Consumers set the bar!

Amazon’s sales just jumped again.  This time, sales soared to 51% over the year to $9.91 billion easily topping analysis’ estimates.

Amazon’s easy-to-use online website has been setting the bar since it first came on the scene in 1995.  The Seattle, Washington base e-commerce company that once just sold books now sells anything from jewelry to clothing to, literally, the kitchen sink.

What makes Amazon, and for that matter eBay, so exciting is that it has changed the way people order goods.  These companies have “set the standard” for the way you and I order and receive product.  What we expect, now, is very different than what we expected just 15 years ago.  Today, we expect to order anything anytime, day or night… online. We expect an easy-to-use and easy-to-navigate website that enables us to order things quickly and easily.  We expect simple payment options that require limited information.  And we expect immediate shipping.

The funny thing about online ordering is the fact that although consumers, like you and I, have been shopping this way for a long time corporations have been slow to adapt the technology for their distributors and sales forces. Large and small enterprises alike still rely on ordering materials via email, telephone, or using antiquated systems.  The downturn in the economy has changed all of that.

A case in point is Foremost Groups, Inc.  The large manufacturer of kitchen and bath fixtures is now saving time, money, and internal resources by having the sales force order sales materials, as you and I do, over the web.  Now, every time a sales rep wants materials, they don’t need to call the home office or email someone; they just pick up their mouse, point, and click 24/7.

The easy-to-navigate system offers Foremost and its sales force with the convenience you and I come to expect. It keeps track of the sale reps information, alerts them when a product is back ordered, provides shopping cart history, and delivers emails notifications when an order is placed and shipped. The online portal affords added benefits for the corporation. It provides reports on who is ordering, how much inventory is being consumed, and offers low stock notifications to track inventory.

The benefits of living in a consumer society are real… and real for the business as well as consumers.  Let’s see how much we can “raise the bar.”

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