Buying drainage or building supplies online at EasyMerchant.
When you think about the amount of time you’ve spent waiting at trade counters, the idea of being able to quickly order supplies from your phone or laptop might seem like a dream come true. In reality though, the service you’ll receive from some online suppliers leaves a lot to be desired – and often makes the idea of slightly higher prices and a vending machine coffee at your local wholesalers much more appealing.
It’s easy to spot trends in the issues that tradespeople face when they order online. Firstly, there are the products that don’t meet the description or quality that have been promised by the website; secondly, there are delivery times that often aren’t met – and; thirdly, it’s not uncommon to find that their service is lacking – a broad subject that could cover everything from poor product knowledge through to difficult returns procedures.
So, what’s the answer? Well, for a lot of people it’s simple; stick to local suppliers – but, there are online retailers that are working hard to change the experience people have when they’re conveniently sourcing supplies online.
If you’re an online supplier and you want to win a customer’s repeat business, you need to make sure prices, products and service are all exactly right. Neglect one part of this ‘service triangle’ and you’ll be letting customers down – and those customers will almost always vote with their feet when they next need to order.
The thing is, there are no quick fixes that will establish this service triangle for an online retailer. If you want to encourage people to purchase online, you’ll need trade experience so you can be sure you’re supplying products that meet expectations – as well as a commitment to making sure everything you stock will be delivered on time. Of course, there’s also the matter of being able to confidently answer questions and understand your products too. It’s fairly easy to set up a nice-looking online store-front and buy some advertising – but it’s far harder to spend time building these solid foundations.
If you want to be sure you’re dealing with a company that won’t let you down, it’s these foundations you need to be looking for. No one can blame you for having your head turned by one-off sales or relentless advertising – but they’re no substitute for outstanding products and service from people who understand your role and your industry.
Without EasyMerchant’s commitment to creating our service triangle, our business wouldn’t be where it is today. We haven’t created eye-catching advertising campaigns or tried to grab people’s attention with one-off sales. Instead; we’ve employed people who understand the trade – and we’ve established competitive prices that have come as a result of our long-standing connections with suppliers and industry leaders. What’s more, we make sure every single order is carefully picked and packed – before sending it out on a specialist vehicle wherever possible.
If you want to be certain you’re avoiding issues when you’re sourcing products online, follow your intuition. Ask yourself, “Does this company look and feel like they know what they’re doing” – and don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask some questions to gauge the level of service they’re offering. Ultimately, there’s no amount of impressive web-design that will ever make up for a commitment to excellent customer service that extends across every part of the business.