Our Industry in the Post-Pandemic World Part 3: It’s All About the Customer
By Tom Cole, President and CEO, Republic National Distributing Company and Young’s Market Company
What is the new normal for our industry? We have seen massive changes in the beverage alcohol industry in the last 10 weeks due to Covid-19. What behaviors will continue as our nation slowly comes out of their homes and back to society?
We all have changed over the last 10 weeks and our behaviors will continue to evolve as the year progresses. Consumers are shopping online for alcohol now more than ever. From Drizly, offering one-hour delivery, to online retailers that offer thousands of products delivered within days, e-Commerce storefronts for alcohol sales are experiencing impressive growth.
The question is, how does this impact B2B organizations like ours? A new report by Forrest Research Inc. says, “B2B marketers must become the architect of engagement across the entire customer lifecycle.” That certainly raises the bar for most companies. For RNDC and Young’s, it validates the shared vision of the customer-centric digital transformation that led to eRNDC and OrderYoungs. This transformation is especially powerful when partnered with the personal touch of our sales reps, who remain an integral part of the success equation.
eRNDC is providing our customers with an incredible content-driven purchasing experience, immediate access to account information, order history, and delivery updates. What makes it unique is that it was designed to enable online collaboration between customers and sales representatives. In fact, a top priority of eRNDC was transparency into the team that supports each of our customers. Another priority was to ensure our sales representatives could easily support, suggest, and advise the right products and orders to best meet their customers’ needs. Every piece of information needed to do business together is found in one place: eRNDC.
At RNDC and Young’s, we feel it is our responsibility to ensure each experience feels customized to the user. For example, inventory and pricing also is managed in real time. Real time. No more waiting for the information you need to run your business.
Our online shopping experience is impressive, and I am very proud of the information our digital catalog provides. eRNDC has the most up-to-date details and highest quality of images for products because our suppliers are uploading and controlling their own assets. Product information is available from anywhere, at any time, and includes product descriptions, brand stories, tasting notes, reviews, and awards.
e-Commerce provides us with an opportunity to create a customer-first experience, from licensee to consumer. eRNDC’s content-driven platform, combined with the power of consumer facing platforms like Drizly, are changing how we all purchase beverage alcohol. And RNDC/Young’s is proud to be a leader in this transformation.
Tom Cole, a veteran of the alcohol beverage industry, is the CEO and President of Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) and Young’s Market Company (Young’s).