Halt dwindling basket size with communication

Halt dwindling basket size with communication

Real-time, targeted communication is the answer to injecting new life into decreasing online basket sizes, according to Lumina Intelligence’s Maria Georgiou

The digital insight expert pointed to the growing use of WhatsApp Business API technology in the wholesale sector as one of the key weapons in a business’s armoury to correct a trend that is seeing customers spend less per online transaction.

Maria told an online workshop attended by eCommerce-focused suppliers and wholesalers brought together to discuss the Lumina Wholesale Online Report 2023 that the disruption WhatsApp’s messages can have on a customer’s online-ordering journey could transform dwindling basket sizes, with a trend of smaller, higher-frequency transactions taking hold.

Being able to send scheduled, personalised messages to retailers at times when data shows they’re most likely to be completing orders is a powerful tool wholesalers should be paying more attention to.

Maria said: “It’s very important because we’ve seen a lot of orders being placed outside of the core trading hours, so being able to send messages using an almost-immediate online communication, like WhatsApp, can disrupt the online customer journey. Our findings show 64% of foodservice and retail operators in the UK use online channels as their preferred way of stocking their stores, so WhatsApp is a great tool to communicate NPD and deals at scale.

“There are tools available – b2b.store’s B2B WhatsApp, for example – that are tailored specifically for the purpose of driving customers to order online or adding additional products to an order, with benefits like one-tap ordering or reordering too. This can definitely facilitate spend, alongside sending out targeted promotions to customers through a WhatsApp channel.”

The findings of Lumina’s report suggests that using WhatsApp Business API is likely to only grow in popularity as wholesalers aim to boost engagement with increasingly price-conscious customers that are changing their habits due to cost pressures.

According to b2b.store CEO Rob Mannion, it’s not just wholesalers that need to explore new digital approaches as he challenged suppliers in the online workshop to look at how they can use technology to boost their offerings too.

“We’ve seen over the years that suppliers have tried a wide variety of techniques to have a more direct dialogue with retailers, whether that’s through the wholesalers, building their own websites or launching other initiatives to talk about NPD or share category advice,” said Rob.

“There’s certainly an opportunity for suppliers to spin up their own B2B WhatsApp channels. They don’t have to be transaction based, but could be used to share relevant content, or NPD or category advice – currently WhatsApp is the best in class to do that.”