In the last blog post, we discussed how distributors can survive the threat of Amazon Business by embracing it as another sales channel for excess inventory. According to a Forrester report, 92% of B2B buyers use Amazon to research business purchases and 82% have made a purchase on Amazon for their business.  This confirms business buyers are comfortable with the experience and shopping from sellers on Amazon. What this means is that providing a similar customer-centric e-commerce experience is key to ensuring a competitive e-commerce strategy.

Since Amazon Business can be used as an additional sales channels for excess inventory that requires no product support, there’s room for growth on your e-commerce platform. How so? One key element Amazon Business lacks is product support for more technical items. As a result, you have the opportunity to draw buyers of more complex products to your own platform. To achieve appropriate levels of customer service, you have to invest the time and resources to understand your customers and engage with them in the way they wish to transact and engage. Products are getting more complicated with changes in technology, and distributors must help their customers navigate among the options.

A customer focused e-commerce strategy also means establishing an online buying environment that satisfies higher order fulfillment expectations created by Amazon Business. When your customers receive accurate orders quickly, combined with personalized service from knowledgeable customer support, they will likely return for business in the future.

Document automation is a simple solution that not only elevates your e-commerce platform in terms of speeding up the key process of order fulfillment, but at the same time improving customer satisfaction.

On the one hand, automating purchase order processing allow distributors to meet order-to-delivery cycle expectations that Amazon Business customers are used to with guaranteed accuracy. At the next level, it moves CSRs away from the time-consuming task of manually entering orders. As a result, they have more time to learn the different product offerings and become true experts who can provide more value to customers through showcasing deep product knowledge. In this way, CSRs can also invest time into understanding the unique transaction preferences of each customer to protect and retain the relationship. Ultimately, as more customers place orders via e-commerce, automation is in place to help you scale up to handle higher order volume.

It is important to understand how your customers want to do business with you and don’t force them to change. E-commerce is simply one sales channel out of many for order automation. Other buyers, for example, may prefer to place their orders via email. The bottom line is that a customer-centric approach is foundational to your e-commerce success. Incorporating sales order automation into your strategy can target the challenges of an Amazon Business dominated landscape, and at the same time create new opportunities for growth.