Cash & Carry Owners - Offer More Convenience to Your Customers

Posted by Jackie Taylor on Tue, Oct 06, 2015

Give your Cash & Carry customers the convenience they need with a fast and seamless shopping experience.

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The wholesale market has never been more competitive. Caterers and retailers have more choice than ever before on where to shop, making it critical for Cash and Carry businesses to keep up with new technologies and offer flexible and convenient services to them.

1. Offer web ordering to grow sales and increase customer satisfaction

At the recent Federation of Wholesale Distributors conference, Booker CEO Charles Wilson told the UK’s top wholesalers that online orders for the business have grown a staggering 93% in the past five years; the equivalent of 900K customers.

Web ordering has exploded in popularity as it allows busy retailers and caterers to spend less time in depot and more time with their customers and cash and carry businesses can add even more convenience by offering click and collect services. What’s more, it’s not just the big guys enjoying growth thanks to web ordering.

The customer benefits to be gained from web ordering are also significant. Your customers now no longer need to leave their premises to place orders giving them increased flexibility and reducing travel times.

For Northern-Ireland based wholesaler Savage & Whitten, investing in web ordering has helped the business to secure new customers and comments that from 18 months ago the web now accounts for 16% of its revenue. 

Meanwhile for Merseyside-based Regal Wholesale, moving online has helped the business to grow sales with new markets overseas. "We increased sales by 10% in three months and the 24/7 access is making us a truly global company", says Project Manager, Alison James.

2. Mobile-friendly options for shopping on-the-go

In 2015, a third of all online sales in the UK will take place via smartphones and tablets, and with more than half the UK population now owning a smartphone, it’s critical for wholesalers to take convenience a step further by making online ordering options mobile-phone friendly.

National wholesaler JJ Food Service recently launched its first transactional app, developed to enable caterers to order faster and on-the-go via android phones, iPhones and tablets. Online orders now account for 63% of JJ Food Service's total group sales – up from 50% a year ago and the app is expected to turbo-charge online sales to more than 70% over the next twelve months. The business has already reported an increase in average basket spend.

3. Offer a flexible delivery and collection service

A few late deliveries is all it takes for a caterer or retailer to look for another supplier. By offering fast, accurate deliveries, you could help your business stand out against even the biggest competitors.

Drinks wholesaler Preston Beer Company beat its national rivals by offering a same-day delivery service supported by a system that automatically schedules and optimises daily delivery routes.

"Price is always important but so too is the ability to respond swiftly, beating rivals with same-day delivery, seven days a week", says Managing Director and Founder Tony Oxley.

The implementation of an Electronic Proof Of Delivery (EPOD) system can also boost customer convenience by enabling staff to check orders at the customer site, this means that any mistakes in the order can be rectified there and then. Additionally the EPOD system means that whilst with the customer, staff can print invoices, deal with any returns and update order information whilst with the customer, all of which combine to increase customer convenience and therefore satisfaction.

Collection times for online orders can be just as important in managing queues and optimising service levels. JJ Food Service let its customers select a specific time slot for collection – if a slot is too busy – customers simply cannot select it, helping to reduce queues and service time.

4. Make payments flexible and streamline the buying experience

No customer wants to wait hours in a queue which is why a quick payment process can help to keep your customers happy, while pushing more sales through the tills. Introducing technology at the point of purchase can help cash and carry owners overcome this issue by implementing touch screens at tills which enable rapid access to information such as customer accounts, credit limits and order history resulting in a more streamlined payment process.


  • Take the leap online: it will support time-strapped customers while securing new business
  • Offer on-the-go shopping: optimise the online experience with mobile-friendly apps
  • Offer a delivery and collection service: allow customers to select convenient times slots
  • Provide express checkouts: Offer flexible payments and fast checkout options

Get ahead of the game, beat your competitors and boost customer satisfaction download your free eGuide 'EPoD: The essential guide for wholesalers' today 

EPoD: The essential guide for wholesalers

Topics: Wholesale