Here are 8 elements that will make your online experience profitable.
1. Seamless Integration
In retail, conducting price and inventory calls from your ERP once a day will likely be sufficient. In HVAC, customer-specific pricing requires live pricing and inventory calls to the ERP.
You are dealing with customer-specific rules, custom catalogs, requests to view order history, tier pricing, cart to quote, payment on account and more. This means more complexity from an integration standpoint.
Choose an eCommerce platform that facilitates seamless ERP integration.
2. Handle Lots of Data
You know this better than anyone: fitment data is not negligible - you must have it to support your channel partners. So while most eCommerce platforms can handle pictures, descriptions, etc. you will need a platform that is made to handle a significantly larger amount of data.
3. A Customer Portal
Your HVAC site needs to:
- identify your customers by assigning them to a location or business entity
- accommodate the roles and privileges in the customer’s workflow
- display personalized content with customer-specific pricing, territory-specific products, replacement / OEM parts, custom-built products, and service contracts.
As most B2C platforms cannot support these fundamental requirements, make sure the platform you choose is optimized for B2B, preferably with a customer portal that displays transactional information like open invoices, service tickets, order history, credit information, warranty information, shipping confirmations and more.
More than ever, people are making purchases on their mobile devices. This is the case in B2C and increasingly in B2B. Think about your customer segments and how you can make their lives easier through mobile.
5. Easy Navigation
Intuitive navigation has a big impact on your customers’ shopping experience. If someone selects a Carrier WeatherMaker 48A, the navigation needs to then filter products by this model and continue filtering when the customer navigates to other product categories.
A make-model-year sticky can save the customer the hassle of being asked to input the same information over and over again.
6. Turbocharge Your Sales Reps' Capacity
The platform’s job is to increase your sales reps’ ability to cover accounts. The platform should not compete with them. Instead, choose a site that helps reps or managers: show customers new products (maybe by using a tablet or an in-store desktop) and answer their questions with rich product information process “requests for quote” intervene and assist clients with complex configurations access inventory and location information and provide transparency on pickup or delivery options.
7. Fast Loading Times
The faster the site’s loading speed, the better your conversion rate. Need we say more?
8. Can't Find? Can't Buy
Choose an eCommerce platform with a multi-faceted search engine that creates synonyms and finds products based on alternate product names, industry jargon and SKUs.
Your site should also associate products and recommendations quickly based on previous customer selections and order history.
Success is connecting field technicians, customers, in-store service, warehouse(s), suppliers and customer support ops, and using the tools and tech people they actually want to use.
Absolunet brings a proven, agile approach to bridge the gap between how your customers work, their expectations and your people and systems’ ability to deliver, scale and adapt. Speak to an HVAC sectorial lead.