Improving sales for your wholesale business can be tough. With increasing competition in the market from fast-growing organic and local brands, and the white-hot specialty food market in general, customers have higher expectations. How can you rise above the crowd, acquire more customers, and grow your business? We offer four ways for you to learn and grow (eight if you count the sub-bullets)!
1 . Offer Customers Special Deals
Everyone loves deals, and business customers are no different. Here are some creative promotions you should be running to generate more sales.
- Segment your customers and reward the loyal ones. For example, create additional discounts for customers who make bulk purchases above a chosen threshold, or who try your new products in addition to their normal purchase.
- Give special discounts to new customers. A reduced price is an easy way to attract new leads and turn them into customers.
- Create a referral program. Arm your existing customers with discounts they can hand out to other potential customers. Then, reward those existing customers who successfully refer a new customer your way.
- Create a sense of urgency. No matter what kind of deals you’re offering to your customers, make them time-limited. Having a deadline will encourage immediate action.
2. Provide Outstanding Customer Service
According to 2015 Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report, 97% of consumers say customer service is important in their choice of and loyalty to, a brand. 61% say it’s not just important, but very important.
Once you acquire a customer, you should do be doing everything in your power to keep them. It can cost 5-25 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. There are many ways to do this, some of which you’re probably already doing, e.g., discounting or relationship management, One you may not have thought of is improving your customer support by enabling your customers to be self-sufficient. Building a B2B customer portal is a great way to maximize the value of your customer service. It makes ordering, delivery, and billing a seamless experience for your wholesale customers. Not to mention it will save you money.
3. Evaluate Your Distribution Strategy
The distribution of your products is one of the central activities in your business. These days, it’s also a question of physical distribution as well as online. Questions to ask yourself here include:
- Is my business a good fit for working with a distributor? I.e., is it big enough, can I supply enough inventory, will I be able to accept their financial and payment terms?
- What type of distribution partner will serve me and my customers’ needs?
- Should I work with a broker? Do they have the right network and is their cost worthwhile?
- What online channels could I work with? Grocery-focused online channels include Good Eggs, Thrive Market, and now, Amazon. Restaurant-focused online channels include DineMarket, Chefmod, and BlueCart.
4. Understand Your Customers
Understanding your customers is key to serving their needs. As mentioned earlier in this article, it is absolutely critical to keep your customer because it’s much more expensive to acquire new ones. So, how do you do that?
We argue the key is analytics, insights from your order data. Use your historical sales data to understand your customers’ shopping patterns. It’s not easy to do this manually, but these days there’s an app for everything. Using technology to manage inventory and orders is the first step, but even more helpful is to gain actionable insights without having to even open Excel or talk to your bookkeeper.
Get those insights, and increase your sales now, with Sweet, a “smart” inventory app.