Making the omnichannel transformation

The key to good business is meeting the customer on their home turf. That’s easier said than done in an era where customers are leveraging numerous physical and online channels in their search for the best products at budget-friendly prices. More than ever, keeping pace means embracing the omni-channel future.

“Today, it’s really about meeting the customer where they are and developing a frictionless experience across all of the different channels, whether that’s online or offline, at their shop, on the project site, whatever the case may be,” said Paul Kennedy President & CEO at Dakota Supply Group, during a recent panel at the 2024 NAW Executive Summit. “[That means] finding ways to ensure that we're developing solutions to provide that seamless and frictionless experience across all the vendors."

This shift is explored in a recent blog for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors by David S. Bauder, CEO of SPARXiQ. In it, Bauder makes a strong case for embracing the transformation to an omnichannel future as a means of connecting with today's tech-savvy generation of customers.

"The North Star of omnichannel is always to meet your customers where they are: to understand how and where they want to buy from their suppliers," he writes. "So, changing buyer demographics is creating an omnichannel imperative for distributors. The shift from the traditional sales channel, comprising outside sellers, inside sellers (CSRs) and websites, is quickly evolving towards one that adds to the mix marketplaces, EDI/e-procurement, and proactive, outbound-calling business development reps."

In his article, Bauder explores what it takes for distributors to tailor their teams, technologies, and strategies for the "omnichannel future," and spotlights the levers that will drive current and future profitability. Importantly, Bauder stresses the importance of collecting, tracking, and analyzing customer data to ensure that omnichannel strategies meet their objectives.

"To track and manage customer success in an omnichannel world, distributors need a complete view of customers' buying practices across all channels, legacy and new," he says. "Once again, the distributor's success will be aided or hindered by the state of their data and analytics. Account managers in an omnichannel environment need the 360-degree view of customer spending in order to measure current performance, set future goals, and provide appropriate account-coverage models to drive sales execution."

The days of meeting customers across numerous touchpoints are here. How will you adapt? Read Transformation to an Omnichannel Future over at NAW’s Distributing Ideas Blog. 

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