DSD Sales Guide – Direct Store Delivery Best Practices!

Direct Store Delivery Best Practices – DSD Sales Guide

In an era where the retail industry is having a hard time, it pays to look for ways to improve efficiency and cut costs. The latter needs to be done without impacting on customer satisfaction, and there can be no cutting corners when it comes to providing the best service. What are the answers? One of them is to look at Direct Store Delivery (DSD) and, where possible, perhaps implement it in your structure.

What is DSD, and why are more suppliers and retailers benefiting from this method of streamlining an operation? Let’s take a closer look at DSD, how it works, and why it is becoming more commonplace.

The 21st century sales representative works in an entirely different world to that of even 20 years ago. Gone are the days when you went to visit a potential client, took the order and headed back to the main office, all in good time! Today, the key lies in responding to leads in double-quick time, getting the go ahead as soon as you can, and getting that order back to the team at the office almost in an instant – and quicker if possible! The world of commerce and industry is very much time-driven now, so any tool that can help the rep out in the field is always going to be welcome.

OIS_Mobile_Sales_Orders_for_DSD

DSD Explained 

Direct Store Delivery is a method of getting goods from supplier to store that effectively cuts out one stage of the operation. Traditionally, a manufacturer produces items which – when ordered by the retailer – are then sent to the retailer’s central distribution centre. This can be a large warehouse in which goods are stored, waiting to be delivered to individual shops when required. This method has been used for many years by retailing chains, and it can be very efficient and successful.

Yet, in this day and age, is there really a need for that central distribution centre? The warehouse costs money to operate, after all. What if you could do away with that central distribution centre – and the costs it entails – and deliver direct from supplier to the individual store? That’s what DSD is about; it’s a method of distribution that avoids the added cost of the centralised distribution model.

What are the benefits of DSD for both supplier and retailer?

Benefits of DSD

For the retailer, not having to rely upon a central distribution centre means quicker delivery time. Rather than loading, delivering to the warehouse, then loading again for delivery to the retail unit there is one simple transaction: load at the suppliers, deliver and unload at the retailer. This cuts out not only time, but money.

It also means the retailer has direct control at all times over inventory, and can handle stock control much more accurately. Unsurprisingly, DSD is most used in the food and drinks industry, where quick delivery and fast turnaround are part of the deal. Being able to order directly means getting things in store at the right time, ready for sale while still fresh.

With frequent deliveries and no need for large amounts of stock in holding, you also get the benefit of less waste and also reduced incidents of theft. Storage space can be utilised in other ways, too, and quality control becomes easier.

For the supplier, DSD allows for greater flexibility in production and logistics, along with the cost savings that come with both. It is now a proven method of getting goods from supplier to retailer, and one that you might want to take a closer look at. With online retailing rising in popularity, physical retailers need all the help they can find, and switching to DSD may be one of those opportunities.

If OIS Mobile for DSD is of interest to you, why not fill in your details at the website and we will happily arrange to give you an online demo. – we’re confident you’ll be impressed!


Learn more about our B2B eCommerce Platform for Wholesalers!

OIS eCommerce App and Web Store
OIS eCommerce Solution

Track Orders and Keep Customers Happy!

■ Create custom pricing, percentage discounts and volume pricing for customers or groups.

■ Allow customers to purchase, track and reorder products.

■ Integrate your eCommerce platform with your accounting system (SAP, SAGE, Quickbooks and others)

Dealing with the Challenges Faced by Modern-Day Sales Representatives!

OIS Mobile iPad App for Field Sales Reps

Dealing with the Challenges Faced by Modern-Day Sales Representatives!

The 21st century sales representative works in an entirely different world to that of even 20 years ago. Gone are the days when you went to visit a potential client, took the order and headed back to the main office, all in good time! Today, the key lies in responding to leads in double-quick time, getting the go ahead as soon as you can, and getting that order back to the team at the office almost in an instant – and quicker if possible! The world of commerce and industry is very much time-driven now, so any tool that can help the rep out in the field is always going to be welcome.

Is there such a tool? There is, and it’s been developed by us to streamline and simplify the sales and ordering process, by using the very latest technology and solutions. Orders In Seconds – or OIS Mobile as we like to call it – is a cloud-based sales management app that will help make your life on the road far easier, as well as that of the team back at the office. Furthermore, it gives the client added reassurance that their order will be dealt with as quickly, efficiently and accurately as possible. How does it work, and what can OIS Mobile do for you?

The Benefits of OIS Mobile

First and foremost, as we mentioned above OIS Mobile is a cloud-based platform; this means it does not take up valuable space on your servers. We have designed it to create a communications portal that is delivered on a handheld device – your smartphone or tablet – and that is very easy to use. OIS Mobile can handle everything from in-store calls to sales order and pre-order processing, all remotely, and then communicates with OIS Central, which is the web-based central system that is back at the office. Information is delivered cleanly and instantly, allowing for immediate processing.

ois_solution_central_mobile

Not only can you get the order details back to base there and then, but if you wish it can be done in front of the client in real time. OIS can also interface with popular accounting systems – think major brands such as Sage, QuickBooks, Peachtree, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP and more – giving you added versatility, and in the process streamlining the order processing system to even greater degree. Available for iPhone and iPad, as well as for Android devices, OIS Mobile is the sales processing app you need if you want to operate the smoothest possible system.

With metric analysis tools, GPS tracking, customer order history and many other features not always found on apps of this kind, we are confident that OIS Mobile will appeal to you no matter the type or size of business you operate.

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If OIS Mobile is of interest to you, why not fill in your details at the website, and we will happily arrange for you to be presented with a demonstration of the capabilities of the OIS package – and we’re confident you’ll be impressed!


Learn more about our B2B eCommerce Platform for Wholesalers!

OIS eCommerce App and Web Store
OIS eCommerce Solution

Track Orders and Keep Customers Happy!

■ Create custom pricing, percentage discounts and volume pricing for customers or groups.

■ Allow customers to purchase, track and reorder products.

■ Integrate your eCommerce platform with your accounting system (SAP, SAGE, Quickbooks and others)

Learn How Kellogg’s is using mobile apps to increase B2B sales orders!

OIS eCommerce Solution for Foodservice

Learn How Kellogg’s is using mobile apps to increase B2B sales orders!

Kellogg’s has rolled out a Business-To-Business (B2B) eCommerce Mobile app to help convenience retailers place orders of snacks and cereals.

One of the world’s largest and oldest cereal makers with some of the most well-known brands of snack and convenience foods known to consumers is dropping serious hints at growing B2B e-commerce.

Speaking Nov. 13 at Kellogg Co.’s annual event for investors and analysts, Chris Hood, president for North America, said the maker of such iconic brands as Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Special K sees significant growth opportunity in B2B e-commerce.

“We’ve dramatically expanded the number of C-store outlets and we’ve launched a B2B eCommerce business there.”

As part of our redesign within our North American structure,” he said, Kellogg is making “an investment in e-commerce capability to really strengthen not only our ability to call on and serve omnichannel players but also pure-play as well as B2B,” he told analysts. “In B2B, in particular, we think there’s a huge opportunity for growth. —we already have a pretty significant business there today, but there’s a big opportunity for us to continue to accelerate.

Kellogg, which generates $13 billion in annual revenue and produces more than 160 snacks and convenience foods like cereal and frozen foods. Monica McGurk, chief revenue, and e-commerce officer, said during the investors event that retail e-commerce accounted for about 2% to 3% of revenue, a percentage that rises to “north of 5%” when including Kellogg’s B2B e-commerce. Using the figures, Kellogg does about $715 million overall in e-commerce sales, including about $325 million in B2B e-commerce.

The secret is pushing a mobile first approach, one that integrates data, AI, and gamification. The food brand partnered with a well-known customer relationship management software provider to develop a robust B2B app that facilitates sales and merchandising.

Their app will allow convenience stores and other retail venues to place orders with the help of an AI-powered Einstein tool. By using previous orders and sales data from similar stores it will create a suggested list of products to buy. If the store owner finds the suggested list favorable, it can self-populate the shopping cart for an easier and faster shopping experience. Also, the AI tool can predict shifts in demand and advise retailers to buy more of certain products if, for instance, Kellogg plans to launch an advertising campaign for said item. Moreover, the tool has the capacity to forecast possible revenue from making that suggested purchase and subsequent sales. This can prove invaluable for increasing the average ticket without the need for field sales agents to move a muscle.

In addition to helping with sales the AI software gives a hand with merchandising. Kellogg implemented a reward system to prompt stores to take “shelfies”. Stores will take photos of a shelf with snacks, for instance, and use a visual comparison software that compares the placement of products against the planograms that the company has developed and ensures merchandising best practices. If something is out of place, then the app will suggest a more appropriate location for products or if they hit mark reward them through a program.

Each of these functions are optimized to maximize revenue for both the store and Kellogg themselves because their products will move faster. 

This is how innovation and a mobile first approach has pushed B2B sales in the millions of dollars for them. More important than that, company executives believe this is only the beginning and the opportunity for growth is far greater. 

A serious B2B sales company should be following Kellogg’s lead in developing solutions that apply directly to their markets using data as their foundation. This does not mean that you should simply try to copy the food brands strategy but find and develop tailored solutions for them. Every retailer will have to consider their specific sales environment and store behavior before setting out to implement this type of strategy.


Learn more about how to rollout Your B2B eCommerce App for Wholesalers?

OIS eCommerce App and Web Store
OIS eCommerce Solution

Track Orders and Keep Customers Happy!

■ Create custom pricing, percentage discounts and volume pricing for customers or groups.

■ Allow customers to purchase, track and reorder products.

■ Integrate your eCommerce platform with your accounting system (SAP, SAGE, Quickbooks and others)


To Learn More about our OIS eCommerce Solution, please visit:

www.ordersinseconds.com/ecommerce-webstores

Learn How US Foods Caters to Customers Online!

OIS eCommerce Solution for Foodservice

Learn How US Foods Caters to Customers Online!

■ The multibillion-dollar distributor, with 350,000 SKUs and more than 250,000 customers, does much of its business through eCommerce thanks to a strategy of catering to how its customers want to buy its products online.

■ Selling online for 20 years, US Foods has built ecommerce into a crucial channel where three-quarters of its more than 250,000 customers go online to order products from its base of 350,000 SKUs.

■ The company’s entry into ecommerce was prompted by major hotel chains, who needed 24/7 access to products ranging from food products and cooking equipment for their restaurants, in-room meal service and on-site convenience stores to hand soap and towels for their hotel guest rooms.

■ Even with its large volume of online orders, however, US Foods is still working to improve and increase the number of ways customers can order through self-service ecommerce to make their jobs easier.


Do you want to improve Your B2B Customer Service Experience Online?

OIS eCommerce App

Track Orders and Keep Customers Happy!

■ By tracking your orders effectively, you’ll be in a better position to keep your customers happy.

■ Whether customers ask for an update on the whereabouts of their orders, or need to make an amendment to a previous order or invoice, your staff can update them in record time – no matter who your customers talk to throughout the business.


To Learn More about our OIS eCommerce Solution, please visit:

www.ordersinseconds.com/ecommerce-webstores

Distributors Have a Big Opportunity Online!

Distributors Have a Big Opportunity Online!

■ Today, less than a half of all distributor sales are electronic.

■ Distributors and wholesalers have a big opportunity to build and grow ecommerce.

■ Gain a competitive advantage over B2B sellers that continue to rely only on traditional B2B sales channels including phone and paper orders.


Total U.S. Distributor Non-Electronic Sales

Total U.S. Distributor Non-electronic Sales


Total U.S. Distributor Electronic Sales

Total U.S. Distributor Electronic Sales


To Learn More about our OIS eCommerce Solution, please visit:

www.ordersinseconds.com/ecommerce-webstores

Are you customers requesting online ordering from you?

Are you customers requesting online ordering from you?

Are you customers requesting online ordering from you?

■ Increase sales and provide your customers with a robust online purchasing experience where you feel free to share the latest information about your products.

■ Personalize the experience with updated account information, customer-specific pricing, order history and a modern digital product catalog.

■ Integrate your online store with your existing accounting systems / ERPs (QuickBooks, SAGE, SAP, OIS Central, others).


What are your B2B web sales as a % overall B2B sales?

There are lots of small B2B companies, but many are getting a growing number of their total sales from business-to-business ecommerce, according to the 2019 B2B Buyers Survey…


To Learn More about our OIS eCommerce Solution, please visit:

www.ordersinseconds.com/ecommerce-webstores

Tip! – How To Lower Your Company’s Operations Cost?

How To Lower Your Company’s Operations Cost?

OIS Customer Service

Tip! One option is to start outsourcing your customer care & support operations to a Low-Cost Virtual Agent Service

Our Experience

ois_fbp_post_1Back in 2008, we experienced financial challenges; due to the Housing Financial Crash (Also known as the global financial crisis).

Our experience was to close doors for business or to start reducing our company expenses to stay alive.

We started thinking outside the box and we began to brainstorm how we were going to reduce our company’s operations cost to survive the financial crisis.

One option was to use the latest technology and start moving our customer service department to a lower-cost country and still maintain a good quality and trained customer service team.

Our Results Since 2008: We made the best decision!

1) We reduced our company’s expenses to stay alive since it was very expensive for us to have full-time employees in New York (Employee salaries, benefits, taxes, office space, computer, phone, etc).

2) We built our own internal virtual customer service team using the latest technology.

3) We maintained our good quality and trained customer service team.

Lowering our company’s overhead cost was a big part of our goal since it affected our bottom line profits!

 

Can we help you?

Yes, We Can!

Today, we help our clients with our virtual agent services to help them reduce their overhead expenses for their department’s needs in customer service, phone sales & technical support.

Industries we work with:

  • Wholesale Distributors
  • Manufacturers
  • Retail & eCommerce stores

Why Us? Because…

  • We are committed to Help you Grow!
  • We have the experience & technology
  • We are looking for a long lasting relationship


Our Process is very simple:

1.  Tell us your customer service needs – We will find a qualified virtual agent based on your needs.

2.  Training -The agent will be trained on your product or service.

3.  Production – The agent will start once fully-trained and approved to start.

Other Benefits:

  • Your own dedicated agent for your company
  • You pick the days & hours for the agent to work
  • Our managers will monitor your agent
  • We have bilingual staff (English/Spanish)

 

To Learn More about our Virtual Agent Services for customer service, phone sales or technical support, please visit:

www.ordersinseconds.com/outsourcing-services

eCommerce tendencies you can’t ignore if you want to stay ahead of the curve

eCommerce tendencies you can’t ignore if you want to stay ahead of the curve

App stores now offer a plethora of storefront apps from online retailers. The reason for that is simple, some studies suggest conversion rates are up to 40% higher in storefront apps than mobile devices. The reason? Average session duration and order values are longer and larger, respectively.

When a customer is on your dedicated app you get to control the brand experience much more while providing a distraction free zone. Online shoppers then spend less time comparing your products against the competition and more time comparing with your catalog.

Moreover, the entry costs for storefront apps has decreased over the last few years. OIS eCommerce, for instance, allows customers with small or no IT teams get into the app market with low overhead costs. This is especially true when the app gets developed with your specific needs in mind.

Another important development in online shopping behavior is voice search. 2018 showed significant growth in the search and, consequently, buying of items online. According to recent data close to a quarter of customers now own a voice-controlled device, and that number is set grow further this year.

Amazon customers that own and shop using an Echo shop an average of $1,600 per year, versus $1,300 of Amazon Prime subscribers. If those figures alone don’t make you consider integrating voice search into your online sales strategy, then I don’t know what will.

It’s paramount for successful online retailers to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to new trends that make them relevant to savvy shoppers. Let us know in the comments what some of these tendencies could mean to your sales in the comments below.

More tendencies in eCommerce that you need to keep an eye on in 2019

More tendencies in eCommerce that you need to keep an eye on in 2019

Artificial Intelligence is a buzzword you hear thrown around a lot these days, mostly in some jargon-heavy conversations about the future of labor. However, you mustn’t be intimidated by it, because there are some real-world applications that you could implement in your own eCommerce strategy without having to hire the next Elon Musk to carry them out.

Let’s have a look at some of the ways artificial intelligence and machine learning are being integrated in eCommerce platforms.

Most online sales platforms have been giving shoppers product recommendations that work of the keywords you they use to search for items for years. More recently, through artificial intelligence and machine learning, product recommendations are using a wider range of indicators that provide more accurate recommendations because they are specific to that customer’s behavior.

Aside from better product recommendations, chatbots and virtual assistants have made remarkable strides in the recent years to now provide more robust solutions. Facebook, for instance, now allows certain payment methods to be carried out directly through their messenger app to avoid clicking away to secondary site that handles payments. This removes one more step in the buyer’s journey that could otherwise mean a lost lead.

Another tech development that had made some serious strides forward is augmented reality. For several years AR seemed to be limited to novelty applications that were more meant to wow tech conference goers than entice retailers to incorporate it into their sales strategies.

That is no longer the case. Several retailers have made investments into using AR along their online sales channels. One salient example is IKEA and its Place app. The application allows users to see how products would look in your home before buying anything. This gives retailers both the capacity to enter customers while proving valuable sales data that you could use to your advantage.

If you want to learn more about other trends in eCommerce leave a comment below and we’ll work to cover it in the next post.

What do you need to launch an ecommerce website?

What do you need to launch an ecommerce website?

We’ve been talking a lot about making sure your website is setup appropriately and up to digital standards, but what if you’re ready for your website to start selling? Do you have a product placement strategy for your eCommerce website?

Let’s talk about marketing and your products. When coming up with a sales strategy, it’s important to identify your product’s values to your business. There’s a share growth matrix developed by The Boston Consulting Group that helps categorize products. The matrix breaks them down into four categories: cash cow, star, dog and question mark products.

Cash cow products are goods that provide a smaller return rate but generally have a large market share. They’re mature products that provide a steady income and are usually reliable sellers.

Star products are those that have a higher return rate with high potential that are still in development, so they could potentially generate a good ROI as long as they sell to scale.

Dog products yield a low return rate with smaller scale that can even cost more to keep than to drop from your rotation.

Question products are those that are in the beginning stages of development, where you don’t have enough information on whether they are either profitable or bad investments.

Why, you ask, do you need to know this information? It’s important to identify these products in your inventory because they give you an idea of what you need to promote and what you should phase out.

When launching your eCommerce store, you should consider your question mark products and star products as a key point of focus on your front page. This will help you move the products that you don’t have enough information about as well as help you promote those that yield high return of investment and generate interest from your clients.

Additionally, having your cash cow products as a secondary support (maybe a featured products section) will help give your customers an idea of the products you know they look for and that you have available.

 

Where do you go from there?

Customer’s Journey:

Identifying your customer’s journey is important. You should identify related products your customers might be interested in and upsell them by using these as a recommendation section either on the cart or on the cash cow products themselves.

Inventory:

Having your ERP connected to your website is vital. Product availability is a priority on the digital market. A customer will be turned off from your eStore if they order a product and then get a notice that the product isn’t available.

This also applies to promotions and sales. You should ensure that whenever your have an item marked down, there’s enough inventory to account for the demand if that product is highly requested.

These are just the first steps to identifying a sales strategy based on your own sales information that might help generate sales once you’re promoting your website to your intended customer. Please keep checking back as we dive into online promotion and the steps necessary to spread the word on your new eStore.

Any questions? Be sure to write in the comments below or contact one of our sales team for more information on how to turn your website into an eCommerce Sales point.