Recommended Reading: Create Competitive Advantage with Mobile - Modern Distribution Management

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Recommended Reading: Create Competitive Advantage with Mobile

Your customers are on mobile devices, so shouldn't you be too?

As B2B continues to mirror B2C, offering your customers mobile options will help you create a more positive experience for your customers – and a distinct advantage over your competitors – according to David Meyer, vice president, CIO, Graybar, St. Louis, MO, in Making the Case for Mobile.

"Our view is wholesale distribution tends to follow the retail business when it comes to customer interaction and customer expectations," says Meyer, whose company launched a mobile app last year. "It's very clear in the consumer markets where folks are going and what they require to do business with companies. We believe mobile is important and will be required more and more in this industry and in our interactions with customers."

While demand for mobile ordering across distribution is low right now, according to Jonathan Bein, author of the recently published report What Customers Want: A Distributor's Guide to Customer Buying and Shopping Preferences, this is "mostly due to the lack of mobile capabilities on the part of the distributor."

Distributors can actually stimulate demand for mobile by simply offering it to customers. And those customers are likely to use the apps or mobile-friendly websites you develop.

Close to half (42 percent) of B2B buyers use mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) during the purchasing process, a 91 percent increase over the previous two years, according to "B2B Path to Purchase Study," a 2014 report from Google/Millward Brown. And according to another Google study, 52 percent of users are less likely to engage with a company if it has no mobile site.

So while mobile might not make sense for everyone right now, "we're heading that way," says Bein. "The companies that are there first, that have the experience, that have made the mistakes, that have tried things, they are definitely going to have an advantage."

Read more about creating a competitive advantage through apps and mobile-friendly websites in Making the Case for Mobile.

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