SUMMER 2019 EDITION

IMARK Group conducted an E-Commerce Vision Statement Survey and garnered frank responses from 213 member executives.

The completion of this comprehensive survey is a Level One requirement of the IMARK E-Customer Service Achievement program.

The purpose of the survey is to help member executives identify their current e-commerce challenges and opportunities and help them set an e-commerce course that makes sense for their companies and customers—now and in the future.

Question 1

IMARK member execs were asked to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with the following statements as they relate to e-commerce:

We believe that companies that do not invest in e-commerce and digital marketing will most likely lose market share in the near future (2-4 years).
Strongly Agree
30
Agree
33
Disagree
10
Our leadership team has the right mindset for driving digital progress and innovation.
Strongly Agree
19
Agree
38
Disagree
10
Our company’s digital capabilities are stronger than they were a year ago.
Strongly Agree
27
Agree
29
Disagree
22
We make it easy for customers to see our complete product offering on our website.
Strongly Agree
11
Agree
23
Disagree
42
As younger generations enter the marketplace, digital tools will drive more and more change in how we conduct business.
Strongly Agree
50
Agree
36
Disagree
2
Disruption may or may not happen, but the generational shift is real and should drive change in our industry.
Strongly Agree
29
Agree
47
Disagree
2
The ability to buy products on an e-commerce site will push customers to seek out suppliers with an e-commerce capability.
Strongly Agree
26
Agree
37
Disagree
8
Resistance from our employees will kill our digital progress.
Strongly Agree
11
Agree
17
Disagree
46
Question 2

Which of the following elements or customer capabilities are currently included on your company’s website? Please check all that apply.

  • Your company’s supplier line card 87%
  • List of branch locations 85%
  • A credit application 56%
  • Information on new products 55%
  • Current list of key employee contacts 49%
  • Digital product catalog with search capability 39%
  • Customers can purchase products on your webstore 39%
  • Customized account information (password-protected access) 37%
  • Customers can check your inventory on your website 35%
  • Links to product training (i.e., Electric Smarts, rep files, etc.) 29%
  • Customers can check delivery status at your website 19%
  • Electrical industry news 16%
Question 3

Describe your current mindset regarding the deployment of digital tools and e-commerce techniques.

  • We are defiant, determined and capable in the area of e-commerce and getting more so each day 11%
  • We are excited about the potential to use some of these tools to really wow customers and prospects 38%
  • We’re dabbling in e-commerce but our planning is inadequate and our results to date are underwhelming 30%
  • We feel disrupted by competitors (traditional and new) and are concerned about the potential for us to lose market share in the coming years 15%
  • None of the above 6%
Question 4

Share your level of agreement regarding the following statements related to e-customer service.

We are keeping up with best practices for distributors that are similar to our business.
Strongly Agree
14
Agree
55
Disagree
6
Some of our customers are demanding a webstore and/or other digital tools.
Strongly Agree
12
Agree
39
Disagree
12
We are trying to avoid losing business to Amazon or other "disruptors."
Strongly Agree
23
Agree
59
Disagree
4
We view Amazon as a potential partner and are (or would consider being) a part of its fulfillment network.
Strongly Agree
2
Agree
22
Disagree
22
We are trying to avoid losing business/market share to large or disruptive distributors in our markets.
Strongly Agree
27
Agree
60
Disagree
4
We are trying to be innovative and/or set standards for being a "digital" distributor.
Strongly Agree
18
Agree
46
Disagree
4
Question 5

Share your company’s top priorities for the development of e-customer service tools.

Meeting the demand of customers who wish to purchase from our webstore is:
Very important
63
Somewhat important
24
Not important at all
6
Providing customers with order and purchase history is:
Very important
42
Somewhat important
39
Not important at all
5
Enabling repeat orders of customer’s most frequently ordered items is:
Very important
69
Somewhat important
31
Not important at all
4
Encouraging customers to purchase complementary items is:
Very important
26
Somewhat important
49
Not important at all
7