July 26, 2012

NAED Exec Guide #3: How to Manage E-Commerce Capability

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NAED’s Strategic Technology Task Force recently published their 3rd guide: Executive’s Guide #3: Strategically Managing Your Company’s E-Commerce Capability, a document that assists distributor executives in understanding key strategies to creating effective e-commerce websites. These strategies will support a company’s goals by increasing sales, improving efficiencies, and cutting operation costs.

Five key strategies highlighted in this guide:

  • Link your website and business system. This integration will:
    • Minimize out-of-stock situations due to outdated inventory
    • Speed up order fulfillment by eliminating manual reentry
    • Reduce errors on invoices
  • Safeguard your cyber-security. E-commerce websites must:
    • Provide Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates so customers know purchasing information is secure
    • Sensibly use firewalls and spam filters to minimize electronic incursions.
  • Equip customers to request quotes online. Customers should be able to:
    • Request and view quotes online
    • Request special pricing online
    • Upload bills of materials for quotes
    • Convert online quotes into orders
  • Enable online ordering and purchasing. Customers should be able to:
    • “Add to Cart” as well as change, edit, or update their electronic orders
    • Have a choice of shipment methods
    • Choose between various methods of payment such as bill to account, credit or debit, virtual wallets such as PayPal, and electronic checks
    • Know their payment information is protected by Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance
  • Furnish online order tracking. This will:
    • Minimize calls asking “Where’s my order?”
    • Allow inside and outside sales personnel to spend more time selling instead of handling calls pertaining to open orders
    • Provide higher level of service to customers

The report also discusses strategies for saving customers’ time such as providing log-in capability, facilitating access to their account data, furnishing transaction history online, and offering online account management tools.

Download the pdf of NAED Exec Guide #3>

Find more guides and resources on the NAED website>