By Angela Baraks, Director of Sales & Marketing, DATAgility
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more B2B sales are moving from the phone line to online. What started out as response to a crisis may become the new normal, and by eliminating the 9-5 barrier, customers can order around the clock. They are comfortable with it and may not return to the old way of doing business, even when they can. Distributors with this capability realize that e-Commerce can streamline and automate their sales processes, cut down on costs, reduce order errors, and free up staff to work on more strategic issues.
Since every sale matters even more, what do you have in place to ensure you are getting the most out of every opportunity? NAED provides tools for its members to be successful and has partnered with DATAgility to offer the X-Check Expansion program which allows distributors to offer the best online shopping experience possible for their customers.
If you are not familiar with X-Check (pronounced “cross-check”), here is a brief overview of the program:
X-Check has two components: cross-reference, and product relationship data. X-Check is a digital database featuring more than 1 million one-to-one cross reference products representing 700 manufacturers. It offers tailored configurations that easily integrate into your ERP system and e-commerce platform, allowing your sales team and customers to view cross-references with just a few simple keystrokes. In 2019, X-Check was expanded to provide product relationship information on product accessories, good/better/best upgrade relationships, repair and replacement parts, related products, similar products, and obsolete to replacement products. Cross reference data is about ensuring that you never lose a sales opportunity, and the expansion program is about driving add-on sales opportunities and streamlining the buying process for the customer.
The most effective way to increase add-on sales and boost the lifetime value of your customers is through up-selling and cross-selling. In fact, Amazon uses this strategy and reports up to 35% of its total sales comes from product recommendations. An example to show the difference between up-selling and cross-selling is perhaps most well-known by fans of McDonalds. “Would you like to Supersize that?” is a classic up-sell, while “Would you like fries with that?” is a cross-sell. Up-selling is offering additional products to the order the customer is placing, while cross-selling is offering a completely different, but complementary, product to the order.
Related products remind buyers that they need additional items to complete a job; accessories and replacement parts are great add-on sales opportunities at the point of sale, and the provision of additional product options (in a ‘good, better, best’ format) offers up-sell opportunities without the buyer having to do additional searches. Cross-reference products offer alternatives when the product they searched for is not in stock or not offered by the distributor to sell. When products are no longer made, providing a link from the old to the new not only helps the customer avoid frustration, it keeps the customer on your site to make the additional purchase.
THREE HELPFUL TIPS TO MAKE X-CHECK WORK IN YOUR E-COMMERCE PLATFORM OR ERP SYSTEM:
Make it simple: Offer a select number of additional product recommendations that are specific to the original searched product. Too many options can potentially confuse a buyer, divert them from the product they were primarily interested in, and may cause them to abandon the purchase entirely.
When you provide the right product relationships, it demonstrates to customers that you know and understand them, which ultimately creates a buying experience that keeps them coming back to your store or website again and again.
Get started with the best-selling products: When establishing X-Check data on your site, start with your top-selling items and create product linking in the back end of your site. For products that are getting high demand, you can recommend accessories and related items to the buyer that can be easily added to his/her cart at the time of order placement. In short, you encourage your customers to purchase products easily by giving them better choices, enabling them to see products that naturally fit together, and offer recommendations to other items sold together that leave them feeling that they are getting the best deal.
Offer product comparisons to encourage upgrades: When similar products are offered with several price points from a basic model to a deluxe model, showing all the variations of that product promotes up-selling higher priced versions. If there are several options, provide attributes that clearly showcase the value of the higher priced item (i.e. additional features/benefits/specifications) so product comparisons can be done with ease.
The X-Check Expansion program has done all the heavy lifting for you to create meaningful product relationships categorized by type that you can use in your ERP or e-commerce system to increase the value of every order. DATAgility offers a turnkey solution for the common ERP and e-commerce platforms used in the industry. You can be up and running with this program in a matter of days—not months—with minimal IT involvement. Implementation is straightforward and training your staff on how to use the data is intuitive and easy.
If your business is not utilizing up-selling and cross-selling, you are leaving money on the table. NAED X-Check allows you to offer your customers solutions to make sure that they are taking advantage of your full range of products and you are getting the best ROI possible on every sale.
Article by Angela Baraks, Director of Sales & Marketing, DATAgility. Reach out to DATAgility, as they can guide you on how to implement new strategies to up your e-commerce game in ways that will be best for your business and your customers. Contact Brett Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly at 616-888-9819.
After this year, many of you might be of the mindset that you cannot wait until 2020 is over. But if all we do is change our calendars from December 31, 2020 to January 1, 2021, we are going to have similar situations as we experienced this year. Nobody wants that.
The National Association of Electrical Distributors and tED magazine are teaming up to create a number of blog posts, podcasts, videos, and stories to help you move into a better situation in 2021. We have gathered the best people in the country to create these for you, and they will motivate you to take your own action and press that reset button.
Whether it is about recognizing that you or someone you work with is a future leader, that you need to make sure all of your employees have the proper training, figuring out if you have all the tools you need to make the best decisions, or changing your mindset to prepare yourself to make changes, over the next three weeks tED magazine and NAED will be providing you with the information you need. Make sure you keep an eye on www.tedmag.com, “lightED” at www.lightedmag.com, and www.naed.org to learn about what is available to you, and how you can push that reset button to make 2021 a better year.Tagged with NAED, Reset 2021, X-Check