AAB Fashion, an Australia-based wholesaler of beauty products—Andis hair-styling tools, Gelish nail polish, and Instant Rockstar cosmetics and hair-care products, to name a few—is using a new mobile app to spark its sales to retailers and other business buyers, the company says.
“Clients that are using the Mobile Storefront app have increased their spend by at least 60% since its introduction three months ago,” CEO Lee Silverstein says. Moreover, he adds, the app has lured new customers that had previously ordered from competitors, convinced more customers to place self-service orders, and freed up AAB’s sales reps to focus on finding new customers instead of spending a lot of time taking orders from existing customers.
AAB Fashion is using the Mobile Storefront app from Pepperi, a New York-based company that offers several online and mobile tools for managing business-to-business sales. Pepperi provides the app to buyers at its client retailers, who access AAB’s complete product catalog, place orders and check various information like available inventory, product promotions and order history.
Silverstein notes that, since introducing the app three months ago, AAB has seen a 22% increase in the number of orders placed online without the help of a sales rep. “This is definitely the way of the future,” he says. “In the future sales teams will only work on developing new business, as order taking by them is too expensive. This saves us money.”
Silverstein says that his customers want the freedom to walk around their stores as they decide which merchandise to buy and re-order, instead of having to take notes back to their office and place orders through their desktop or phone. “The more mobility they have, the less effort is required to do an order, which means they order more often,” he says.
The mobile app also makes it easier for customers to view information that helps them decide what to order, Silverstein says. With the app providing information on available inventory, for example, customers are more likely to place orders for particular products. “The ability to see stock on hand makes them more confident, as they know what they are getting,” he says.
AAB recently introduced new pricing tiers for customers, providing per-unit prices that decrease as order volume increases. This has proven to be popular with buyers, who apparently like the opportunity to opt for discounted volume pricing, Silverstein says. Combined with the increase in ordering through the mobile app, he adds, the tiered pricing has also resulted in increased sales.
The Mobile Storefront app for AAB’s customers complements an app the wholesaler had deployed earlier for its sales reps—the Pepperi for Sales Teams app, a tool that lets AAB’s field sales reps conduct such tasks as helping customers choose products and place orders. The Sales Teams app can display products and pricing specific to individual customers according to their contract terms. Because the Sales Teams app is integrated with AAB’s mobile site, also developed with Pepperi, and its Mobile Storefront app for buyers, its customers can start working on orders on one app and finish on another, Silverstein says.
AAB’s sales managers can use the Sales Teams app to view sales activity by product and sales rep, and also use an integrated customer relationship management system to manage such tasks as reviewing detailed customer account data, e-mailing product images to customers, and scheduling calls and meetings with customers.
The overall Pepperi system of mobile sales tools, he says, “allows us to manage more than 10,000 SKUs with ease across multiple selling platforms for different users” among customers and reps.
Pepperi sells the Mobile Storefront to brands and wholesalers, who then typically offer the app for free to their B2B customers. The app costs about $400 per month, regardless of the number of stores that use it, says Oren Ezra, Pepperi’s vice president of marketing. It’s available now for the iPad, and will also be available soon for Windows and Android devices, he says.
The app for sales reps, which is already available for Windows and Android devices as well as the iPad, ranges from about $30 to $100 per month per user, depending on the number of features. While the basic version is mainly used for placing orders for customers, the more costly versions include access to such information as customer order history and cross-sell and upselling recommendations.
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