These aren't the only e-commerce trends taking shape right now, but they should be enough to make the typical electrical distributor sit up and take notice – especially the one that still relies heavily on traditional and manual ways of selling and doing business. With 80-plus million millennials making their way into the workforce, and already digital-savvy and expecting real-time responses and same-day deliveries, burying your head in the sand is no longer an option (and neither is a "calling card" website that's not e-commerce enabled).
"As e-commerce continues to grow and evolve, it cannot be ‘business as usual' for industrial distributors," says Jamar Cobb-Dennard, a sales and marketing expert in Indianapolis who has designed and executed sales and marketing strategies for numerous companies. "To compete in the 21st Century e-commerce marketplace, they need to implement a number of strategies – with thought and integration – into their traditional sales and marketing efforts."
Poking around at a few different industrial distributors' active websites, Cobb-Dennard sees a lot of companies trying to squeeze one last ounce out of their circa-late-1990s/early-2000s online efforts. "The sites are very eye-catching or informative and most of them are just online catalogs," says Cobb-Dennard, who doesn't advise distributors to run out and try to pack their sites with all of the latest bells and whistles. Instead, he tells them to step back and try to catch up with some e-commerce basics.
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