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2/10/2016
E-Commerce Newsletter - February 2016
By: The Packaging Wholesalers

E-COMMERCE NEWSLETTER

February 2016

E-commerce Trends

A key selling strategy in today’s marketplace is having an E-commerce presence. For many of us who have been selling Packaging Goods for 10 plus years, jumping into the E-commerce world can seem like a daunting task. It’s a different business model that requires a change in the way that we sell and build relationships with our customers.

Current Model – Service orientated, relationship building, fair pricing
E-commerce Model – Price orientated, ease and speed of online ordering focus

E-commerce sales continue to grow as consumer age demographics shift. Statista estimates that USA E-commerce sales will increase 43% by 2018. The reality is that as the workforce shifts and Millennials take on more and more purchasing responsibilities, the “buying” expectations of your customers will be more E-commerce focused.

Paper catalogs could eventually be a thing of the past much like the “Yellow Pages” as younger consumers demand online catalogs and mobile-friendly product search tools.

Does your business plan incorporate this reality?

Paradigm Shift - Millennials

Millennials do not want to sort through a paper catalog or have to create manual purchase orders to submit to Distributors. They want to shop online and quickly place their order at a great price.

If you do not have a web presence, you are already at a disadvantage. If you have a web-presence but do not offer an E-commerce web-store, you are also at a dis-advantage.

If you cannot track your customers and do not have the tools to respond to Abandoned Shopping Carts, you too are at a disadvantage.

Lastly, if you offer an E-commerce web-store but your site is not mobile-friendly… well, you too are at a dis-advantage. Millennials live on their smart phones – we see it all around us! That is how they communicate and shop.

61% of E-commerce sales are currently completed using mobile devices.

Jumping Into the E-commerce world

When we talk to Distributors about our E-commerce website offering, we are usually asked “What can I expect my monthly E-commerce website sales to be?” This is the hardest of all questions for us to answer because the only person that can answer that question is the “Distributor”. Having an E-commerce presence does not mean you will see sales orders immediately. It rarely works that way.

In order to have a successful E-Commerce website, you must develop an E-Commerce marketing strategy; you must dedicate time to execute that strategy, and you must have patience and a commitment to see that strategy develop and produce results over time. We have had some amazing success stories that immediately took hold; but those are the exceptions. If you are going to “dabble” in E-commerce and try it for 2-3 months, you are most likely going to be disappointed. It takes many months to get your E-commerce website, pricing and marketing strategies fine-tuned.

If you are going to jump in, you need to jump in with both feet.

Here are some important points to consider:

  1. Not everyone can be on page one or page two of a website search result. If you want to get noticed, you have to strategize and invest in marketing your website to get noticed.
  2. Reality Check - If you expect to attract new customers to your website, be prepared to offer attractive pricing. Online consumers are price comparing and if you are expecting unreasonably large margins from your website sales, it will be hard for you to convert new consumers on your website.

Here is the good news!

  1. Having an E-commerce website gives your business instant credibility in the marketplace!
  2. Distributors with E-commerce websites with The Packaging Wholesalers for one full year saw the following combined year over year E-commerce website sales increases:
    1. September 2015 vs September 2014 +31%
    2. October 2015 vs October 2014 + 26%
    3. November 2015 vs November 2014 +123%
    4. December 2015 vs December 2014 +38%
    5. January 2016 vs January 2015 +67%
  3. January 2016 represented the strongest monthly sales volume to date:
    1. January 2016 sales were up +34% versus December 2015
    2. January 2016 sales were even up +13% versus November 2015 (normally the highest sales month of the year)

Sales Analysis

Why are we seeing these healthy increases year over year? We believe the answer has to do with Distributors adjusting their marketing and pricing strategies based upon what is working and not working.

It does take time to see results but the numbers show it does happen if you invest in your E-Commerce website through Marketing strategies.

What’s New

In recent months we have added new functionality to our offering:

  1. Hold and Release – This new feature allows Distributors to review orders before they are automatically released for processing. The Distributor can:
    1. Release the order
    2. Cancel the order
    3. Cancel and Copy the order (to adjust order details)
    4. Modify the Fulfillment Quantities – allows Distributor to determine what Packaging Wholesalers fulfills versus Distributor
  2. Customer Pickup – Allows Distributor to turn on Customer Pickup capability for themselves and optionally their Customers
  3. Save Credit Card – Allows Consumers to Store Their Credit Card information within Authorize.net so that they do not have to key in credit card information for future purchases saving them time and accelerating the ordering experience.
  4. Developed in-depth Tutorial Documentation

Final Thoughts

If you DO NOT HAVE an E-commerce website, give us a call and we will be happy to review our offering with you to see if it is the right fit for your operation.

If you DO HAVE an existing Home Grown or Competitor E-commerce website, but it is not producing the results that you were hoping for, give us a call.

We may just have the solution to get your E-commerce sales back on track!

 

Good Selling!

Steve Healey

Distributor Website Manager

Direct: 630.635.3660

1717 Gifford Rd. Elgin, Illinois 60120 (800) 548-9121 Fax (630) 237-4810

The Packaging Wholesalers offers the best selection of...

•  Wholesale Boxes •  Corrugated Boxes •  Cardboard Boxes •  Wholesale Boxes
•  Corrugated Cartons •  Chipboard Cartons •  Chipboard Pads •  Corrugated Mailers
•  Bubble Rolls •  Foam Products •  Edge Protection •  Strapping Guards
•  Food Service Supplies •  Kitchen Supplies •  Green Packaging •  Recyclable Packaging
•  Janitorial Supplies •  Facility Maintenance Supplies •  Labels •  Loose Fill
•  Packaging Machines •  Packaging Machinery •  Mailing Envelopes •  Mailing Boxes
•  Shipping Envelopes •  Packing List Envelopes •  Poly Bags •  Poly Sheeting
•  Protective Wraps •  Single Face Corrugated / VCI •  Single Face VCI •  Shrink Film
•  Steel Strapping •  Plastic Strapping •  Strapping Tools •  Stretch Film
•  Stuffing Paper •  Kraft Paper •  Newsprint Paper •  Tissue Paper
•  Tapes •  Shipping Tapes •  Box Tapes •  Safety Tapes
•  Shipping Boxes •  Bubble Envelopes •  Pallet Protection •  Ecofriendly Packaging
•  Mailing Tubes •  Protective Packaging •  Staplers •  Packing Paper
•  Warehouse Supplies •  Void Fill •  Paper Cutters