Seeing a term like ‘omnichannel’ might give you the chills and make you long for the good old times. When the air was clean, and having a good dealer network and presence at conventions would get you plenty of customers. Unfortunately that won’t do anymore, but in this blog you will read that omnichannel isn’t that intimidating. Which is fortunate, as it is the way to make your business future-proof.
Omnichannel is about meeting your customers’ needs through multiple channels, where your customer is able to change from channel to channel effortlessly. A simple example: when they are orienting online, they also want to be able to find exactly what they are looking for in a physical store. You might not have your entire product range on display, but then you could move to a digital solution, such as augmented reality.
In any way, it is important that they do not have to dive into a catalog again with your dealer, but are able to proceed through the online configurator. The extensive digitalization that has been in the B2C market for longer has also occurred in the B2B market for some time now. If you have not started reacting to this yet, then it is about time you do. Fortunately omnichannel doesn’t have to be complicated, as long as you use the right software.
Why would you go along with all this modern nonsense? Your dealer network is functional and soon conventions will start happening again, so what is the added value of it all? We will gladly explain this.
Okay, not everyone. But more than half of B2B buyers start their search on the internet. And if you bear in mind that in 2025 over 75% of working people will be millennials, it is logical that your physical catalog will be used less and less.
So it begins online. And if you aren’t easily found there, you lose half the battle already. This goes much further than having a website. Because this website also has to impress: your visitors could easily move to a competitor where the online experience is better. So ensure you have the right funnels, optimize your website and configurator, and demonstrate why customers should really choose your business. An extensive PDF with all possible product compositions is no longer sufficient.
One of the most interesting ways to improve your online experience is with online 3D visualizations of your products. In the B2B market in particular and when selling complex products, you take a giant leap in front of your competitors with online 3D visualization. It makes it possible to not only let your customers choose their desired composition but simultaneously support them in the selection process and directly show them what the product will eventually look like. Additionally, such an online solution is very scalable. Compare this to the competitor, where they offer selection on the basis of an extensive catalog with all sorts of small prints and don’t really get anywhere even after countless phone calls with the dealer.
Additionally, with a good online experience, the step towards omnichannel is a very small one, and all sorts of hybrid solutions are possible. For example, as a producer of luxurious canvas tents. The basic models would be in your showroom, but thanks to a 3D display with many configuration possibilities the customers will also see exactly what their configured tents will look like. You could even digitally place the tent in the showroom using augmented reality.
Do you experience the same thing many other manufacturers do, having a few salespeople who excel compared to others? You’d probably want to clone them if possible, and not only deploy them as salespeople but as dealers, too. This tech unfortunately isn’t here yet, but thanks to omnichannel you get an excellent alternative. This seamless experience through different channels is not only beneficial to your customers, but also to your sellers and dealers.
For instance, if you are using an online product configurator, you will have all possible configurations readily stored in it. And naturally, they are validated by your engineers. You then send your salespeople and dealers on their way with this configurator, and with that ensure that they will never again sell something that cannot actually be built, and arm them with the best arguments to convince the customer. Moreover, it is a solution anyone can easily work with, so that you gain fast and flawless quotations, and are able to start production right after without the need for extensive analyses.
Perhaps you are wondering what such an omnichannel experience would cost. We think that this way of working could save you a hefty sum otherwise spent on dealer training and schooling. As all required knowledge is readily stored in Elfsquad, our online product configurator software. Additionally, entry fees are very low, because during the trial we immediately start working with your own products. So you save a lot on implementation costs. You can even manage and design Elfsquad yourself and don’t spend tons on consultancy costs. Check out the Elfsquad modules to see which best suits your organization.
You quickly earn back your investment: customers are convinced more quickly and your dealers and salespeople will sell more efficiently. And your dealer manager? They will have more time to make the dealer channel even more efficient and effective.