Last year, three companies topped the charts in Modern Distribution Management’s 2018 MDM Market Leaders list. They were Grainger®, Airgas® and HD Supply®. How did they do it and what makes them any different from the smaller distributor trying to increase their foothold in today’s market? Well, the obvious answers are size and reach, which remains a constant struggle for smaller, independent distributors. You may not be able to grow your company’s resources overnight, but there are effective ways you can out-compete your rivals for a bigger piece of the pie.
What separates you from the larger, more established distributor is actually what can give you an edge. You’re smaller, you’re nimbler and you have more specialized knowledge about the products and services you sell. So, use it to your advantage and create content that highlights that knowledge and offers your customers solutions to their common challenges.
If you look closely at the websites for the above-mentioned distributors, you’ll see they have spent considerable time creating a user-friendly site. That means easier navigation, chatbots, customer support and online resources like catalogs, webinars, whitepapers and blogs. If you listen in on industry trends, you’re also bound to hear terms like UX (user experience), algorithm, hyperlocal, voice search and many more. These are more than just buzzwords. They have a purpose; to create the best possible experience for the online buyer. When it comes to ecommerce and online sales, user experience will continue to be a major contributor to long-term success.
Let’s think about your own website right now.
- Can customers easily navigate your site?
- Is it easy to shop and compare products online?
- Do you have product reviews and company testimonials on your site?
- Are there helpful resources that can help potential buyers make decisions?
- Is it easy to contact your sales representatives or customer support?
- Do you create blog articles and other resources that answer your customer’s biggest questions?
- Do you share industry news with your followers?
If you answered no to any of these questions, don’t fret. See this as an opportunity to start making some minor improvements to your website for some major wins. How and where do you begin? Far too often, companies dive head-first into creating a new website. That’s where they begin spending unnecessary money on changes that don’t necessarily move the needle. Don’t get me wrong, some websites will need an entire transformation or migration to a better platform, but that’s a conversation for another day.
Keep an eye out for Part 2 of the series, “Become A Market Leader by Improving Online User Experience” where you’ll find actionable tips on how to begin creating customer-inspired content for the ultimate online experience.
If you’d like to discover how 3 Aspens Media can help you grow your business with content, contact us at [email protected]. We’d love to help you on your way.