From Paper to Pixels: Your Guide to Boosting Revenue at B2B Wholesale Trade Shows

Paper-first processes are just not cutting it anymore at wholesale markets. In this article, we talk about the limitations of the traditional methods, how going digital can help you achieve unprecedented efficiency and maximize revenue. Also, discover how WizCommerce’s robust features are all you need for maximizing success at your next B2B market exhibit. 

Whether you are a small/medium wholesale business or an enterprise-level one, marketing should be a part of your operational plan in this day and age. Why?  More and more every day, retailers and other B2B buyers are seeking buying experiences not very different from the B2C experience. According to McKinsey and Co., when it comes to customer-experience index ratings, B2B companies score significantly less (50%) than B2C companies (65-85%). In light of this shift in preferences, having a concrete marketing plan becomes indispensable. For the B2B wholesale industry, trade shows have always been one of the greatest channels for scoring new leads, finding new partners, forging connections and relationships, and staying updated with the latest trends in the industry. According to a survey, attending trade shows typically accounts for around 31.6% of a company's marketing budget on average. It goes without saying, you need to ensure efficiency at every step of the process to maximize ROI. Well, the good news is that If you play your cards right, it’s really not that hard. There are a multitude of ways you can ensure efficiency in operations while exhibiting at B2B trade shows. In this article, we are going to cover ways you may be losing revenue at wholesale trade shows and the measures you can take for betterment. Let’s dive in.

4 Ways You Are Losing Revenue at B2B Wholesale Trade shows

If you’ve ever exhibited at B2B trade shows before, you’re all too aware of the average participant numbers, depending on scope, industry, and various other factors. All the exhibitors at a trade show are competing for the attention of the same set of visitors. This may be your retailers, designers, distributors, other wholesalers, and so on. You need to stand out among the crowd, attract footfall, hold their attention, give swift and seamless product demonstrations, capture leads, take down order details, implement swift follow-ups, etc. Now, this may sound like a lot, but stay with us. We are going to break it all down for you.

For now, let’s see how your traditional practices may be holding you back.

1. Lost in the shuffle

74% of attendees agree that engaging with marketers or exhibitors increases their chances of purchasing the products or services on display. However, buyers visit 100s of exhibitors in the wholesale trade show within the span of, let’s say, 4 days. That’s a lot of booths, products, and people they are going through. Innovative product designs, features, and offerings put a spell on the buyers. And who can blame them, right? The enchanting atmosphere of a trade show, especially in industries like home furnishing will do that to you. Naturally, they act purely out of excitement and tend to overcommit to orders. As the effect of the spell wears off, they often cancel orders or even discontinue their payment sources. Imagine you are one of the exhibitors a buyer committed a certain number of orders to. What can you do to make sure they don’t go back on the commitment? You can make your follow-up process simpler and swifter. Show up first (not literally); even that could make a lot of difference. Now, think about this: Is your current paper-first process allowing you to do this? No, right? And that’s how your prospect is lured away by a seller who had a more efficient process.

2. Fragmented and disconnected processes

It’s safe to assume that a buyer who placed multiple ad-hoc orders does not remember placing an order or at least the specifics of the order. Now, if you are using the manual and time-consuming process of paper-first order books, you likely haven’t sent them a confirmation of their order. Your follow-up protocol of collecting visiting cards and waiting till the end of the trade show to contact the prospect takes approx a week or so. The longer this process takes, higher the chances of your buyer moving on to another seller. A prospect lost is revenue lost. Moreover, it also affects the return on your investment in the wholesale trade show. 

3. Risk of errors and data loss

Exhibitors at wholesale trade shows using paper-first processes often find themselves bogged down by the sheer volume of data that needs to be transcribed, leading to delays and inaccuracies. You have your handwritten notes and paper-based systems, all of which increase the risk of human errors and data loss is significant. Issues like Illegible handwriting, misplaced documents, or accidental damage can result in crucial information being lost. This ends up impacting the exhibitor's ability to follow up on leads and fulfill orders.

4. Inability to meet evolving customer preferences

We talked about situations where your wholesale trade show processes may hinder fulfilling the buyer orders. However, there is a possibility that your run-of-the-mill processes may actually be preventing your buyers from placing an order with you in the first place. Buyers at B2B wholesale trade shows are on a time schedule. They want to check out the latest trends in the industry, find new suppliers, and engage in meaningful conversations. If your trade show exhibit isn’t giving them the value for their time, there for sure is another exhibit that will. Your excel sheet product display and order books may not be what they want to spend their time on. B2B buyers these days want to make fast decisions and check out fast. To enable this, you need modern digital product displays on let’s say, tablets, seamless order-taking, continuous updates, instant payment options, and acknowledgments. 

4 Problems, One Solution: Leveraging B2B Order Management Platforms

Now that we have seen the numerous drawbacks the traditional paper-first methods suffer at wholesale trade shows, let’s see how going the digital route can simplify your life to a great extent. Read on:

1. Streamlined order taking

An order management app can be a game-changer for you at B2B trade shows, streamlining the order-taking process with speed and precision. It allows you to capture and process customer orders in real-time, minimizing manual efforts and reducing errors. The app's intuitive interface enables you to swiftly place orders, providing you with a seamless tool to enhance customer interactions and facilitate immediate transaction confirmations.

2. Effortless order processing

When creating an order through an order management platform, you can enter buyer details and product details with all the necessary information. Once the order is placed, you can send the buyer a confirmation email with all the specifics of the orders, including product images for better recollection. This way, your buyer stays constantly updated and is much less likely to go back on an order. 

3. Real-time inventory management

Wholesalers can provide buyers with real-time information on product availability, preventing over-selling and ensuring accurate order fulfillment. The platform can automatically update inventory levels as orders are placed, helping wholesalers maintain accurate stock records. This way, you don’t sell something that doesn’t exist in your stock and conversely, you don’t miss out on selling something that may not be reflecting in the stock but is, let’s say, coming into stock soon and hence, can be fulfilled. For instance, a product is not in stock at the moment but has already been ordered and is set to arrive in 30 days. Now, if your buyer doesn’t need the product before 30 days, you can go ahead and sell it. An order management app can show you this information so you never lose out on a selling opportunity.

4. Enhanced communication

Not only can you send order confirmation messages, a B2B order management platform also includes messaging features for real-time communication between wholesalers and buyers, facilitating quick responses to inquiries and order updates. Buyers can receive automated notifications on order confirmations, shipping updates, and other relevant information, reducing the need for manual communication.

5. Efficient payment processing

Using order management platforms at wholesale trade shows can also ensure secure payment processing, providing buyers and wholesalers with confidence in financial transactions. They can choose their preferred mode of payment to engage in transactions and it’s no secret, buyers love to have choices!

6. Easy post-show follow-ups

The platform can store and provide access to customer data, helping wholesalers better understand buyer preferences, order history, and potential upsell opportunities. Armed with customer insights, wholesalers can engage in more personalized interactions with buyers, tailoring their offerings and promotions to specific needs.

If you've reached this juncture in the article, you are probably already thinking about finding a great B2B order management platform. Well, we have got you covered. We are going to tell you all about the order management platform that comes equipped with all the features we highlighted above, and more! Read on.

Unlock Success at B2B Wholesale Trade Shows with WizCommerce's Order Management App– Your Ultimate Companion

WizCommerce’s order management app is everything you need to achieve efficiency and success at B2B wholesale trade shows. But don’t take our word for it. Stay with us as we take you through the amazing features it offers and decide for yourself.

1. Generate product labels in a jiffy

With WizCommerce’s B2B order management app, you can create custom labels with a template of your choice. What’s more, embellish the product labels with your company logo, fonts and barcodes/QR codes. 

Learn More: WizCommerce Revolutionizes Trade Show Management For Reed & Pick With Smart Label Generator

2. Simply scan barcodes/QR codes to take orders

When you’re at a trade show, all you have to do is scan the barcodes/ QR codes on your product labels and start taking orders in seconds. 

3. Add buyer information with a few clicks

Dispose of pen and paper! With our order management app, you can record new buyers as soon as they enter your booth with the Quick Add feature. What’s more, you can save their visiting card too!

4. Get in-app recommendations for cross-selling and upselling 

You can discover and showcase variants of a product you’re selling (even if they’re 100s) right on the app. Extra extra, you can get in-app recommendations for similar products and frequently bought together products.

5. Create custom catalogs

Shortlist products based on customer interest and create custom catalogs on the spot to send to the buyer (even if you are offline). No more taking orders in order books. Get started while your buyer is still in your booth. You can also record buyer queries and requests as notes while creating catalogs.

Learn More: How WizCommerce Transformed Zia Pia’s Trade Show Experience: Automating Follow-ups and Leading to a 50% Reduction in Sales Operations Time

6. Collect cards and payments securely

With our PCI-compliant order management app, you can accept payments however your customers prefer directly from our platform in the most secure, fast and simple way. You can take card details and charge the buyer when you are shipping the order. You can also get the buyer to pre-approve the charges so that when you are processing, you don’t face any transactional hurdles.

The Way Forward

And that’s why you can’t afford to not be a part of the paper to pixel revolution. In the dynamic landscape of B2B wholesale trade shows, the integration of a robust order management platform emerges as a game-changer for wholesalers seeking to elevate their efficiency and customer engagement. The advantages presented by such a platform extend beyond the trade show floor, influencing the entire spectrum of the wholesaler-buyer relationship.

From real-time order processing to centralized product information and enhanced customer relationship management, the benefits are manifold. Wholesalers equipped with a B2B order management platform can navigate the bustling trade show environment with agility and precision. The platform's ability to provide instant communication, personalized interactions, and seamless post-event follow-up fosters enduring relationships with buyers, transcending the limitations of a transient trade show encounter.

Ready to discover for yourself how WizCommerce can create magic at B2B wholesale trade shows? Book a demo

Article published by
Shreya Srivastava
Content Marketing Associate
Interested to transform your B2B Business?
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