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Even distributors that value technology's important role often fail to recognize a key point: the most intergalactic piece of software doesn't mean much unless implemented in a way that solves a customer problem or enables them to buy the way they want, according to Mike Marks, Managing Partner of Indian River Consulting Group in MDM's February webcast, The Future of Distribution.
Marks asked panelist Paul Victor from Infor what percentage of the software provider’s current customers have a good understanding of all the product features they have access to. He replied: "a very low percentage."
"While it's true that a modern e-commerce system is fast becoming a requirement to do business, what many distributors are forgetting is that the only reason Amazon is successful is that the company's technology makes it easier for their customers to buy the way they want to buy," said Marks. "And the way Amazon's customers want to buy isn't necessarily the way your own customers want to buy."
To get the most out of new technology, distributors need to tell their technology providers what they're trying to accomplish so they can match them with the right tools and features for the customer.
"It doesn't ultimately matter what your competitors are doing or what new technologies consultants like myself are talking about," added Marks. "It only matters what your customers need and want – so start there."
Read more tips on how to best utilize innovative technologies in the MDM webcast, The Future of Distribution.