Inside Gildan’s Digital Transformation for B2B Ecommerce

Started in 1946 in Montreal, Canada as a children’s apparel manufacturing company, Gildan has gone on to become one of the world’s leading vertically-integrated manufacturers of apparel, socks and legwear.

Gildan is well-known for the high quality of its products but it is also known for its program for social, environmental, and governance (ESG). Because of its long history of ethical manufacturing practices and sustainable production, Gildan was named one the ” 100 Most Sustainable Companies” by The Wall Street Journal for 2020.

The company’s portfolio includes brands such as American Apparel, GOLDTOE and others. Gildan also has a Board of Decorators website. This is an inspiring community of decorators, created by and for decorators. Recently, Gildan combined six sites into one and launched wholesale website gildanbrands.com.

We sat down with Kees Olthof (senior manager for consumer experience at Gildan) to learn more about the company’s ecommerce journey.

Interview Gildan on B2B Ecommerce Growth

How much is your business direct-to consumers (DTC) and business-to business (B2B), respectively?

Kees Olthof : “I would suggest that the majority of wholesale is B2B. DTC is for us a sales channel but it’s so much more. DTC allows us to interact directly with our customers, which allows us to be more customer-centric. The DTC websites allow us to have complete control over our brand and the customer experience.

What was it that motivated you to make the switch from paper to an online catalogue for wholesale?

KO “As a brand we realized that paper catalogues were an obsolete medium. They only allow us to interact with customers in one dimension. We realized that an online catalog could offer a richer and more interactive experience. This was what drove us to move from a printed catalog and go online. It was also part of our sustainability program because it has been a great way for us to save paper while continuing to reduce our carbon footprint.”

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What are you doing to grow your B2B ecommerce business and make the switch to BigCommerce?

KO “We’ve been in B2B ecommerce for more than 15 years. However, we used legacy systems that could only be accessed by very large clients. We were not able to use certain capabilities, and it was extremely expensive to maintain. It was not perfect, but it worked.

“We needed an ecommerce platform that met all our requirements when we compared different platforms. We needed to consider the following: culture fit, product roadmap, total costs of ownership, business requirements. Are we able to see ourselves working with this company for the long-term?

BigCommerce was a state of the art platform that could create a better customer experience and scale globally. That was crucial. The best part is the low cost. That’s why we switched from legacy systems to BigCommerce.

What features are necessary for product fit on an ecommerce platform B2B?

KO “In our case what we really appreciated is the API-first approach. BigCommerce was the core of our ecommerce system . However, it is not a one-size fits all solution. Your ability to seamlessly integrate with other solutions was a great asset.

Could you tell me more about your mobile app and the way you use it?

KO “The mobile app was originally designed to be an inventory finder. Although customers could search inventory online, it is much easier to use a mobile phone if they’re on the move or have someone at their store. The app will tell customers where the distributors are closest to them based on their location. They can then use the app from there to call, email, or request the product.

“Now, there are so many more things you can do with an application, we’re expanding its function to include a swatch scanning option. Customers can scan one of our swatch card with all the colors and fabrics using their smartphone’s camera and find out which styles are available.

“Previously, customers had to consult a table in order to determine the available colors. This feature is something that customers have requested for a long time and it’s one we are excited about.

How do you create a seamless customer experience with all of these sites?

KO. “Returning to your question, BigCommerce was chosen to be the foundation of our digital ecosystem. It houses our DTC retail websites, B2B brands sites, Board of Decorators website, and mobile app. These initiatives should not be separated, but have one experience. BigCommerce is that back-end.

BigCommerce stores all our product information. This means that customers can search on both the website and the mobile app the same way. It’s easier for our internal team to innovate and maintain with one platform that covers every channel.

“Basically, BigCommerce allows us to connect these initiatives in a way that we couldn’t before. No matter where you are on your customer journey, you’ll still receive the same seamless, smooth experience.

Are there any DTC best practices you would like to include on your wholesale B2B site?

KO “We are integrating social media onto the site, so that you can see user-generated content. Social proof is still relevant to B2B, taking a cue from consumer websites. Many DTC practices are beginning to gain acceptance in B2B. We believe there are many important lessons to be learned, even though not all DTC practices work the same.

“We also want to have more two-way conversations, which is something we can’t do in print. Customers can leave feedback via the website whenever they wish. In our FAQ section, for example, it asks if this question was helpful. “Yes or no?”

What advice or suggestions would you offer other B2B businesses going through a digital transformation process?

KO “I would tell any B2B company that when you move your business online, take advantage of the opportunity to be more data-driven. This is something that you can do online, but not offline.

Quantitative data refers to the “what” you can gain from your web analytics. The qualitative data, on the other hand is the “why” that you can get from your web analytics. This can be learned through onsite surveys and feedback. Next, shift your culture to open-mindedness and validate your assumptions.

“Also make sure everyone in your company has access to the wealth of data you collect through online interactions. This could be on your website, social channels, or mobile apps. These insights should be shared beyond your digital team to help you make business decisions.

“I believe that this is key for any manufacturer, because first-party information is something you don’t always possess without direct access to customers. These direct customer insights are crucial for any manufacturer in order to optimize processes and create better products.

Start your B2B Ecommerce Solution with BigCommerce

Are you ready to make the leap and sell online using a B2B eCommerce platform that will help you succeed? Check out . All the features necessary to simplify B2B selling will be found here.

B2B Digital Advertising Optimization is Broken. Here’s how to fix it.

B2B Digital Advertising Optimization is Broken. Here’s how to fix it.

B2B paid media investments are affected when companies adopt a “more traffic, less money” optimization mentality. This is because traditional digital optimization starts and ends with two flawed assumptions: that advertising’s greatest and most effective use is inviting direct clicks and visits and that optimizing for clicks to visits and conversions at the lowest cost is the best way to maximize advertising ROI. It is impossible to be more wrong.

Traffic is a great goal for advertising. However, it’s important to avoid focusing too much on click-through rates and conversion rates in a paid media mix. Instead, focus should be placed on maximizing the efficacy, amplitude and value of traffic coming from multiple sources. To unlock the full potential of B2B digital advertising impressions, and the creative within them, it is important to shift the focus from click-through and conversion rate. Reaching and influencing the attitudes and behavior of targeted audiences and buying groups digitally wherever they are is key to unlocking their full potential.

These changes require a complete overhaul of the standard optimization approach. This is the right time to make these changes, since recent increases in advertising budgets have raised paid media governance to higher levels within many B2B organisations.

For evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of paid media flights, organizations must adopt an audience-centric approach. Our new report, “Rethinking B2B digital advertising optimization” outlines this approach.

This report gives an overview of paid media maximization and recent benchmarks from Forrester’s advertising budget data. You can read the report and contact us to discuss paid media optimization for your company and how to show the value of your paid media efforts.

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An excellent autoresponder

What number of free autoresponders did you try? How many did you actually use? How many emails were you able to get through by using them? How can you tell? What percentage of people opened your follow-up message?

I am pointing out that if you don’t know the answers to these questions, you are probably not running a successful followup campaign. These are important elements that you should consider when choosing an autoresponder.

To ensure that you get the best autoresponder, here are some good tips. Your autoresponder should be compared to top marketers. They are likely using the best. This step is essential!

You might also make observations about spam filters. You may have received an e-mail with something similar to this: “FREE” This is a great way to defeat spam filters because they won’t be able read anything free. It can take some time to go through the article and find out which words are “Danger words”. This feature can help you in your marketing efforts. Make sure to find an autoresponder with a spam rating function… this will show you exactly where your “Danger!” words are in your article.

Your statistics are another important aspect of e-mail marketign. Your statistics can help you determine if your subject lines are effective or if your brand is well-known. Knowing your e-mail statistics is a first step towards optimizing your sales potential. It is important to find an autoresponder that can provide detailed analysis and followups.

What should a followup include? That’s a good question. I have found that subscribers should be directed to the full article on the internet. This is a good idea for several reasons. In the followup email, you can make an exciting teaser and ask for your article to be published online. You also have the possibility that many subscribers will read other articles from your archive. While your subscriber may not be interested in a single article, they might find the information they need by looking through previous articles.

Broadcasting! Now that your subscribers have finished their initial follow-up series, what do you do? You will need an autoresponder that allows you broadcast an update or offer to your entire subscriber list. This feature is essential for all subscribers.

Don’t bore your subscribers! Give them a problem to solve and give them a solution. It’s easy…

My marketing blog has my top picks for autoresponders!

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A Guide to Advertising in the Media

Media is powerful. The average person will spend an immense amount of time consuming it in some form. They will also spend significant amounts of their lives looking at, listening, or watching ads. You need to be able to harness the power of the media.

Advertise in Magazines and Newspapers.

You can find two types of advertising in magazines and newspapers: display and classified. Display ads are small ads at the back of the publication. Classified ads can be as small as a corner of a page or as large as a double-page spread.

To find out the charges for advertising in a publication, go to its website (the rate cards section) or call the advertising department. Grab your jaw off the ground. Advertising in print media is expensive. It’s not affordable for home-based businesses.

However, there is an exception: trade and niche magazines. You’ll be amazed at how many magazines are available to fill every niche in the market if you’ve ever walked into a newsagent. It is important to choose the magazine that will appeal to your target audience. If you are a wedding photographer, for example, search for magazines called “Your Wedding”, “Bride” or similar. These magazines are far less expensive than advertising in general-audience publications and will get more responses.

Radio advertising

There’s a chance that there is a local radio station near you. You might think about buying time once your home business has grown to a reasonable size.

The only type of home business that can really benefit from radio advertising to justify the expense is one that deals with cars. Radio is limited to car entertainment. This means that most people who see your ads will own cars and might be interested in the products or services you offer. You can get lots of responses if you provide something people actually need, even if it’s free.

This could lead to a too large response. Radio is very time sensitive and you will be mobbed again the next day. Radio advertising gives the listener no chance to save your ad or refer to it later. Any ads that involve a telephone number will be utterly ineffective.

Advertisement on Television

This would not be a good idea unless your business is growing rapidly. It would be difficult to produce and air an ad on local cable channels, even for less than $10,000. If there is a market for your product, and you have the money to do it, you can make a lot of money. Home businesses that are unique and useful inventing products with easily-demonstrated benefits tend to be the most successful. A 60-second advertisement, free phone number, and a $19.95 price point are enough to sell almost any product.

Advertisement on Billboards

This one is often overlooked, but it can be extremely effective if done right. Billboard ads can be quite expensive but they are very durable and can be targeted specifically to an area. This will give you the best results if it is placed near enough to your business. It could even say something like “turn left at next junction” or some other similar message. Although phone numbers are useless, you might be able to put a website address there.

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Advertisement at the Movies

This is the last one. You might not have noticed that local businesses were advertised before big-budget commercials. This is a great place for advertising inexpensively and in a high-profile manner, especially for takeaway food business owners.

Four Simple Steps to Great Free Advertising

Advertising a product or service, or any undertaking such as a website, has always been difficult for the wallet.

I am a follower for the free advertising mode.

Two strategies that I used to get free advertising are what I want to share with you.

Advertise on free, but highly-visited websites is the first strategy.

Some of my favorite web sites accept advertising free of charge have been published. These free advertising sites can be accessed by visiting internetmarketinglearningcenter.com/classified.html.

To post free ads, I used the second strategy of buying a Classified Ad Course.

It is a short course, and I paid $19.95 through Clickbank to access this ad resource.

The Free Classified Ad Course’s highlight is the link to a free program that will allow you to monitor and post your ads.

This is a free classified ad course.

Clickbank doesn’t charge $19.95 and you don’t need to spend hours searching for this software.

Simply go to my website listed in the resource box below and click the link at the sidebar menu titled 4 Simple Steps for Great Free Advertising. Then you can start posting your ads. It’s free.

You will be a success at ad posting.

Four Steps to Unbeatable Marketing

You may have noticed that certain people always get the best deals. You pay full price, and you think you did okay, until someone else shows up with the exact same thing for a fraction of the cost. This really gets your goat! How does this happen? They aren’t afraid to ask for an additional discount.

You can’t be too proud of yourself if you don’t ask the next time an advertising representative visits. Ask for a larger discount even if you are already receiving one. You don’t have to…because you didn’t ask.

2. 2. Trim

Or is it? Advertising is a competitive field. You might find that some of your shorter ads are more successful than the larger, more expensive ones. You don’t have to reduce the advertising budget, but you won’t be reducing the quality of the ads.

3. Grab the Freebies

What is the difference between publicity and advertising? …who is doing the talking. It’s advertising when you sell yourself. It’s advertising when someone is trying to sell you something. This generates credibility, and you don’t want it to end.

Consider all the ways that you can put your business in the limelight. Have news? Write a press release. Send some “how-to” articles to magazines, newspapers and other publications. Include a brief byline at the bottom. You can promote the product from a competitor in exchange for them promoting it. Think about the completely different markets they impact!

There are many ways to get free advertising that will benefit your company. You won’t always be able to get free advertising, but you can still get some for nothing.

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4. 4.

Are you too excited to miss your opportunity? You need to make it better. You don’t have to reduce prices any more, but you still need to make profit. It’s possible to make the deal more appealing by making the product more valuable or offering bonuses that are valued but not too expensive.

Use expirations to motivate buyers. Open ended offers encourage procrastination, which leads to…nowhere. If the customer is aware that he only has Saturday to buy an item that he will pay more for, he will make it a priority and head to your shop.

 

Advertising doesn’t need to break the bank to be successful. You can increase your profit margins by learning to negotiate and knowing when small ads are more effective than large ones.

How Companies can leverage different solutions for better Advertising

Social networking platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube have revolutionized mobile advertising and aided e-commerce companies build empires. Advertisers use them to increase website traffic, customer satisfaction, and revenue. These platforms also help create great brand awareness, loyalty, and authority at inexpensive prices. Nevertheless, it’s time to think beyond the social networking channels for marketing strategies.

Digital fatigue is a real and powerful factor, and hammering branded messages across platforms is no longer a best practice for engaging your target audience. Yes, some platforms accommodated fast and supplied private message choices with more attributes. But new trends favor alternative marketing strategies for mobile users. Additionally, with changes in the international marketplace, there is an increasing chance for different advertising solutions.

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1 area that has grown is the choices for contactless or touchless solutions, which started with payment systems. Now this technology is impacting marketing approaches also. As a result of virus pandemic, contactless technology and customer security have rocketed to the top of company priority lists. Thus, it’s time to consider contactless marketing along with more conventional tactics.

What’s a contactless solution?

Look at a conventional store transaction. As soon as you’ve chosen the items you want to get, you visit a checkout counter and pay for the merchandise. Before, this market at the point of sale (POS) connected contact. Whether you passed money or a card to the cashier, or even wrote a check, both parties in the POS touched the cash and products involved in the market.

With contactless solutions, the only items that you might need to touch are your smartphone or card. Nothing needs to change hands between you and an employee, and you do not need to touch shop equipment (such as an electronic signature page) either. There are various sorts of technology to facilitate such communications.

A long-known contactless technology is the Quick Response (QR) code. But there are others also, such as Bluetooth beacons and augmented reality (AR).

The wise devices, cards, mobile phones, and apps ensure efficient information sharing. The simple act of bringing two tools nearer additionally achieves a number of other outcomes. You can open web pages, share videos, dial a telephone number, or search for pictures.

More on evolving technologies

Retail brands need to provide a superior customer experience in the present world. Today’s customers expect to be educated, engaged, and amused. Furthermore, the general customer journey needs to be immersive, memorable, and effective. So, innovative marketing with technological finesse is now a necessity. And contactless tools can be helpful for marketing campaigns.

Proprietary contactless solutions–such as Microsoft Tag and Google Goggles–have their disadvantages. These technologies are new and not well-tested.

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Augmented reality (AR) for advertising

AR apps for the mobile market demand three-dimensional (3D) animations and programs. Advertisers and designers can produce 3D renderings of varied products. By way of instance, a real estate dealer may ease a walk-through for prospective buyers with AR. Buyers can see the insides by simply pointing at the building or swiping their telephones.

Complex features such as this help brand managers enhance product availability. AR tools are also helpful for”try before you buy” advertising. They provide a heightened experience to the clients in retail sales. Buyers can virtually try clothing, shoes, home products, makeup, as well as automobiles. Sometimes, you may even throw a hologram of a product on you or your house to look at its look.

Consumers may use AR solutions to enjoy a contactless experience before committing to a purchase.

QR codes and promotion

QR codes are a cost-effective advertising solution for the electronic age. They may be integrated directly into print or augmented reality advertisements. Clients can then scan the optical codes on a smartphone with no need for extra apps (though older versions might need add-on applications). As a bonus, QR codes are less intrusive than conventional advertising and marketing campaigns on television and radio.

Maybe one of the biggest advantages of QR codes is their cost; they are significantly more affordable than AR solutions. Marketers can utilize them to supply a safe and secure choice for engaging with discerning and circumspect consumers.

Marketers leveraging QR codes might want to design them beautifully with several colours or even contemplate QR codes using a logo.

How marketing Contributes to better reach

Experts leverage different marketing tools to reach a huge selection of outcomes. Businesses can use them to enhance brand visibility online, attract foot traffic, and make profits.

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Increase conversions and app downloads

Marketing tactics like AR and QR codes are successful in increasing sales conversions. Unleash targeted campaigns with a focus on relevancy and closeness. Boost your click-through rate and rake in the profits with greater sales.

Use word of mouth to get positive testimonials

QR codes can help promote product reviews. Independent reviews are valuable for increasing earnings. They also create a strong, impactful brand buzz. As you audit your testimonials, make sure they’re regular, consistent, and transparent.

Food for thought: consider integrating a QR code on your business card which sends your clients to your testimonial or feedback page. Further increase your business card attempts with an aligned hashtag effort . Convenience and accessibility are crucial to successful campaign efforts.

Create a personalized experience

Tech-savvy consumers need great products from the top brands. They also anticipate a memorable experience when shopping for items. Marketers must deliver tailor-made interactions to deliver on this expectation. This electronic travel from brand awareness to sale and following support must be frictionless. Clients must enjoy the product in addition to the interactions along the way.

Consider using data from a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to personalize creative advertisements and supply surprise presents to engage your clients. You can even select thrilling videos, custom messages, and special calls to action.

Simplify sales

The aim of advertising is to attract, engage, and retain buyers. But a client’s journey also involves sales, feedback, and support services. Clients have to shop with confidence.

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