#theFundamentals:  Buyer Self-Serve

Posted by Tom Rau on May 9, 2019 9:17:29 AM

In Commerce, Buyers, Content, e-Commerce, Go-to-market, Retail, Wholesale, Apparel, B2B, Envoy, Footwear, Strategy, The Fundamentals

Buyer self-serve, the ability for your retailer’s to manage their own demand with your B2B tools, is critical to your wholesale business. It’s one of #thefundamentals of building a strong wholesale channel. You can’t create successful partnerships with your retailers if your B2B system doesn’t support this crucial functionality. It’s that essential (There’s a reason we call them #thefundamentals!).

But what is it? On the surface it seems easy to understand - empower your retailers to serve themselves. But let’s dig a little deeper so we can really understand it, and take advantage of the benefits it will bring. 

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Why It’s Important

First up, let’s look at why buyer self-serve is so important. Simply put, retailers prefer brands with a B2B destination (you can check out that research here). That can’t be understated.

Here it is again, for dramatic impact:  Retailers prefer brands with a B2B destination.

Why? They want easy access to a system that allows them to act on the needs of their business. They want updates on order status or new products. They want to be able to educate themselves on the products they carry in their store.

A good B2B destination gives them all this, and more. It allows them to serve their needs as their store demands.

What happens if a brand doesn’t have a B2B destination? Their retailers find a new brand, one that understands the importance of buyer self-serve tools.

Getting Everybody On The Same Page

Activating buyer self-serve in your wholesale channel necessitates implementing a B2B destination. One of the immediate benefits you’ll see is that now you have all your retailers, top to bottom, working through the same systems.  

Why does this matter?

It eliminates the painful process of keying order info by hand, emailing spreadsheets back and forth, and dealing with order processes through a multitude of systems.

Buyer self-serve replaces this outdated utility focused order capture process with a shopping experience. Now your retailers can browse products, add them to a cart for merchandising, then place the order in one digital destination. Errors go down, orders go up, easy peasy.

Okay But How?

We understand this change can be daunting. If your brand is still operating under the impression that an order capture utility is enough this can be a lot to take in. It’s a change in strategy, and in systems, to bring your brand up to modern expectations. We’ve got you covered.

Implementing the buyer self-serve fundamental in your wholesale channel isn’t as scary as you think.  Let’s take a look at the three important step you’ll want to take when adopting a modern B2B system that focuses on buyer self-serve and the other fundamentals of wholesale:

  1. Put some marketing behind it to get everyone on board. Celebrate the ways it makes your brand easier to do business with, and clearly and loudly communicate those ways with your retail partners.
  2. Give your old order methods the boot, permanently. Give your retailers some lead up time to get ready, effectively communicate the when and how of it all, and then commit 100% - no more phoning in or emailing or divergent methods of ordering.
  3. Incentivize adoption! You need to get your retailers on board and offering some form of reward is the easiest way to do it. A discount, a bonus, something! You need your retailers to see how beneficial your new destination is, which means you need to get them in there using it.

And that’s buyer self-serve. As one of the three fundamentals, we thought it warranted more of a deep-dive. Keep an eye out for more thorough explanations of our other two fundamentals: “Content & Commerce” and “Enablement Focused Reps”.

Check out our Research

 


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