Why Promo Distributors are Trading Forms and Spreadsheets for Online Stores

Selling in the Promo Industry is Complex

Happy clients = more sales. And more time selling = more sales. But spending more time selling and keeping clients happy isn’t a simple equation. 

The promo distribution business is highly complex thanks to the sheer volume of personalization and product options. Managing it all with systems like forms, spreadsheets, catalogs, and emails wastes time and frustrates clients if you don’t have your processes down to a science for every order. Otherwise, your orders (then your clients) fall through the cracks. Goodbye repeat business.  

Manual, inefficient, mistake-ridden processes like these are detrimental to business growth—slowly eating away at margins and customer satisfaction order by order. It’s why many distributors and their salespeople in the promotional products industry are turning to ecommerce technology. Time-bound pop up shops and long-term company stores let distributors cash in on orders in the most efficient and client-friendly manner possible. Then they can focus on what they love most—happy clients and selling more.  

Don’t let this be you. Build your customers a website & let it close the deal for you.

Why forms, catalogs, and spreadsheets aren’t cutting it 

Problem 1: Customer satisfaction gets trickier

Between typos, scattered spreadsheets, emails back and forth with clients, and tallying sizes on loose pieces of paper – manual orders are prone to human error. While some mistakes are easy to fix, others tank your customer retention. If Johnny’s soccer uniform didn’t make it to the final order sheet, and he can’t play in his first game of the season, don’t count on repeat business from your former biggest fans.

Problem 2: Time, time, and more time spent collecting orders

Every minute spent organizing product catalogs, creating order forms, and going back and forth with clients to confirm order details via email is time not spent on selling more. What seems like a minute here and there ends up costing a ton of time as a promo business grows.

How ecommerce stores increase customer satisfaction and retention

  1. Deal with fewer communication errors – The more channels (i.e. phone, email, spreadsheet, forms) you use to collect order information from customers, the more chances there are of miscommunicating. Directing customers to place orders through ecommerce stores (accessible with a single link) cuts out the back and forth that comes with collecting orders through other channels.
  1. Give customers control over their orders – When clients place orders through the website, they become responsible for selecting the right product, the right size, and submitting their order within applicable time restrictions. Giving customers the tools to place the final order means they’ll step up to the plate and confirm the details.
  1. Let them share the website with their friends, colleagues, teammates, or whoever – so you can maximize sales – If your customers are used to shopping online (and who isn’t by now?), they will thank you for not making them suffer through another spreadsheet order. If they love the products on the site, they’re going to share the link with their friends, which makes it that much easier to rake in sales without the overhead of managing spreadsheets.

How ecommerce stores increase customer satisfaction and retention

Deal with fewer communication errors – The more channels (i.e. phone, email, spreadsheet, forms) you use to collect order information from customers, the more chances there are of miscommunicating. Directing customers to place orders through ecommerce stores (accessible with a single link) cuts out the back and forth that comes with collecting orders through other channels.

Give customers control over their orders – When clients place orders through the website, they become responsible for selecting the right product, the right size, and submitting their order within applicable time restrictions. Giving customers the tools to place the final order means they’ll step up to the plate and confirm the details.

Let them share the website with their friends, colleagues, teammates, or whoever – so you can maximize sales – If your customers are used to shopping online (and who isn’t by now?), they will thank you for not making them suffer through another spreadsheet order. If they love the products on the site, they’re going to share the link with their friends, which makes it that much easier to rake in sales without the overhead of managing spreadsheets.

How ecommerce stores help reduce time spent on monotonous tasks

  1. No more tracking down information in multiple places – Between texts, calls, spreadsheets, emails, and forms, trying to stay organized in many different places isn’t efficient. If you think it’s an added value for your customer, “But they can reach me whenever, wherever!” that added value takes a toll when order details get lost. Then opportunities go down the wrong pipeline—into the trash.
  1. Easy-to-access reporting – all order history and transaction data lives in an easy-to-access platform, so you can reference and quickly pull data when needed. No more chasing paper trails.
  1. Easy-to-access reporting – all order history and transaction data lives in an easy-to-access platform, so you can reference and quickly pull data when needed. No more chasing paper trails.

Don’t know if ecommerce is for you?