B2B equipment manufacturers and dealers face a unique challenge – increasing the visibility of their products among their target customer base.
Forget about websites, ecommerce, or in many cases, social media. Some industries often lack these basic product marketing and selling tools. Whether you’re selling janitorial supplies, construction equipment, medical supplies or commercial kitchen equipment, it’s likely that you rely heavily on paper catalogs as the defacto source of product information for dealers and end user buyers.
These catalogs are not only expensive to publish, they are often out-of-date before they’ve even hit an equipment buyer’s desk. And, in a digital age when customers expect to be able to research products online before they buy, a reliance on paper catalogs alone can lead to missed sales opportunities.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. New innovations and best practices can help dealers and manufacturers increase the visibility of their product portfolio – without a significant ramp-up.
Here are three things you can do today to better showcase your commercial equipment inventory:
1. Give Your Buyers Rich Product Info
Selling commercial equipment isn’t easy. Detailed specs, accessories, warranty info, and more – that’s a lot of information to put out there. And much of it is siloed, resulting in a lot of back and forth between buyers, dealers, and manufacturers to get the info they need.
Product information management (PIM) systems can help you get past this chaos. What is PIM? You can read more about the specifics here, but, essentially PIM gives you the ability to integrate and centralize product info from many sources in a single platform. Instead of dealing with masses of paperwork and disparate data, with PIM, non-technical users can easily acquire, publish, and manage product information and the relationships between products, via an easy-to-use application interface.
2. Use and Share Photos and Rich Media
Rather than rely on static imagery and listings in a product catalog, why not shake it up a bit.
Manufacturers can add images, technical specs, even video to their PIM. Then downstream, dealers can share this information via cloud-based ecommerce platforms, like Atero (which helps manufacturers reach more buyers), making it easier for end user buyers to find exactly what they need. With Atero, end buyers have access to much greater depth of content, and it’s all updated in real-time from manufacturers and managed by us.
But don’t just take our word for it. One of our customers, Kathleen Wilkie, VP of American Energy Restaurant Equipment had this to say:
“With Atero, we now have an efficient way to promote our monthly specials to customers. We used to communicate promotions via flyers and emails, and had no convenient way to capture the sale from that point. Atero is helping us to add more value to our end user relationships. Our customers rely on us to guide them through the buying process. Atero allows us to promote trusted products that we stand behind – creating a better buying experience and also giving customers the ecommerce ease of shopping on their own schedule.”
3. Empower Sales Teams with Easy Access to Product Info
Just as dealers and end user customers can struggle to find accurate information about commercial equipment products, sales teams have a hard time too. Think about it. Without a single repository for product info, they are rifling through catalogs, pricing spreadsheets, etc. trying to find any information they can to inform the customer and close the sale. Your products and accessories may as well be invisible!
However, with PIM, sales teams can access product information easily and quickly, to help buyers make the right purchasing decision and minimize errors.
What tips do you have for showcasing your commercial equipment products? Leave a comment below.