Univar Solutions: An E-Commerce Strategy for Integrated Products

It is important to accurately and effectively present product information on an e-commerce site. Steve Martinez, vice president of digital solutions at chemical distributor Univar Solutions, shares his thoughts on why it’s important to be fast but thorough in expanding e-commerce.

Martinez will perform at 360’s Digital Commerce EnvisionB2B a conference on how to effectively use your company’s expertise to answer buyers ’questions that help lead to conversions.

Focus on the customer, identify key internal processes, challenge the status quo, and then repeat, repeat, repeat! The best efforts start small with an emphasis on learning.

Steve Martinez

Univar solutions

DC360: What’s behind the wheel B2B companies how to Univar Solutions for online expansion?

Martinez: At Univar Solutions Inc. our vision is to become the most valuable distributor of chemicals and ingredients in the world. We put the customer at the center of everything we do, and part of our strategy is to meet customers where they expect us. We are ready to serve a wide range of customer needs, ranging from technical expertise through our chemists, consultation with our trained sales departments and transaction support through our websites. We have created a number of online channels to complement this strategy – each with a unique value proposition.

  • ChemCentral.coma no-frills self-service feature that allows customers to view prices without logging in. ChemCentral caters to small and medium-sized businesses that may need to place occasional or one-time orders.
  • BeautyIngredients.com, specialized site which openly shows prices and serves businesses and entrepreneurs engaged in the development and sale of personal care and beauty products. The site also provides Univar with additional information on market demand about which chemical companies use in new products.
  • UnivarSolutions.com is our complete portfolio and services. This website provides a comprehensive e-commerce site where customers can purchase more than 17,000 products. Customers can also access regulatory documents as well as view invoices and order status. Customers can view all prices online or request an offer after logging in. New customers without an account can also view some prices or request an offer by entering their contact information.
  • ChemPoint.com, a developed by the portal promote links between suppliers and buyers. For vendors ChemPoint is designed to help them find, attract and retain customers on a large scale through demand building programs. For buyers, ChemPoint organizes content on available specialty products and relevant technical and safety information to assist in the development of final products.

Steve Martinez, Univar Solutions

Online opportunities improve and expand our ability to meet customers where they expect and need us. Whether it’s through our traditional channels, or now through our expanded digital commerce, we meet customers where they want to buy, how they want to buy and when they want to buy.

DC360: What is your most valuable advice on how to run online B2B sales or increase them?

Martinez: Focus on the customer, identify key internal processes, challenge the status quo, and then repeat, repeat, repeat! In my experience, all efforts start small with a focus on learning. Successful teams are relentlessly focused on the key goal of learning and build up opportunities to eliminate distractions and emergencies. We have a phrase that helps us well: “race to the pilot”. This means that we identify the problem and use the most appropriate way to test the proposed solutions. This is done before a large investment in technology. Now this may seem glamorous, but a “fast and dirty” pilot will help identify misconceptions and highlight missed opinions. Be prepared for a quick start, a quick failure and tune in to success.

DC360: As for COVID-19 and supply chain disruption, what is the biggest adaptation your company has made?

Martinez: Managing demand in a time-constrained supply required our teams to create new ways to serve our customers. Our centralized business platform allows for flexible order fulfillment, which includes inventory optimization capabilities and better customer demand service. With the use of sensors – with the use of the Internet of Things – we can capture signals in our network to provide real-time data and insight.

All of this data informs an optimized network that allows us to distribute product and inventory where it is most needed and efficient. This possibility is especially important in times of supply uncertainty. If we have transparency in operations provided by sensors informed by artificial intelligence and connected to partners through APIs, we can enter into cooperative relationships with our customers and suppliers by improving the value chain of end-to-end data.

DC360: Looking back over the last few years, is there anything you would like to do differently in e-commerce?

Martinez: We are proud and excited about the pace at which we are making progress in the chemical industry. However, in digital mode you can’t move fast enough! Customer demand is a great sign that your efforts are working. We are constantly exploring new ways to serve our customers based on their feedback. This feedback helps us learn about market needs and develop our capabilities. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has accelerated our efforts. An old Chinese proverb comes to mind: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time now. “

DC360: What fascinates you most about the new digital commerce technology?

Martinez: We serve a wide variety of markets. It is important that we develop experiences and content that are relevant to our customers and not to cookies. Relevant content is king in our interconnected world. Search engine results, what our smart home device tells us, or what is provided in the latest social networking algorithm, often drive our actions. Digital commerce technology allows us to expand our reach.

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https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2022/05/20/speaker-spotlight-steve-martinez-of-univar-solutions-on-complex-products-ecommerce-strategy/ Univar Solutions: An E-Commerce Strategy for Integrated Products

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