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The advantages of ecommerce for traditional businesses – and those working for them

23-02-2016 Laurens Atsma

For traditional businesses without ecommerce experience, the transition to a webshop is a culture shock. Nevertheless, these companies tend to invest heavily in their new ecommerce platforms – if only to keep up with their rivals or satisfy a growing costumer appetite for digital. And as they have to make this change sooner or later, they would do well to prepare their co-workers for it and create enthusiasm for ecommerce. The whole organization needs to be 100% behind such a huge cultural change.


It is amazing how many wholesalers, manufactures and retailers still work the “old-fashioned” way. Last week I visited a packaging wholesaler in North Limburg: the administration happened on Excel, they were still faxing and there was no webshop. For such organizations, the new technologies must seem a million miles away.


It is astonishing how many businesses still use the fax machine


Even so, most organizations do see the commercial potential of a digital platform: more customers, higher turnover. But there are other benefits such as self-service, an improved customer service and efficiency. In ecommerce, larger customers can initiate and manage their own orders and purchases. Imagine you’re the owner of an office equipment company and one of your customers is a hospital. What could be easier than the hospital staff making its own purchases in your webshop and  lacing the orders directly in the hospital’s ERP system? You can even offer them their own unique assortment (the advantage here being that you can be selective and show only pens and paper, for instance, and no printers and toners).


But how can management get its staff on board? My advice: show them how the new ecommerce platform will improve their working lives. Demonstrate to them how this new way of dealing with your product offering can be a lot of fun. How great it is for a wholesaler to see his pricing structure and prepare a quote on one screen. Train co-workers, involve them in the journey and create enthusiasm. Make sure that the idea of ecommerce is fully endorsed across the entire organization. Show that it will lighten the burden for co-workers in many different areas and that it is a good thing to risk this step. In that way, you’ll turn it an exciting journey you embark on together.


Should you be on the point of making the transition to ecommerce, CloudSuite is here to help you. We are used to working with businesses who are facing this cultural turnaround to start trading online. If you chose our ecommerce platform, we will help you with training, organizing campaigns and managing pages in your webshop.


Are you interested? Why don’t you get in touch with us by sending an e-mail to latsma@cloudsuite.com?