rich product data and modern website features, they are much more likely to sign-up and become a customer.
When it comes to effective ecommerce, the customer experience and path to purchase should be as simple and straightforward as possible.
6. Your online store is not optimised for mobile
Mobile commerce is the channel of choice for digital-native B2B buyers and increasingly popular amongst traditional buyers. Our research suggests that 30% of caterers ordering online prefer to do so on their mobile phone. That’s 300 customers for every 1,000 your business trades with.
A responsive design ensures that your customers have a positive experience on your site, regardless of the device they use. This is valuable for keeping customers engaged and creating confidence.
Your website has the potential to be your number one driver of business growth and should not be ignored. If you haven’t updated your website in the last few years, it is already too old.
It’s important to continually seek ways to innovate, and ecommerce presents a great opportunity for your business to differentiate itself and create profitable growth. Whether that be through your product data, user journeys, store design, catalogue expansion or anything else that ultimately improves your ability to service your audience better than the competition.
Foodservice Online is the UK’s leading foodservice ecommerce agency. We specialise in the design, development, and integration of innovative foodservice ecommerce solutions.
We are Magento Commerce and Akeneo Gold partners and every second of every day is dedicated to ecommerce in foodservice wholesale.
If you would like to talk to us about how we can partner with your business and help deliver sustainable profitable growth, get in touch.