10 critical features every wholesale ordering software and app must have
July 6, 2017 By Stacey Woods
Wholesale ordering apps are the latest industry standard, and it’s not hard to see why. These platforms make the difference between efficient and inefficient sale. If you’re looking to boost your sales and increase the efficiency of your sales reps, make sure your B2B wholesale ordering software has these 10 critical capabilities:
1. Flexible and high-resolution e-catalog
When it comes to displaying your products, don’t skimp on the quality: a high-resolution e-catalog showcases your products at their best, making customers, even hard-headed B2B order management customers like yours, more compelled to buy. A customizable design is important too, as it ensures that your catalog accurately reflects the mood and messaging of your brand.
Your platform’s e-Catalog should also allow you to sort products into categories and subcategories to make finding items quick and intuitive so speeding up the ordering process for for both customers and sales reps. Because a high quality, flexible e-Catalog makes browsing for products both fun and efficient, it’s an essential feature of a wholesale ordering app.
2. Fast searching and ordering
Things happen fast in retail, and you need an app that keeps up with you. The ability to find the exact product at a moment’s notice is key in a fast-paced retail environment.
A good ordering app lets sales reps condense their searches to a single combination of product attributes. This reduces the time it takes to place orders and expedites the ordering process overall.
The software should also have varied and efficient ordering capabilities. Wholesale ordering apps must be able to mix and match different ordering methods, as well as duplicate and manipulate past orders. This will help wholesalers sustain a high level of purchases as sales reps minimize the time it takes to input orders.
3. Simplification of complex orders
B2B eCommerce portal customers often order in bulk with complex sets of requests – whether they order items in several different colors and sizes, input multiple shipping addresses, or request that different items are delivered on different dates. An app that can manage this complex process not only simplifies the most complicated orders, it also eliminates a large percentage of order errors resulting in huge cost savings and a great reputation for the wholesaler.
Your app should have a two-dimension order matrix that allows customers to order items by any two attributes. This makes ordering faster and more efficient, and it also reduces the room for error on the part of both customers and sales reps.
4. Compatible with all sales transactions
Whether they’re taking sales orders or stock checks, giving quotes, or making returns, sales reps have to juggle a variety of transactions. Because of this, it’s essential that they have a single software platform from which to manage their sales activities.
A good wholesale ordering app should function as this unified platform, allowing sales reps to move quickly and seamlessly between all types of transactions.
5. Tools to increase order sizes
By letting sales reps know what promotions are available for the customer they are visiting gives them an opportunity to boost the order size. Wholesale ordering apps that have promotional features like cross-sell, upsell and multi-buy options present an opportunity to the sales rep just when they need to close the deal. Such apps should also be able to introduce discounts and define discount thresholds, as well as give end-of season offers and other promotions.
6. Comprehensive product information
Just as a sales app needs high quality product images, it also requires thorough product descriptions. Product descriptions should be easily accessible to ensure that sales reps quickly and accurately answer customer questions regarding their e-Catalog software. This way, sales reps will minimize their time searching for product information and maximize their time making sales and engaging with customers.
7. Knowledge of the customer
If your ordering app includes a mobile CRM then you’re onto a winner! Why? Because when you know customer details like order history and top selling items, you can make more informed decisions about the kinds of products your customers are looking for.
Additional information like customer invoices, shipping information, and debt history can also help you know your customer better and make sure you discuss any critical issues.
8. Seamless ERP integration
ERP integration with your ordering app is key. When sales reps can access ERP information through their ordering platform, they’re equipped with the information they need to make better informed sales decisions. Knowing how much of an item is in stock and which items are out of stock can help them steer the customer in the right direction so that they are ordering only available items.
Of course, this is a two-way street. Your wholesale ordering app should automatically process and record order information and sync back to the ERP.
9. Offline capabilities
When a wholesale ordering app functions offline, sales reps have no excuses for downtime. By using an app with offline capabilities, sales reps can still make sales and showcase their products whether they’re at retail stores, conventions, or trade rooms. Once back online any orders made will sync and all records are up to date.
10. Works on all devices
If you want to avoid the headache and cost of providing all your sales reps with the same mobile device then you will need an app that works on a variety of devices. The BYOD (bring your own device) will not only save the company money it will allow sales reps to work comfortably and reliably from a familiar device.
In addition, choosing an app that is ‘mobile first’ will provide the best user experience.
Good wholesale ordering software will help you increase your sales efficiency and grow your profits in no time. For an effective, easy-to-use app that includes these 10 critical features (and more!), check out Pepperi’s mobile order taking and sales tracking app.