DDS Digital Alliance

DDS is committed to helping distributors provide the best online experience possible to their B2B customers. Through our industry research and relationships, we have identified some top providers and solutions that we know are a good choice in helping you deliver an exceptional e-commerce experience to your end-user customers.

The DDS Digital Alliance

As the leading provider of e-commerce-ready product content to the wholesale industry, we at DDS are often asked to recommend e-commerce platforms and related tools that are complementary to our “next-generation” content and data management solutions.

 

While content is critical to providing the right end-user experience, it is just one part of a successful e-commerce strategy. We are regularly exposed to quality companies that design and deliver best-in-class digital experiences to help manufacturers, distributors and other channel partners not only meet, but exceed their customers’ expectations.

We created the DDS Digital Alliance to recognize and recommend those companies who are making a real difference in the industry and helping distributors and other professionals move forward on the e-commerce/e-customer experience front.

WE BELIEVE THAT:

DISTRIBUTORS NEED OPTIONS

When it comes to e-commerce solutions for distributors, we do NOT believe in a one-size-fits-all model. In a given industry, literally no two distributors are the same; they can differ significantly in size, character and specialty, and these differentiators can be major value-add reasons their customers do business with them. As such, we believe distributors need choices in selecting an e-commerce platform, as well as accessory/supplemental applications that suit their individual needs and allow for those value-add experiences.

It’s About More Than Just Transactions

Serving your customers online isn’t just about facilitating e-commerce transactions. As a matter of fact, the top two things distributors’ customers are asking for online are pricing and product information, while the ability to purchase products online is further down their list of “needs.” (Click here to read more about what distributors really think about, and want from, e-commerce.)

 

The reality is, a huge part of a distributor’s job—and the job of many of the customers you serve—is to research and source products for end users and projects. Data really has become critical, and your customers are asking you to provide product information according to the new standard that we’ve all come to expect in the e-commerce age. This means having a sleek website with complete product information that is accurate and up to date, and presented in such a way that customers can find what they’re looking for quickly and intuitively.

 

In order to stay relevant and helpful to your customers—and likewise to your manufacturers—in this new era of commerce, you need an online presence that assists your customers in doing their jobs.

Not Quite Ready for E-Commerce?

Even if you’re not ready for (or you’re working towards) a full-functioning e-commerce site, you can still offer DDS’ next-generation product content to assist your customers in their researching and procurement efforts. Click here to learn about DDS’ online product catalog solution for distributors: DCX, or the Distributor Catalog Exchange.

A Great Digital Solution Has Multiple Parts

At DDS, we believe a successful e-commerce solution involves having both the right infrastructure for your website, and the most robust, complete and manufacturer-approved content to power your site.

 

You need a sleek and functional platform that offers a pleasant aesthetic, with intuitive back-end administration and front-end functionality that allows your customers to conduct their research and purchasing easily.

 

Equally as important is the content powering the site, and there are two distinct types:

  • ERP data is the essential product data distributors rely on to sell manufacturer products, including complete pricing and packaging information
  • E-commerce product content, on the other hand, includes everything manufacturers make available to help market and sell their products online, from complete features and specifications to multiple, hi-res images, videos, supporting documents (spec sheets, brochures, installation manuals, CAD drawings, 2D & 3D drawings), marketing descriptions, application and warranty information, 360-degree product imagery, where available, and much more.

 

E-commerce content also includes categories and facets for optimal searchability, which is an essential but often overlooked aspect of this critical data. How all of this content is organized and displayed can affect the user’s ability to find and buy what they need.

When it comes to content, more is better!

Many distributors live by the 80/20 rule, where from a product perspective, 80 percent of a typical company’s revenue is derived from 20 percent of its products or services. When translated to e-commerce, many assume that as long as they have their “top 20%” product set listed on their site, they have a sufficient inventory to make for a profitable sales channel.

 

As College GameDay’s beloved Lee Corso likes to say, “Not so fast, my friend!”

 

Having a larger volume of products on your site has important benefits, starting of course with giving you a larger “breadth of offering” to keep your existing and potential new customers from turning to the likes of Grainger and Amazon Business for product information, and ultimately, orders.

 

But your volume of product content also affects how a potential customer initially finds your site (or a particular product on it) over others. Search engines rank sites with a larger volume of quality content higher than those with less volume. Simply having more products generates more traffic while also ensuring your visitors can find the products and information they need while on your site.

 

On a related note, adding more of your manufacturers’ products to your webstore should not be a painful or costly process. Working with the right partners can help you get more products—with rich, accurate content—listed on your site quickly and easily, giving you real competitive advantage.

PLATFORMS: E-COMMERCE

ES Tech Group

ES Tech Group offers a webstore platform, EvolutionX, that enables a uniquely comprehensive and personalized B2B eCommerce capability for manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors. With over a decade of B2B-specific experience and customers around the globe, ES Tech Group knows that webstores should be 100% mobile responsive, massively scalable, and have rich procurement functionality. To see how you can maximize conversion rates with sophisticated marketing and merchandizing capabilities, visit www.estechgroup.io.

EvolutionX - Electrical, Powered by DDS Content

ES Tech Group and DDS have combined their respective expertise in webstore platforms and enhanced product content to provide a robust, easy-to-implement B2B e-commerce webstore built specifically for distributors and powered by DDS’ e-commerce-ready product content for a comprehensive, single-source offering. The joint solution suite will serve multiple industries in the Construction & Industrial space with individual offerings named accordingly, starting with Electrical. Click here to learn more about EvolutionX – Electrical, Powered by DDS Content.

Insite Software

Insite Software is a leading provider of digital commerce solutions architected for manufacturers and distributors. Insite’s B2B e-commerce solutions go beyond commerce connecting people, products and channels for rich, omnichannel experiences. Insite believes e-commerce is more than a website. It’s about transforming your business and delivering best-in-class experiences for everyone involved in the complex B2B buying cycle. For more information, visit insitesoft.com.

PLATFORMS: MANUFACTURER REPS

TRADETECH SOLUTIONS

TradeTech Solutions, Inc. was incorporated in 2006 to provide web-based software solutions for the electrical industry. With applications like TTS Platform, which includes Quotations, CRM, Sales Analysis, Marketing and Order Entry, TradeTech Solutions helps companies large and small to digitize their business with tools for improved organizational processes and more advanced marketing capabilities. For more information, visit www.tradetechsolutions.com.

ERP + PRICING DATA

IDEA

The Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA) is the official technology service provider and eBusiness standards body of the electrical industry. The company helps thousands of manufacturers and distributors find the most cost-effective methods for running day-to-day business. IDEA’s applications help connect the supply chain and make business processes efficient, easy and enjoyable for people every day.

 

IDEA was founded in 1998 through a partnership rooted in the collective leadership of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) members. Their applications also bring value to vertical markets such as industrial, retail, and consumer-packaged goods. For more information, visit www.idea4industry.com.

PRODUCT IMAGERY

Snap36

Snap36 provides interactive 360°/3D product images for manufacturers and distributors that build trust, consistency and engagement during customers’ online research and buying process. Snap36 uses industry-leading robotic equipment and workflow software to capture product images more efficiently than traditional photography processes. Visit www.snap36.com for more information.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS

IMARK Group

IMARK Group, Inc. is a member-owned, member-governed marketing group made up of over 1,400 independently owned electrical, plumbing, and utility distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Member companies serve their local customers from over 5,000 branch locations. The members of IMARK Group, Inc. constitute the largest member-owned, member-governed cooperative in the U.S. electrical and plumbing industries. For more information, visit imarkgroup.com.

IMELCO

IMELCO (International Marketing Electrical Corporation) is the largest international marketing group of independent electrical wholesalers. Established more than 25 years ago, it brings business partners from different countries to one table, enabling the exchange of experiences and negotiates a common framework for terms and conditions: for the success of each individual member and for the benefit of the whole group. For more information, visit imelco.com.

MARKETING

Channel Marketing Group

Channel Marketing Group (CMG) is a marketing consulting firm specializing in helping distributors and manufacturers grow their business. Headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, CMG consults primarily to manufacturers, distributors, distribution technology providers and industry associations. For more information, visit channelmkt.com.

WHO WE ARE

We are DDS (Distributor Data Solutions), the leading e-commerce product content provider serving the wholesale distribution industry. We already work with more than 880 industry-leading manufacturers across Electrical, Lighting, Solar, Plumbing, HVAC, Tool, Industrial and Automation industries to help them deliver next-generation product content to power distributors’ e-commerce websites.

 

With more than 50 combined years of intimate knowledge and experience running a successful distributorship, we bring unrivaled industry expertise—together with the most advanced data technologies and top-tier developers and data analysts—to offer the most unique and advanced solutions available in the industry.

LET’S TALK!