Dave from B2Blog posted a great topic about displaying pricing on your website and the pros and cons of doing so. This might not seem on the surface as an industrial search engine marketing issue – it really is, especially when discussing Web 2.0 concepts.
Below is an article I wrote about providing an alternative to Ecommerce. Your feedback is welcome!
Ecommerce solutions have long been a fantastic medium to conduct transactions online with little manpower to support it. Websites, as the vehicle for ecommerce, are being used for buyers to research and compare both products and pricing. While this has grown to be a large percentage of revenue for many companies, ecommerce has alienated a group of businesses that could benefit from the same type of online convenience.
In the industrial sector, many businesses cannot directly translate their products to an ecommerce model, as many of their products are custom made for their clients. Businesses have to then rely on the potential buyer to call or email them to get pricing information. There are pitfalls associated with these options. First: availability. If the salespeople are busy with another customer on the phone, the buyer is forced to leave a message and wait for the salesperson to call them back. In the meantime, the buyer will move on to the next vendor on their list. Second, if the buyer takes the time to email, they then have to wait for a salesperson to read their email and hopefully get back to them soon. In either scenario, the salesperson is spending time qualifying the lead and retrieving the specifications to put together a quote. This entire process takes time and time, of course, is money.
RFQ Carts, which work similarly as ecommerce carts, can transform business models. Many companies have a core group of products to promote to potential buyers. These products come with specifications, whitepapers, and information to help sell this product to the end user. An RFQ cart will give the power to the buyer to simply drop the product into a cart with contact information and tell the business exactly what they would like. Buyers are smart! They already know what they need before they go to a search engine and type in what they are looking for!
From an administrative perspective, the RFQ cart delivers this information to three locations: one to the buyer telling them that their RFQ has been received, one to the designated people within the organization; and lastly, one to a database. This database is extremely powerful, allowing the organization to correspond with the potential buyer. Authorized personnel within the organization can view all dialogue with that potential buyer, eliminating costly delays and presenting a unified front.
This money-saving piece of technology has been available for years by a market-leader in industrial web solutions, ecreativeworks. To date, ecreativeworks (www.ecreativeworks.com) has provided RFQ cart solutions to more than 100 organizations – helping them increase conversion, visibility online, and ultimately improving their business model.
Online solutions no longer exclude the industrial sector – RFQ carts can give industrial organizations the tools necessary to stay ahead of their competition.