Case Study: Techomax | Tech Wholesaler
Read time: 5 mins
A new company is founded in the crowded sector of general wholesale. Their main business is reselling consumer electronics and they are also working on establishing themselves in the edibles wholesale sector.
It’s hard to gain the trust of prospective customers because of the large number of fraudsters in the market.
If visitors don’t have a positive first impression of a company and a good idea of what it does, they are unlikely to get in touch.
Acquiring information and documents through email often requires a lot of back-and-forth messages and can take days. Keeping all those organized is an additional challenge.
Give visitors a clear understanding of what the company does and how serious and trustworthy it is. Make the process of working with them transparent, so that they’ll be more likely to actually get in touch (since they’ll know what to expect).
Make it very easy for perspective business partners to find the information they need about the company.
Automate the repetitive tasks of acquiring and organizing the information and documents of new customers.
Website design and development (Jekyll.)
Creation of an Airtable database and the application form connected to it.
Technical setup (Gmail with custom domains, hosting website on Netlify for free.)
Many wholesalers that sell mostly electronics choose a dark background for their website. The problem with that though is that it’s mostly associated with gaming companies or manufacturers of electronics, and that’s not the impression we want to give. For that reason, a white background was chosen.
Not wanting the website to appear too corporate, icons and illustrations not usually present in such websites were added to create a sense of friendliness and approachability.
When creating any sort of website it’s important to ensure the readability of the content.
Thus, all color combinations on the website are accessible as per the WCAG 2.0 guidelines for contrast accessibility, even on the pages where the background is darker (to avoid the whole thing being too monotonous.)
Business people all want to know some or all of the following (in addition to more specific questions that may arise down the road) when they come across a new perspective partner.
What does this company do exactly?
Are they trustworthy or am I taking a risk by working with them?
Do they work with other companies that I already know?
The first question, what does this company do, is answered right on the homepage and the links in the navigation bar (namely tech and edibles.)
The first link in the navigation bar is marked info, as that is what the visitor is most likely looking for. On the info page, all possible general questions that a new visitor might have are answered.
More specifically, it lets the visitor know
which logistics companies (both local and international) the company already works with, which gives them a sense of security as they most likely already trust at least one of the mentioned third-party companies and can always get in touch with them for references.
how the company handles the shipping of orders
The basic details of the company, such as the registration number and VAT number which the visitor can check
Bank account information
Answers to more specific questions that may arise down the road are given in the FAQ page, linked in the footer of the website and embedded in the contact page. Since visitors tended to reach out only to get an answer to one of those questions, it might serve them better to just read the answer right there.
There are also two pages that describe the business activities of the company more detail, as they are broken down into sections, tech and edibles. A prospective customer in one of those sectors is unlikely to be interested about the details of the other.
Collecting and organizing the information and documents of business partners in an orderly manner is a big challenge in this line of work. It’s usually achieved by way of email thread which can span multiple days and needless back-and-forth messages.
In contrast, the mobile friendly application form powered by Airtable allows new customers or suppliers to submit their own information from the comfort of their browser, no matter what kind of device they happen to be using. The data can then be exported in PDF for archiving purposes. All the uploaded files are stored in Airtable and associated with the particular company that uploaded them. There is no need to save them anywhere else but it is of course possible.
The cloud database software Airtable is used for everything related to order management and administration. It is used for things such as
storing the details and documents of existing and prospective business partners (directly connected to the application form on the website.)
creation of invoices and quotes.
stock and order management, including documents relating to a deal, such as transportation documents and contracts.
storing information of logistics and transportation partners.
the job application form on the careers page of the website.
the product gallery on the website which allows visitors to download a CSV list of all popular products.
Because the database is integrated with all of the interactive elements present in the website, there is a single source of truth that stuff has to pay attention to.
We initially assumed that visitors would appreciate the presence of a live chat widget. After it was implemented well, it was found out that literally every person who used the live chat asked a question that was already answered in the FAQ section. For that reason, it was replaced with a widget that provides easy access to those answers.
It was likely assumed that vsitors would be interested in seeing exactly what products were in stock at any given moment. What we found though, was that customers thought that those were the only items that they could order. They were actually confused by the small selection.
With that feedback in mind, the website now features a gallery listing the most popular products that are either already in stock or available for pre-order. Those entries can be downloaded in CSV (i.e. spreadsheet) format, which is what customers are used to working with.
Before the website, the company had to reach out to potential contacts manually all the time. Nowadays, they get applications from companies that they’ve never been in touch with through other means. New contacts often mention searching for wholesalers on Google, stumbling upon the website and deciding to apply.
Manual data entry is mostly a thing of the past. The information that customers submit themselves through the form, is instantly accessible in the Airtable database, which is also the invoice creation software.
instead of wasting time on copying and pasting the answers to frequently asked questions when customers ask, staff can just point them to the relevant section of the website.
New customers and suppliers rarely ask for trade references anymore (i.e. “give me the name of a well-known company who can vouch for you“) since they can see a long list of trustworthy logistics companies that they can ask. Just the presence of that list, as well as the rest of the well organized information, reassures visitors that they are dealing with a reputable company that knows what they’re doing.