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Posted by Ed Morley - 18 October, 2018

3 Ways Your Electrical Wholesale Company Can Generate More Business

Last month, we at Apruve introduced our Electrical Distributors Apruval Rating Report for 2018

Upon completing the research necessary to put together this report, we found that, quite simply, most electrical distribution companies are somewhat behind the times when it comes to e-commerce and generating business through digital means. Along with this, the gap between the “major players” in the electrical wholesale industry (e.g., Grainger, Codale, etc.) and their small business counterparts is enormous.

However: 

As reported by IBISWorld, the electrical distribution industry is primed for growth in the coming years, due to factors such as a stimulated housing and construction market, an aging infrastructure, and the need for newer, more energy-efficient technology and equipment.

In other words, that significant gap we spoke about above needs to be filled. 

As the owner of a small electrical wholesale company, you just can’t afford not to take advantage of this significant opportunity. If you don’t act fast, one of two things will almost certainly happen: either your competitors will fill the gap in your place, or the aforementioned major distribution companies will do it. In either case, your company is going to miss out.

On the other hand, if you dive into this “new world” of commerce and digital sales before your competitors get the hang of it all, you’ll enable your company to unlock its real potential - and then some.

That said, let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can generate more business for your electrical wholesale company via e-commerce and digital sales.

Improve Local SEO

Search engine optimization is an essential tactic for any e-commerce business; it’s one of the best ways (if not the best way) to get customers to “stumble upon” your website whenever they use a search term that relates to your business.

For wholesalers that cater to specific areas of the country (or globe, as the case may be), local SEO is incredibly important. 

Optimizing your site for local searches ensures that your website appears in search results whenever an individual includes the name of the city or surrounding area you cater to. For example, if you operate within the Philadelphia region, you’d want your site to pop up whenever anyone searched for “electrical distributor in Philadelphia.” 

There are a number of ways you can make this happen.

First, ensure that your on-site content clearly mentions the area in which you operate multiple times. Going back to our Philadelphia example, this search term brings up the following results:

SEO for wholesale electricSource

The top-ranked site for this search term includes the following two pages:

Electrical Wholesalers in PhiladelphiaSource

Phildelphia electrical distributorSource

As you can see, the site mentions “Philadelphia” multiple times - and also includes the exact address the business operates out of, as well. 

You can also improve local SEO by becoming verified on Google My Business and similar directories. By providing your address and contact information, as well as a description of your business that includes the location you serve, you’ll again enhance your chances of being a top result for location-based searches.

Finally, positive reviews are now one of the determining factors of where your business ranks for local searches. So, while you definitely want to get your site listed on the aforementioned directory websites, you also want to ensure that you generate a decent amount of positive reviews on these sites, as well. 

Pro Tip: There’s no guarantee that your customers will take it upon themselves to write such reviews. Be sure to request a review from your satisfied clients upon delivery of your services.

Unlock Your E-commerce Site

We’ve discussed the pros and cons of creating a locked, restricted, or unlocked ecommerce site for your wholesale customers in the past, but let’s briefly review why erring on the side of “openness” can be beneficial for growth.

First things first, the more open your site is to the public, the more visible it is to search engines. On the other hand, a locked or restricted site typically isn’t “crawled” by sites like Google - and therefore won’t show up in the results for related search terms.

Say, for example, you search for “Hubbell locking cord adapter.” One of the first results to pop up is (surprise, surprise) from Grainger:

Grainger Electrical WholesalerSource

Had Grainger made this product page visible only to registered members or customers, this page would not have shown up so quickly.

Aside from enhancing SEO, unlocking your e-commerce site also allows prospective customers to browse your site without committing to a membership or anything more than they’re currently comfortable with. 

As we mentioned in the article linked to above, you may decide to make specific information publicly available - while choosing to hide other info until a visitor registers with your company. For example, you might decide to protect your products’ prices until a customer has shown a more serious commitment to doing business with your company. In such a case, your product description will still be available to the public - and will always be visible to search engines, as well.

Provide Quick and Easy Reordering Options

As a B2B distributor, your company all but lives and dies by the amount of return business it generates. 

That said, you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to make these repeat purchases whenever they’re in need. 

As we spoke about in our Apruval Rating Report, Grainger follows this advice to a T. 

For one thing, when customers who have made previous purchases visit Grainger’s website, they’re able to browse through their purchasing history easily, and add previously-purchased items to their current shopping cart with the click of a button. 

Secondly, Grainger also provides an option for customers to commit to automatically recurring orders (say, to be delivered by the 1st of each month). This ensures that committed customers will continue to do business with the company for the foreseeable future - and beyond.

In similar fashion to providing an option for recurring orders, you also may decide to implement a membership structure for your customers. In doing so, you can give discounts to your most loyal clients, promote evangelism among your customer base, and all but ensure those who commit to registering for a membership continue to provide you with their business.

Wrapping Up

As we’ve said, the vast majority of electrical distribution companies simply aren’t taking advantage of the digital economy - and are falling way behind the giants within the industry.

While taking these giants head-on is undoubtedly a monumental - perhaps impossible - task, carving out a niche for your small distribution company is definitely doable if approached in a strategic manner.

B2B eCommerce Marketing

Apruve can help your company remain competitive in the digital age by streamlining your payment processes, and more. Check out our Service page for more info.

Topics: B2B Marketing, Electrical Distributors, B2B eCommerce, B2B Sales

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