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What if you could launch your own successful DigitalBranch?
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"Building the Digital Branch" will teach you how to:
  •  Increase Revenue: How to drive more revenue through your Digital Branch
  • Get Customer Adoption: Get more customer adoption and satisfaction
  •  Beat the national competitors
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FROM:  Justin King

WESTMINSTER, MD

It all started with “I don’t know what I don’t know.” 

The CEO of an industrial distributor said this to me a few years ago after a keynote I gave to an association. He continued, “Listen, Justin – I believe what you are saying. To survive, we must embrace Digital and eCommerce in our business. However, we just don’t know where to start, what to do when, what technology to select, who to hire, and how to manage this new channel.” It was the first of many times that I would hear the phrase “I don’t know what I don’t know.” That simple phrase started a quest to build a system to help Distributors (and more importantly their owners) through their Digital Transformations.  
"This system has transformed how distributors understand and implement their digital business."
I’ve seen businesses at all stages of digital development – from green screen order entry to sophisticated, highly customized eCommerce websites. What connects each business is a core challenge: your customers are expecting more and more online, and your organization needs to have a system in place to help meet that challenge. After working with over 50 distributors of all sizes, we developed a system called the X eCommerce System or XES for short. This system has transformed how distributors understand and implement their digital business.

At B2X Partners, we talk about your digital experience in a simple term: the Digital Branch™. Like your brick and mortar branches, your Digital Branch™ requires planning, resources, technology, and products. Unlike your physical branches, your Digital Branch™ opens opportunities for optimization, analysis, and marketing that can be fast, responsive and constantly forward-moving. Beyond that, opening and driving your Digital Branch™ is an important and necessary tool for your business to stay competitive.

Here is where we’ve seen businesses struggle:
  •   A distributor decides to implement eCommerce. Their head of IT leads the project to build the website. The website is highly customized to their customer's pricing and catalog but is very hard to use. Adoption is low. Leadership concludes: “Maybe in other industries, but in ours, customers aren’t interested in buying online.” 
  •  A distributor invests in driving their digital business. They hire a VP with a background in Business-to-Consumer (B2C) eCommerce. While he is initially enthusiastic, he is quickly overwhelmed by the amount of new information needed to understand the business’ customers, services and products. The VP answers leadership questions with jargon and evasion – it takes 18 months for the company to remove him. The company has lost 18 months in developing their Digital Branch™. 
  •  A distributor invests in an eCommerce website. They launch the site to their customers and begin promoting it with online advertising, swag, and events. Six months after the launch, they learn that their lead salespeople are telling customers: “Sure, you can use our website to research, just place orders from me, I can get you the best price.” Site adoption remains low. 
  •  The Head of Marketing of a distribution company selects a software platform for the eCommerce site. The platform vendor sold the software on its functionality, user-friendliness and having the modern “bells and whistles.” The platform never successfully integrated with the distributor’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. The website project stalled after two years and over $500,000 in cost. 
  •  An eCommerce website launches – everyone is thrilled with how the website and that it is mobile-friendly. However, after the effort of launch, there isn’t a team in place to manage the site, so website content and products quickly become out of date.
From the outside, it is easy to see these problems and maybe even to identify solutions. In any huge digital undertaking there will be stumbling blocks along the way – we can’t promise this book will remove those. But with a clear system in place, you can understand the mechanics of your Digital Branch™ business – quickly identify issues, challenges, and opportunities – so that you can avoid some of the missteps we’ve seen before.

Distributor eCommerce is a complex business – you have complex products, complex technologies, and complex customers.

The X eCommerce System is about shining a light on your business, best practices, and opportunities, so you have the power to make fast, clear and forward-thinking decisions to drive your Digital Branch™. In it, we break out the seven components critical to a successful Digital Branch™. While it’s not easy, it is doable. More importantly – it is necessary to stay relevant and competitive in a world that is becoming more and more digital.

Respectfully,

Justin King
"The XES is an amazing system that every distributor needs to read to build their own Digital Branch.  I highly recommend this book!"
- Andy Hoar, Founder B2BNext
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