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The Biggest Concern for Dealers: Rate of Technology Progression vs. Rate of Technology Adoption

26 June 2019 | Caleb Huard


 

 

The most valuable asset established print dealers have created for themselves is their current customer base. We all talk about the threats of print decline and the trends that emerge from that. What if the biggest threat is the mistreatment of your customers? Are you meeting their technological expectations in the sales process? 


If you look at the world through your current customers’ lens, then the biggest trend in your industry is B2B e-commerce.


The trend is how people prefer to buy. Nothing else even comes close. How can we make such a bold statement? It’s simple. Our industry is no different than any others. Everyone buys stuff online.

 

There are so many folks preaching how innovative we are or need to be. Call us boring, but we subscribe to a different thought. We are so far behind innovation compared to other industries that simply following the lead of successful models is us being innovative technologically. This can be fairly typical in a mature B2B industry. 

 

Let’s be honest with ourselves. How guilty are we for using Uber, Amazon, Netflix, and Airbnb to support our “new” ideas? I know we can be. These are all more than 10-year-old technologies that have set a standard. That standard has been ingrained into your customers’ expectations.



While we continue to see the industry still trying to figure out and jump aboard inbound and outbound digital marketing strategies, we’re terrified that this was a standard more than 5 years ago.

 

We can be “innovative” though. We can take these great use cases and mould them into our office technology world. We can build custom functionality that makes sense for specific workflows. It’s customer-facing tech that is paramount. You just need to make sure you start with customers and their needs. Without discounting the importance of many other technologies, one of the most dangerous things we notice is dealers prioritizing back-end tech above customer-facing tech. It’s difficult because many are behind in both. Isn’t continuing to get the sale more important than how we deal with it after though?


Now, it’s easy for us to say that e-commerce is the biggest trend needing to be addressed in your world.


The reality is that if you haven’t started, it’s really hard to do on your own. Tens of thousands, sometimes millions of products. Prices that change constantly. Pricing per account. Quoting. Online transactions. How can you manage all of this? That’s why you call us.


MPSToolbox’s vision has always been to help your customers do business more easily with you. The way they expect. We do B2B e-commerce for office technology products. Call us. Don’t let the tech get even further ahead of you! Customers will move to businesses who offer this buying experience. Ignorance is not bliss here.


Not thinking you need e-commerce is like thinking that you wouldn’t need a website years ago. How ridiculous would that sound today?

 

 

 

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