Top 5 Barriers to Successful Order Placement and Customer Engagement

Now more than ever, it’s vital that businesses assess their capabilities to prioritise customers by delivering an outstanding customer experience, whether that’s in a B2B or B2C environment. From our work with global apparel and footwear brands over the past 14 years, we’ve identified a list of the 5 most common pain points that lead to loss of sales and disengaged customers. Read on to find out what the 5 pain points are and how digital solutions are creating value for businesses and their customers. 

5 Common Pain Points That Lead to Loss of Sales and Disengaged Customers

Lack of up to Date Product Information

Print catalogues are outdated instantly and cannot be updated easily or cheaply. This can lead to buyer frustration, loss of confidence and the loss of a sale. Furthermore, our research found that 70% of sales teams acknowledge that the lack of effective content negatively impacts on the outcome of a sales conversation.

Using a digital catalogue offers an opportunity to overcome buyer frustration caused by out of date ranges and supply issues as they only show the latest range updates and stock levels. Oliver Coxhead, Key Account Manager for UK distributor 2Pure, found this functionality enabled him and his sales team colleagues to offer customers a much better experience.

“As it can be updated remotely, it ensures the Sales Team is armed with the latest information when meeting customers. In addition, this information can be easily manipulated, adjusted and shared with our customer base.”

Restricted Access to Data Held in Different Systems

Restricted data flow is a pain point experienced by many businesses, not just those in the clothing and sports markets. Legacy systems and longstanding processes can cause a delay in accessing and updating important information which in turn can lead to the loss of sales that depend on speed of response. We found that 88% of sales reps believe that opportunities have been missed because they can’t leverage all the data that’s available to them.

Go to Market (GTM) platforms distribute important data quickly and efficiently to different stakeholders and digital systems, such as e-commerce platforms and digital sales tools. Cloud based GTM platforms, like our aHub, are being used increasingly to accelerate and streamline the organisation of information to sell across multiple channels. Understanding your existing IT infrastructure and the digital ecosystem will help you choose the right solution based on your business needs.

Lengthy Order Capture and Placement Process

A 2015 survey on how to improve the order management process amongst manufacturers and distributors revealed order writing inefficiencies as the number one challenge. This just highlights the importance of having the right tools available to capture an order.

A traditional approach involves sending details back to the office which can be a lengthy process and can sometimes lack accuracy. Digital sell-in tools capture orders instantly, helping to close more sales and place more accurate orders.

Mizuno has been using the aWorkbook digital catalogue app successfully for 4 years and has seen record sales growth as Rob Jackson, Head of Golf explains;

“It’s four years since Mizuno Golf launched their digital assortment selection and ordering tool using the aWorkbook platform, and I am pleased to say that the accuracy and efficiency this brings to the sales teams and retail buyers has played its part in delivering record first half sales growth across the EMEA golf business in 2017.”

Non-Tailored Pricing and Product Catalogues

Retailers are demanding a more personalised experience, something that’s hard to deliver with print. They only want to see products that are relevant to them and pricing to match. Providing this level of personalisation through a non-digital channel is costly and carries the risk of only being used once or twice making it extremely inefficient and sometimes counterproductive.

Moving to a digital sell-in platform offers unlimited flexibility and product segmentation to ensure that time spent with your customers is maximised and that any material is tailored to their needs, something that Mark Downie, Senior Brand Manager at 2Pure praised aWorkbook for.

“aWorkbook is so much more than a digital version of our catalogue because of the additional functions it has to create a personalised custom assortment for a customer. Our objective of planning retailer ranges more effectively, saving time on paperwork and admin has been more than achieved.”

Delivering the Right Product Offer in New Countries/Territories

Capturing market share in rapidly expanding or emerging markets represents a significant opportunity for many brands. The advantage of using a digital sell-in tool is that it can deliver relevant customer centric offers with tailored marketing communications, brand stories and product information. New markets are quickly educated, and brand loyalty grows.

Nicolas Chapuis, Sales Operations Director EMEA at Amer Sports, whose Omni-channel strategy is one to watch, has successfully deployed the aWorkbook digital sell-in tool to support the expansion of the Amer Sports brand offer in many new territories and channels.

“The aWorkbook software and the team at Hark have proved to be flexible and responsive in making sure we get it right for how we sell in the different territories and channels. We are very happy with the way the project is progressing.”

Moving Towards Digital Sell-In

Off the shelf solutions like aWorkbook are making the implementation of a digital sell-in process easier than ever before. More manufacturers and distributors are choosing to move towards digital sell-in now because it’s tailored for their business model and they don’t want to fall behind their competitors.

Consulting widely with different job functions, amongst partners and even competitors will tell you a lot about what is right for you. Off the shelf apps come in many different varieties and often with overlapping features. Our white paper Going From Print to Digital covers the considerations and processes involved in choosing and implementing a digital sell-in solution in greater detail.

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