Customer Order Entry Growth
One of the best parts of my job is talking to professionals in wholesale distribution every day. Ai2 serves companies that distribute individual items that cost thousands of dollars to companies that sell products by the thousands for pennies. In every conversation it’s reinforced that a sales rep order entry efficiency is a critical part of the supply chain. If our clients don’t get the orders placed efficiently and processed expediently, everyone from the supplier to the consumer is affected. We pride ourselves on our role in that process. However, customer order entry is on the rise.
The Change to Omni-Channel eCommerce options
Based on the conversations, the responsibility for order entry is shifting from a salesperson to other omni-channel eCommerce options. As many Ai2 clients are aware, we now offer OrderShark which allows for customer order entry on Android and iPhone. There’s strong anticipation of increased customer order entry in the years to come, specifically on mobile devices. I hear this regularly from distributors large and small. That is, customer order entry is on the rise.
I was recently talking to the owner of a midwest distributor who’s been running his company for 30 years. Even though sales reps had been taking orders since the company’s inception, and they’d ALWAYS done it that way, he acknowledged “it’s time for that to change.” Customers want customer order entry and its convenience and distributors are aware of the extra costs associated with having reps do administrative tasks like writing orders.
Not every company or industry is the same. For some, sales reps will still be responsible for writing mobile orders. Some business models will always lend themselves to the need for human persuasion at the point of order. But we’ve all seen how the mobile revolution has changed so many parts of our lives. The millennials are used to buying online, communicating via text, and in general leveraging technology to communicate and conduct business. They’re the ones who will be taking over soon. They are demanding omni-channel eCommerce options. They use their smartphones for everything and why not for customer order entry.
So where does that leave the sales reps as the customer demands to DIY customer order entry. They’ll be able to use the saved time by the adoption of new omni-channel options to seek new customers, deepen relationships by adding more products, and better service the account overall. From what owners are telling me, the mobile technology revolution is picking up speed and so is customer order entry. Right now the early adopters of customer order entry are seeing first mover advantage and gaining market share, but soon I believe customer order entry via an app like OrderShark will be a requirement to keep the customer happy and to keep the customer sticky.