September 8, 2022

Powering Up Sales Opportunities in the Electrical Wholesales Industry

The Electrical Wholesaler Industry is one of heavy SKUs, diverse product catalogs, and high B2B demand. The industry has several pain points that if not addressed properly could lead to lost sales opportunities. Wholesalers can increase conversion and revenue by reinvesting in the online experience they offer to their customers. Tools like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning onsite search can address the pain points within the industry and help wholesalers drive the right traffic to the right products. But the question becomes, how can wholesalers leverage AI to convert buyers across the globe?  

Here are several strategies involving site search Electrical Wholesalers can use to increase sales opportunities and gain a competitive edge.  

Unit Converting Powering Sales Conversion

One key pain point wholesalers can address is the relevancy of the search results on their websites. Providing relevant information for a product or service search is essential to creating a positive customer experience and driving revenue. Site search does this by helping wholesalers understand how a visitor is searching for information, visualize a customer’s buyer persona, and how different data points can affect search results. One way site search can catch missed sales opportunities is through unit conversion.  

As human beings searching for a specific product or service, we understand the relationship between measurements to be the same thing. For example, someone looking for a product 2 feet long will accept results that are 24 inches. Even though they are different measurements, we know them to be the same length. The important part is to guarantee that the search bar understands this too. If the search tool can’t understand how these units relate, then the relevancy of your results suffers, and potential customers won’t be able to quickly find what they need.  

Hawksearch offers a powerful unit converter known as SIM (Search Information Manager), which addresses the conversion pain point. SIM works to not only convert units of measure but to also recognize any pattern within the data and understand the value of the data. Using this pattern recognition, SIM can return the same results for a 6-inch product regardless of whether a shopper searched using 6”, 6 in, 6-inch, or 6inches. Sim recognizes the pattern unit of measurements commonly searched as, and it can understand what those units of measurement represent within a wholesaler’s data.  

Failure to recognize these patterns and accurately convert units of measurement is a big stumbling block in the electrical distribution space, as customers are unable to find what they need. As a result, conversion and revenue are negatively impacted, and increased sales opportunities are lost.  

Navigating Towards Revenue  

A second pain point within the electrical distribution industry is a lack of effective navigation. Wholesalers that can offer facets and filters to pinpoint specific search results offer more value to their customers and are more likely to increase their sales opportunities.  

Hawksearch’s left-hand navigation can help customers standardize their searches, cutting through the disparity between products to find the exact product they need. This is especially beneficial to wholesalers in the electrical distribution space, as customers may be buying in bulk, buying the same thing again, or be under certain entitlements and may only have certain products available to them at a time.  

Intuitive site navigation improves the customer experience and strengthens conversions and revenue. Wholesalers that can help differentiate between their expansive product catalog and narrow down a search offer more value to their customers than a competitor with basic search functionality.  

Recommending a Good Sales Strategy

Additionally, it may help to view a website as a sales manager. Customers search and find the product and service they need on the wholesaler’s website, but that only accounts for customers that have a specific product or service in mind. Wholesalers that understand that different customers search differently can capitalize on their search functionality and increase their average order value. They do this by leveraging product recommendations.  

Wholesalers can use site search solutions that are powered by machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create a personalized shopping experience for their customers. For customers that have a general idea of what they are looking for, wholesalers can offer product recommendations based on popular searches, purchases they have made in the past, or similar product details to items they are currently looking at. Search solutions like Hawksearch can use the wisdom of the crowd and the wisdom of the content to create a recommendation strategy sure to boost sales opportunities.  

Wisdom of the Crowd

Wisdom of the crowd is the idea of tracking what products are popular, analyzing trends, and compiling all the different signals to generate product recommendations. The machine learning that powers Hawksearch automatically tracks these patterns and adapts its generated recommendations to reflect these trends. This can give a wholesaler’s customers an overview of everything the wholesaler has to offer.  

Wisdom of the Content  

Working in tandem with Wisdom of the Crowd, Hawksearch’s machine learning analyzes “Wisdom of the Content,” taking advantage of all the product details and data within a wholesaler’s catalog to make intelligent recommendations. Again, it recognizes product details as a pattern, seeing the similarities and offers a recommendation to those users that are looking at products that fit the pattern.  

This kind of recommendation is traditionally done by a salesperson on the floor, or by a product manager, but now it can be fully automated to offer instant recommendations. These types of recommendations are beneficial for customers not ready to make a purchase. It improves their experience and helps them find something they need but didn’t know how to look for, simultaneously increasing sales opportunities and average order value.  

Personalization  

Finally, there is a third type of recommendation strategy. In addition to the wisdom of the crowd and content, there is also the wisdom of you. This type of wisdom is better known as personalization. A wholesaler is going to know more about their site visitors than anyone and can see how customers browse their site. The signals customers create when they are shopping on the site can then be used to generate recommendations. Through machine learning, Hawksearch will learn and remember a customer’s specific preferences and tailor make recommendations based on their past purchase history and interests. This type of recommendation works well to capture returning sales opportunities.  

Entitlements  

Entitlements are specific requirements set by outside parties that dictate the types of products you can sell to certain groups of people, based on location and profession. This is a considerable pain point for electrical distributors as mishandled entitlements can force them to miss sales opportunities by confusing the customer about what is available to them. Distinct types of entitlements include segmentation, customer grouping, and logins. By understanding the types of entitlements visitors have, wholesalers in the electrical distribution space can improve their eCommerce experience overall.  

Customer Login and Location  

Certain products, for example, may have location restrictions or limited availability. Using a login, a search solution should be able to recognize the pattern between the product data and a customer’s specific entitlement. That way, only the right products available to that customer are displayed and nothing else.  

Customers can sign in to see pricing and see the product sets that are available for their locations. Certain manufacturers have specific deals in place, limiting the places distributors and wholesalers can sell to; having that reflected in the search results will help a customer quickly gain the insight they need and have the wholesaler be a trusted source of information as well as products.  

Entitlement pricing groups

Product pricing will vary depending on what a customer is logged in for. Depending on the size of the customer base, this entitlement may be better stored in a wholesaler’s PIM (Product Information Management) or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. If the customer base is small enough, this entitlement can be easily stored and managed in a search solution.  

Prices differ for distinct types of clients. Larger segmented clients, like other distributors, will often receive different prices than individual buyers or smaller operations. It becomes imperative that a search solution can pull the pricing information back to the right customers. Having relevant pricing can help a wholesaler increase sales opportunities, by helping each customer feel like they’re getting the right price for what they pay for and who they are.  

Entitlement supply constraints  

Entitlements can also highlight supply constraints. Customers can be shown exactly what products are in stock and which ones are not. While a wholesaler might not make a sale off a customer looking for something that is out of stock, the transparency they offer will encourage that customer to return, increasing the number of sales opportunities down the road.  

Supply constraints can be something that changes minute by minute. Offering products for immediate purchase and products for back order will improve the customer experience, but wholesalers need to be able to understand that entitlement data instantly.  

Powering Up Sales  

Just being aware of the pain points an industry face makes them easier to deal with. Electrical distributors and wholesalers can power up their sales opportunities by addressing these pain points and integrating AI-powered search solutions to improve the customer experience. Offering quality products, in addition to quality information, will set a wholesaler apart from the competition, establish them as a go to resource within their industry, and increase conversion as more sales opportunities arise.  

by Nick Zerbst

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