Shopping online is simple, quick, convenient and cheap giving customers what they want at the touch of a button, but as the internet of things becomes ever present in our daily lives there is one question which remains unanswered; why choose an online office supplier when Amazon has it too?
Taking a step back, when online retail first became ‘a thing’ all people wanted was to be able to choose a product and have it delivered without leaving their home. It was a known fact that returns were a hassle and that some items would be of inferior quality but that didn’t matter because it saved time and money.
Fast forward a decade or two and times have certainly changed. No longer are online shoppers satisfied with convenience they want more, they expect an experience and a personal service.
It’s no longer good enough for online retailers to stack it high, sell it cheap and hide behind a screen in a darkened warehouse, customers want to speak to a real person and to have their questions answered and their problems solved.
Internet Giants Are Coming to Get You
There have been many companies that have come and gone during this time, some because they simply didn’t get the balance right and others because they couldn’t compete with products that overnight became a commodity. For those that were left standing, they had another challenge to face, the internet giants.
Recognising the value of convenience online has led to some brands becoming household names – you could even say with voice recognition devices they are also the furniture – such as Amazon.
Seemingly offering everything you could ever want, they become the default for personal gift buying and all business needs. So, why are there still other companies out there? Can they really compete with these monsters that have the market all sewn-up?
The Benefits of Buying from a Preferred Partner
It would be ridiculous to suggest that Amazon are unable to meet with the needs of customers given that they are responsible for millions of transactions an hour, but what they are unable to deliver is a truly personal service.
Let’s take office supplies as an example, if you are responsible for purchasing these items for your business each month, it may be that you go to Amazon to place that order. As well as the pens, pencils, books and pads you find that you also need some coffee, some cleaning products, a wall chart and some diaries.
With Amazon you will be purchasing from multiple retailers, all with different delivery dates. Each will have a different customer service team and a different way of working. Suddenly the convenience becomes a little more complex.
In contrast, when you work with a smaller online office supplier, such as Office Monster, you have access to more than 22,000 products and you can stipulate a delivery date knowing that all items will come in a single consignment.
Furthermore, if you have a problem you can pick up the phone and speak to the dedicated customer service team and even your own account handler. Not only does this make life easier but over time you get to know the people that you are dealing with, forging longer-term relationships that in turn deliver further benefits.
Benefits Beyond the Shopping Basket
Larger and more well-known online retailers are certainly competitive when it comes to cost but what about the service and benefits that they offer beyond the shopping basket? Again, when you deal with a ‘faceless’ brand you become a number. It’s no longer about loyalty or people buying people, it’s simply a transaction.
With a personal service you can expect reward from your loyalty. Again, going back to Office Monster, this particular online company offers discounts for customers that repeat order and provides discount codes that can be used to save money or to purchase treats from their store such as sweets and biscuits.
This company also gives its customers free delivery and a no-hassle guaranteed returns policy. It also has an online price comparison function so that it is completely transparent with customers in terms of costs – no hidden extras!
Next time you are ordering your office suppliers use this as a test, place some of the order through Amazon and the rest through a trusted online office supplier that can offer you a personal service. See what experience you get from both and then make an informed decision, you may just be surprised with which you prefer.