Customer shopping habits have been shifting for some time, but the past 18 months have really expedited the pace of change. MAM Software wants motor factors to “embrace the Click & Collect trend”.
According to a 2021 report by Retail Economics, 46% of consumers have shopped online for a product they would previously have bought in store.
The convenience that e-commerce provides is here to stay, and it’s up to motor factor businesses to make sure they have a platform that is up to the task.
MAM Software has expanded its offering, not only by providing ERP solutions, but also a range of e-commerce platforms that are fully integrated with its software. Many businesses are already reaping the benefits of B2B and B2C online trading by using these platforms, as are their own customers.
Getting online is straightforward
Setting up an e-commerce website is often quick and easy. Full integration with factors’ ERP is a good start, not least because relevant details will be pulled through directly from their software solution. This eliminates some of the manual effort needed to maintain their portal, and ensures their customers always have access to the latest information.
MAM Software Business Development Director for e-commerce, Giles Greenslade, said: “Many people are surprised at just how much automation there is with our websites. The core software is constantly being updated and written with best SEO practice in mind; we have a clear roadmap of where we are going and have built ERP in the industries that are most relevant to our customers.”
Embrace the Click & Collect trend
One shopping trend that has gained popularity over recent months is Click & Collect. GlobalData’s report forecasts it will account for 13.9% of online sales this year, making it a lucrative option for any business that’s serious about trading online.
Giles believes that during the national lockdown, it was the safety of Click & Collect that made it so appealing; however, consumers are now recognising it as a convenient way to shop in the long term:
“There has recently been a cultural shift,” he revealed. “People can still go shopping, but they realise they can now get exactly what they want before they visit a store. It’s a very powerful offering if a company has the right website to provide the service.”
Outperform the competition with an e-commerce website
One of the biggest advantages of an ecommerce platform is that it opens up businesses to their customers 24/7. In an age where having a website is very much the norm rather than exception, it has become a necessary tool for staying competitive in a challenging market.
Giles said: “A lot of people are using mobile devices out of normal working hours. If they can’t find what they need from you, they will go straight to your competitors to see if they have it, who will ultimately secure the sale.”
An e-commerce site also has the potential to inspire greater customer loyalty. If someone knows they can get a product, night or day, they will return to that website time and time again for the sheer convenience it has to offer.
In some cases, ultimately, they might not make the purchase online. An e-commerce website acts as a shop window, so the customer can see what’s available, they might then head into the branch for a conversation before they finally make a purchase.
Don’t overlook mobile optimisation
When choosing an e commerce website, it’s essential not to overlook the importance of mobile optimisation. An increasing number of consumers now search for and purchase what they need using a mobile device, with a study by Centre for Retail Research suggesting 43% of online retailing in the UK is now carried out via smartphones and tablets.
Giles added: “Make it easy for a mechanic to get hold of the part they urgently need to fix a car. The days of having to call a supplier are over – making a website mobile-friendly will make it infinitely more appealing to the modern consumer!
“With a diverse range of e-commerce solutions, we are perfectly placed to help with the next stage of digital transformation.”