Research has shown that demand in the leisure and hospitality sector has remained high, despite consumers being unable to go out. This was evidenced during the brief lockdown reprieves over the past 12 months. It’s no surprise then, that hotels, restaurants, and bars have been welcoming an influx of customers as people enjoy out-of-home experiences once again.

For food and drink wholesalers, this is a great opportunity to ensure you, and your customers, can capitalise on changing consumer habits. Oporteo, a B2B ecommerce and digital solutions provider, outline how you use this to gain the competitive advantage:

Agility is key to meet changing consumer trends

Out with the old, and in with the new as they say. Working habits have significantly changed as more people work from home, and so have the products that they need. According to Oporteo, it’s essential that you can easily adapt your offering to better reflect this.

“Maximising your omnichannel capability through Headless Commerce will significantly help,” said Andy Pratt, Business Development for Oporteo. “This will ensure your platforms are more seamlessly integrated so you can update all sales channels quicker and more easily.”

Accommodate new working habits with mobile-first solutions

The rise of the smartphone has revolutionised the relationship B2B businesses have with their suppliers. It means buyers can conveniently research, find and buy products anywhere with an internet connection. However, such convenience comes at a cost. “As your customers demand more visual and responsive websites, it puts a strain on their wifi/network. Resulting in slow load times, unresponsive navigation, and inaccessible websites. The consequences of which can be dire,” explained Andy.

The solution is a Progressive Web App (PWA) which combines the best aspects of websites and mobile apps. According to Andy, what’s great about PWAs is that they enable businesses to provide an app like feel to customers, without the costly and time-consuming process of developing an actual app! “Not only that, but they work offline so the customer experience is never interrupted!” said Andy.

Ditch the spreadsheets to provide better product information

The government scandal over the Covid-19 tracking last year is testament to the precariousness of using spreadsheets as a data management solution. “Spreadsheets, although convenient, are difficult to collaborate on and provide little security or version control,” said Andy. “This creates a lack of consistency and outdated information across your business.”

“Having a Product Information Management (PIM) system is essential for effective omnichannel trading,” explained Andy. This is because a PIM System centralises your product data to make it easier to manage and distribute information, wherever it is needed.

Maximise your ecommerce operations through your warehouse

Ecommerce platforms have become indispensable for retail suppliers, especially those in the food and drink sector. However, spikes in demand and the ever-increasing volume of online orders are adding additional strain on warehouse operations.

“Ensure that your systems across your business, including the warehouse, are flexible and agile enough to meet customer expectations,” said Andy. Inputting online orders into a back-end order management system is no longer going to cut it. “Close integration between front and back-end systems is critical to give the transparency and real-time information customers want,” Andy explained. If you would like to discuss any of the opportunities above, please email andy.pratt@oporteo.co.uk

 

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