While the U.S. continues to try and flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are trying to stay ahead of it. Many businesses have disappeared over the last several months—some shut down altogether, while others are just trying to stay afloat, and even less have felt no impacts from the global pandemic. Companies have needed to rely on willpower and the strength of their employees and innovation to pull through during these uncertain times. Businesses have shifted philosophies, workplace environments, etc. to stay relevant and remain a key partner for their customers. Because selling products and services is about one thing: making the customer, whether they’re a consumer or another business, feel welcomed and wanted. Customer service is a vital aspect of this, and it has played an important role for many businesses as they navigate these terrible circumstances.
The way businesses operate has changed during the first half of 2020 as has the way customers shop. “To thrive in the next normal, B2B companies will need to continue adapting to the new economic reality,” states McKinsey & Company in an article about the changes to B2B sales during COVID-19. The article notes that companies are twice as likely to be chosen as a primary supplier if it provides an outstanding digital experience than those that don’t.
The shift from brick-and-mortar to online shopping began before COVID-19; however, the pandemic has been the catalyst for some. According to an article from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP in Bloomberg Law, the transition has happened in a big way. It states, “Unilever’s [business-to-consumer] sales now account for 45% of its food service division’s eCommerce sales, compared with 25% pre-pandemic.” They concluded that, “…B2B businesses can leverage the B2C eCommerce model to optimize sales and otherwise meet their business and marketing operations goals both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic…”
Global bakery ingredient manufacturer Dawn Foods has done just that, which has helped the sales and credit teams provide the best experience for their customers. In June, Dawn launched a new eCommerce platform for customers to streamline orders. “The new eCommerce platform has enhanced and improved the ordering process so that the credit department will see orders quicker”, said Aaron Jones, CBA, senior manager of credit and collections with Dawn. “Customers don’t have to wait anymore for a call or a visit; they can enter their order any time when they are ready. This gives the credit department more time to do any credit checks, they are able to see orders earlier and are able to get credit decisions done faster.”
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