3 Tips that Will Improve Any Cleaning Industry Ecommerce Channel
We firmly believe in paying attention to what industry leaders share as the drivers of their organization’s success. With the ISSA Show North America just around the corner, we want to share the thoughts of Robert Tillis, ISSA member and CEO of Imperial Dade, a maintenance supplies company.
Tillis was recently quoted in an ISSA article, sharing the reasons for Imperial Dade’s success, which he says are, “[a]n ability to anticipate evolving customer needs, changes in the competitive landscape, and identify opportunities for growth have allowed our team to guide Imperial Dade through complex scenarios and achieve profitable results.”
You don’t need to be a $2.5 billion company to use these tips to grow your own business.
Evolve to Meet Customer Needs
Work from home (WFH) was a growing trend pre-pandemic. Now, WFH is as likely as going into an office. Many people even split their time between both environments. People want to order what they want whenever they want, no matter where they are. And they want to do it with a click. This isn’t just a B2C customer need; it’s also a B2B customer expectation.
As “workplaces” continue to get more fluid, workers can be anywhere when they want to place that order. They could be in any time zone. They may be the sort who’s most productive at 3am wherever they are.
Suppliers need to build an online channel that empowers customers to buy the right products at the right prices and get them delivered to the right people at the right time. This requires serving customers with a simple, personalized ordering portal and spot-on fulfillment.
Adapt to Changes in the Competitive Landscape
The cleaning industry has been on a rollercoaster throughout the pandemic. It caused wild fluctuations in demand and supply that created a state of “feast or famine, simply determined by factors beyond our control.” New supply chain challenges may keep the industry on that rollercoaster.
Suppliers that can easily provide customers with personalized pricing online stand out as true partners with customers as everyone navigates through the up-and-down cycles hitting product demand and economic realities.
Online pricing that reflects a customer’s purchase history, payment history, order volume, or other valuable criterion motivates quick purchasing decisions and encourages loyalty. Customized product suggestions and easy re-ordering will help boost lifetime customer value as well.
Identify Opportunities for Growth
The older members of Gen Z are hitting the workforce. Projections estimate that 51 million Gen Z adults will be in the workforce by 2030. These are the people you’ll be hiring. Your customers will hire them too.
Scott Lesnick, leadership and generational consultant presenting on the future of leadership in the cleaning industry at the ISSA show, explains the coming impact of Gen Z in the cleaning industry: “They love their technology,” Lesnick says, "If you welcome [Generation Z], you will be adding a new layer of young talent to your staff, giving you a distinct advantage in the market. If you instead wait on the sidelines to see what they’re all about, if they’ve “got game” and will perform well, your competitors will surpass you in the blink of an eye."
They’ll ostracize any organization they don’t perceive as tech-native. Any hint of manual processes or early Internet technology and they’ll label your company as backward and outdated. They won’t put up with a cumbersome order process. Companies are having a tough enough time finding new hires; don’t give Gen Z a reason to pass on yours. They won’t want to work for the supply company that can’t sell its supplies through a full-service digital platform. In both cases, the Gen Z will turn to companies with simpler, digital solutions.
See You in Las Vegas!
The ISSA Show coming up in Las Vegas is full of great panels and presentations where we’ll all find more great industry insights. We’ll be there, so be sure to stop by at Booth W-4327 in the new exhibitor section.