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Digitalizing sales journeys in wholesale: Why, How, What

Digitalization is rapidly changing B2B businesses, and fashion wholesale is not an exception. In a Business to Business (B2B) environment, clients are anticipating an experience similar to the one they encounter in B2C: smooth, personalized, fast and unique. To exceed customers’ expectations, fashion and lifestyle brands must engage, embrace and adopt new ways of working with the latest and emerging technologies. The most paramount step? A digitalized wholesales journey from the first to the last touchpoint.

Digital transformation has barely touched upon sales

In terms of sales, digitalization means applying tech tools to empower the sales team’s performance and help it make more effective and data-driven decisions. While tech development is in full swing in retail, advancements in wholesale are often neglected. In fact, there are a lot of challenges taking place at the moment for wholesale teams:

  • Different way of working within the same brand
  • Lack of guidance on hybrid sales application
  • Lack of knowledge to optimize orders
  • Adopting a scalable way of working without depending on Excel sheets and physical showrooms
  • Lack of oversight on sales teams’ performance by Sales management
  • Limited remote selling and self-service options

Why digitalizing sales journeys is paramount?

In wholesale, the entire customer experience depends on the sales representative. From the moment they book a meeting with a client to the moment they register an order, clients expect a journey that is smooth, fast and unique. Consequently, a digital advancement in sales can have a big impact on the performance of the brands.

To make it happen, Sales Directors, Chief Commercial Officers as well as CEOs have to ensure that they set up the right foundation for their sales team by equipping them with innovative and easy to use tooling. Old ways won’t open new doors.

To achieve that, sales representatives need an end-to-end solution where they can present their collections with ease. To make their sales pitch more effective, they are in need of powerful visuals to accompany their storytelling and connect their story to clients’ emotions. Last but not least, tracking customers’ records and previous purchases enable sales teams to make their sales process more data-driven but also personalized.

Ways to make it happen

Digitization in fashion can be the enabler of change towards a more efficient and data-driven way of selling.

To begin with, a digital brand portal (also known as B2B webshop) gives the possibility of self-service. Just like in B2C, customers can sign in into their account and select their new collection order 24/7, without relying on to a specific meeting with the sales representative. And that immediately reduces the costs of back office support teams.

And it goes without saying that self-service also empowers remote selling. Sales reps are able to replicate the entire pre-order process online and eliminate the distance between them and their customers. In fact, the process becomes more thorough and effective: sales reps can prepare their meeting by creating custom lookbooks and selections based on historical data. During their storytelling, they are able to use powerful visuals and when they proceed to assortment building, everything can be accomplished with smart features - just like in B2C. Lastly, for the order quantification, through the use of order analytics the balancing is fast and effortless. And of course at the end, clients can receive the overview of the order and sign with their digital signature. Effortlessly.

In a physical setting, wholesale brands have the possibility to thrill their customers by adding digital touchpoints while presenting their collections through digital lookbooks - an incredibly effective selling tool which goes beyond just pretty designs. Between powerful photography, and videos, sales agents can forge deeper connections with their customers to associate them with the brand’s story. And of course, well-produced lookbooks help give context to the products you’re pushing, meaning customers are more inspired and likely to buy.

When sales reps convince customers and are ready to sell, sales apps can enhance order building. Digitizing order intakes makes pre-orders fast, eliminates any manual mistakes and makes re-ordering easier as all previous purchases are in the history record. Last but not least, through a digital tool like this, sales agents can share orders and collection previews with customers, with a click of a mouse.

“Colect lifted our business, it’s a huge advantage to have a user-friendly and inspiring digital sales tool.” - Ina Gaarde, IT and Business Manager at Mos Mosh

If you want to expand your knowledge on what Colect does to support wholesale digitalization, download our free material here.