The Internet has made it possible for individuals to connect with libraries halfway around the world or tour historic landmarks through a video feed, effectively democratizing information and resources that used to be restricted to a select few. DollarDays‘ founder and CEO, Marc Joseph, says his company does the same for small retailers, making it possible for them to compete with the large chains and connect with major manufacturers and brands in a way that simply wasn’t possible for them 15 years earlier.
Joseph says he founded DollarDays in 2001 because he and his partners understood the potential for the Internet to become the next significant channel of distribution. This would be especially true for small businesses, which didn’t have the same resources as large-scale retailers. In the past, manufacturers would send salespeople out to visit retailers of all sizes, but in today’s marketplace, most major manufacturers have deemed it unnecessary, leaving the smaller retailers out in the cold with big manufacturers and distributors. “If you’re a small business in today’s world, where are you going to find products?” Joseph says.
DollarDays is a leading wholesaler of a wide assortment of products serving a customer base that includes smaller distributors, as well as mom-and-pop retailers competing against big-box stores like Walmart and Target. Joseph says the company supplies its customers not only with the everyday goods they need, but [with] a healthy selection of seasonal and closeout products, as well. DollarDays has more than 300,000 SKUs available for its customers, Joseph says, making it indispensable for those smaller retailers. “Basically, we are a one-stop shop for these small businesses,” he says.
Face to Face
Joseph says customers turn to DollarDays for its incredibly broad assortment and competitive prices, but there’s another piece of the puzzle that is just as important for its customers. DollarDays’ internal sales team is just as much a selling point for customers as the company’s selection and prices, Joseph says.
Although the convenience of being able to order product from the Internet 24 hours a day and seven days a week certainly is appealing for smaller retailers and distributors, Joseph says nothing can take the place of having dedicated salespeople available to answer questions and help customers with their orders. “What they do is actually work with our customers,” Joseph says, adding that these salespeople are able to connect with customers at any time and from anywhere through the Internet. “They’re taking the place of the guy who used to sit on the other side of the desk with these guys.”
The company’s reliance on technology means DollarDays has to stay on the cutting edge of the industry. Joseph says this is especially true because of the increasing number of wholesalers that utilize the Internet as a means of reaching out to customers and fulfilling their orders. As the wholesaling industry starts to become fully aware of the impact the Internet can have on its business, DollarDays is working hard to keep up with the latest trends and adapt to the major changes taking place in the industry.
One of the most significant of these changes and trends is the shift to mobile communication. As smartphones and tablet computers become more and more commonplace, customers are freed from being tethered to their desks, but websites need to be optimized for touchscreens and mobile data connections as a result. “What that means is all of a sudden, not just everyone is sitting in front of their computers anymore—it’s all mobile,” Joseph says. “The way for people to shop on the Internet has evolved, and so we’ve evolved along with it.”
That evolution includes the use of social media as an outlet for reaching out to customers. Joseph says the use of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter makes it easier for DollarDays to connect with its customers in a way that conforms to their individual schedules. “That has changed the way that customers perceive how a business interacts with its customers,” Joseph says, adding that DollarDays has accounts [across a number of social media channels] as [a] means of promoting the company and communicating with customers.
Connecting with customers has been a major focus for DollarDays over the last few years, and Joseph explains it is something the company pays close attention to every day. With a deep understanding of the marketplace and its wide selection, Joseph says, DollarDays is poised to continue holding onto its leadership position for years to come.
Original article here: http://wdimagazine.com/index.php/sections/durable-goods/304-dollardays-international