Before the pandemic, the number of LBM companies with e-commerce sites was limited, as most people felt that a basic web presence was sufficient. Over the last 15 months, pandemics have dramatically changed the focus of the LBM industry looking for technology solutions to provide online access to both account-holding customers (B2B) and local consumers (B2C). I will. I am buying materials online and trying to schedule delivery.
There are many examples of e-commerce growth in the LBM industry, but none show more than the number of pure queries that BuilderWire has seen recently. In the first quarter of 2021, we signed about 30 new LBM clients. Companies range from distribution companies in multiple locations to lumber yard and hardware stores in one smaller location. New demands for customers to securely access online to view AR balances, make payments online, check inventory in electronic catalogs, and order customer pickups and deliveries. It’s more obvious than ever.
Dealers are also trying to add credit card payment options to win new local businesses in delivery. When the pandemic broke out, the dealer was surprised. Consumers are demanding online orders, and dealers quickly pivoted to find ways to help their business and this new demand with online e-commerce.
Builder Wire was founded in the early 2000s. At that time, our industry was very reluctant to change technology, especially to build a web presence that showed online pricing. Early on, a major issue for LBM dealers trying to implement e-commerce was the lack of access to the data contained in the dealer’s ERP software. Most major ERP companies weren’t thinking about using web services or APIs to allow external access to their data to pull it.
When eventually reliable access to data became available, some LBM companies that started using e-commerce had strict rules about who could and couldn’t access the online portal. Most early adopters of e-commerce have only allowed their top and loyal customers access to their web portal. Companies weren’t interested in promoting their brand online, social media was still in its infancy, and mobile-friendly sites didn’t exist yet.
LBM dealers were once again surprised by the rapid spread of web-enabled mobile phones. Their previous investment in web presence is now completely obsolete. Currently, about 65% of dealer website traffic comes from mobile devices. It was important that the website responded to all the devices used by the end user. As a result, most dealers have rebuilt their websites to work on their mobile phones.
The rebuild has allowed dealers to incorporate more e-commerce into their websites, and more clients want an online product catalog. Our platform connects directly to the client’s “back office computer” to get product information from ERP. This feed allows dealers to create a fully integrated product catalog that is fully maintained within ERP. All changes made to the back office computer are pushed to the website, providing the dealer with a dynamic data-driven web store (1: 1 ratio to the website). E-commerce adoption was still limited, but access to ERP data was improved. Social media existed at this point, but in a nutshell, it didn’t stand out in the LBM industry.
Customers are beginning to understand the benefits of channelizing their e-commerce efforts. By this time, mobile sites were very important. If your website couldn’t be viewed on the phone, that was a problem. Customers began to embrace the idea of B2Be commerce and sold the catalog primarily to loyal customers in their stores every day, rather than opening it up to everyone. During these years, many companies opened e-commerce stores and websites began accepting payments over the Internet.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have taken off. They are used not only as contacts, but also as a source of general information and information about the products we sell.
Pandemics have changed the way virtually any LBM business can operate. Dealers are clamoring for a stronger, user-friendly, commercialized online store. This list is everything that has been functionally required to be developed since the pandemic began.
1.. ACH – Interbank invoice payment for the account holder to pay the balance of the statement or select an invoice.
2..Developed Curved side pickup The ability of dealers to meet customers suppresses online orders.
3.. Builder dash Ability to deliver selected product groups within 2 hours of ordering.
Four.. Locker integration For a touchless pickup with a barcode, I sent my cell phone and scanned it in a locker.
Five.. Online training portal – Leading US wholesalers use this platform to train and educate LBM customers about the sale of specific products.
6.. GEO targeting Therefore, you can use your credit card to provide clients with localized deliveries that are shipped by company trucks.
7.. Curri integration – Curri is an on-demand delivery service for lumber yard. Consider UBER Eats for timber delivery. It provides a 2-hour delivery.
8..Currently doing web-based development Product composition A system that allows the configuration of internal / external doors on a client’s website.
9..We offer Countless shipping options It also integrates with UPS, FedEx, USPS, and shipping companies from several popular carriers, allowing clients to ship nationwide.
Ten.. Online scheduling For kitchen designers who can view the available timeframes open to clients and set appointments with the kitchen design team.
11.. Multilingual support – Some clients are close to a significant number of Spanish-speaking customers. The system allows the user to switch languages.
12.. Video / media library – Dealers can upload training / product videos.
13.. Split shopping cart – This allows dealers to sell both in-stock and custom items in the same shopping cart. When the end user orders some items in stock and some items in a special order, the shopping cart is split into two shopping carts and the two orders are submitted.
14.. Search engine optimization and reputation management – LBM dealers understand the importance of increasing traffic to their website. There is no value added from websites that do not capture new traffic / business. SEO is used to drive organic traffic to your website. Using different SEO techniques with page optimizations can help dealer sites get the best rake possible on Google, Bing, and other search engines.
Another important recognition is the need for off-page reputation management work. One bad Yelp, Google, or Facebook post can damage the dealer’s brand and image. LBM dealers focus on getting good reviews and comments on off-page sites.
15.. Social media feed – There are many benefits to linking your website to social media pages. Whether it’s a product promotion or a new educational blog post, connecting your website directly to corporate social is a tactic used to increase traffic. This increases the number of “entrances” to your website and makes your website appear more frequently in search results.
The pandemic has caused an unexpected boom in timber dealers. It also showed how an unprepared dealer grants clients e-commerce access. This recognition came at the right time in the evolution of e-commerce capabilities for dealers.
The younger generation has influenced company leaders to apply technological changes and e-commerce capabilities. APIs and web services can now access dealer data. Also, e-commerce software is cheaper, more functional, and easier to deploy. The idea is as follows. You can buy anything online. Want to buy building materials?
The pandemic has triggered a change in thinking from “I want this in the future” to “I absolutely need it now.”
LBM Dealers Make a Rapid Transition to E-Commerce-Building Products
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