By John Maiuri —
Despite recent years of ongoing uncertainty, the home and building supply industry has experienced an increase in focus on ecommerce channels brought on by the pandemic. And as customer buying trends continue to gravitate toward engagement with online content and the convenience of online purchasing, business leaders have been forced to evolve their strategies toward online offerings that go beyond the national websites of their vendors. It’s quickly becoming a requirement to fully represent product offerings in order to meet the expectations of online shoppers.
In today’s post-pandemic world, the importance of ecommerce as a channel to local markets continues to grow. In fact, according to ECI Software Solutions’ 2022 State of Lumber, Building Material, and Hardlines (LBMH) Report, 63 percent of industry professionals consider ecommerce to be the most crucial focus area in running their businesses.
While some in the industry have adopted an ecommerce software solution, many are lagging. For others, just the idea of ecommerce feels outside their realm of traditional customer engagement. But given its growing importance and accessibility to easy-to-use tools and sales opportunities, businesses can no longer afford to look past having an online presence and must embrace digital growth by adopting or expanding their ecommerce strategy to stay competitive.
The Growing Importance of Ecommerce
Just a few years ago, a typical online presence would suffice if it included store hours and a few photos from vendors. Many businesses receive some benefit from inclusion on their vendor’s national site for a percentage of their product sales. However, as customer convenience further emerges as the new loyalty threshold, ecommerce as a channel into local markets is quickly becoming an everyday customer expectation.
Ecommerce has become an essential part of how we do business and shop. Whether it be to engage customers, track trends or make more informed business decisions, businesses today rely on ecommerce, especially small and mid-size retailers. It’s no longer enough for retailers to sell only through in-store and over-the-phone. Selling online is a critical way to increase revenue and better connect with customers.
As these trends continue to grow, business leaders must consider if their business is prepared to meet customer expectations through digital channels. The right, real-time data connected and fully integrated ecommerce solution that provides opportunity for an omni-channel customer experience should be considered the minimum viable solution. This will make running a business easier and deliver more convenience to customers, while providing scalability and increased profits.