Category Archives: General Support

The Freedom To Control Your Own Data


Every month, DistributorCentral receives the most online product data traffic of any service provider in the industry. There is a reason we’re #1, we generate more than 6 million product views for our suppliers every 30 days from the DC research tool, 8,000 e-commerce distributor websites, and our live product data feed used by other providers such as commonsku, PromoCorner, and Web Jaguar.

 

Our mission at DistributorCentral is to be the most accurate solution in the industry; for an end user to accurately order products from a distributor’s website, and for the distributor to create accurate orders to the supplier.

Accurate orders all start with accurate and complete product information from the supplier. Suppliers using DC agree to honor their products and prices listed so distributors are assured of having accurate data without having to verify during the selling process.

“The Suppliers that I work with find DistributorCentral to be the easiest system to update, export, and import data for shopping cart functionality and accuracy. Our Distributors and Suppliers work as a team to ensure accuracy and report inaccuracies when they are noticed. When a Distributor finds a discrepancy, they have a tool to quickly make a comment and send that over to DistributorCentral. Once received, the Supplier is made aware and is able to correct the item via their Supplier representative,” said Aubrey Weaver, Senior Account Manager.

DistributorCentral allows suppliers total access to their products and pricing. The Product Editor has been designed for ease of use to make real-time updates. Suppliers can also export product, option and choice data into an excel format to update and upload. “From the time the updates are received and started, we are able to complete the import in just a matter of minutes,” said Heather Windler, Support Specialist. Most suppliers only need to export their product data though for annual pricing update purposes.

Besides hosting product data and pricing, we have also been working with suppliers to help them be able to share inventory data electronically. This is another way how we are committed to providing enhanced technology and integration solutions that in turn, support our mission.

Get the MOST from your Service Providers

For those of you that are putting together your game plan for the PPAI Expo next week, be sure to take some time to reflect on the services for which you rely on Industry Service Providers.

It’s very likely that you may be using only a FEW available features, when a service provider may have a COMPLETE solution that can allow you to run you business from anywhere.

Start by making a list of the technical issues or pain points that you are looking to resolve, or a “wish list” of the tools that would help you to conduct business more efficiently.

Coming home from the show with tangible solutions to these issues will provide you a true sense of accomplishment.

Most often at tradeshows, Service Providers are lumped together in one aisle awaiting your visit. While they don’t have the flashiest, newest promotional item to impress your clients with, they do have valuable tools that can alleviate your biggest stressors.  A simple conversation may help you uncover ways to free up resources and time. Service providers exist for this very reason; they provide you the benefits of a full-time staff at a fraction of the price.

Do you really think that a “Technology Company” hasn’t made any new advances since you signed up X many years ago? If you haven’t checked in with your service provider since signing up for an account with them, you are missing out on the critical advances that are continually being made.

It’s the job of Service Providers to keep your business relevant and on track with continually evolving technology and support. No small or medium sized business can afford to fall behind with technology trends. Rather than being stressed about technology, small business owners such as yourselves have these tools readily available and often times for FREE.

Have a website? Is it responsive? If you do not even know what that means, it’s time to talk to your website provider.

Take advantage of meeting with the people that you rarely see. January’s brandivate marketing article Tradeshow Maximization talks about being mindful of your time on the show floor.

Step into your service providers’ booths and ask them to do a quick overview of the services you use and show them the list of your pain points. Making a personal connection on the show floor can be a big advantage. Most likely the high-level operations (a.k.a. technical gurus) are there and can offer valuable insight and might even decide to take on your project personally.

Set up follow up meetings on the spot so that you come home to standing appointments on your schedule. Hold yourself accountable for keeping these meetings afterward so that your pre-show planning efforts come full-circle to make your 2016 more successful and more efficient.

To help you get started with your list here are the top 5 reasons to visit with Industry Service Provider, DistributorCentral.

Top 5 reasons to visit the DistributorCentral Booth (#4661)

5. Brush up on the PRESENTATION TOOLS available that allow you to easily share product ideas with your customers.

4. Order ARTWORK SERVICES directly through your DC account.

3. Learn how to create and host COMPANY STORES for your top customers.

2. Download and take a tour of the DC APP for when you are on the go.

1. Demo our new responsive website builder and create a new MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITE on the show floor.

*BONUS REASON: Happy Hour on Tuesday, Jan 12th at 3:00 pm, Booth 4661*

For more information view DistributorCentral’s 2016 Distributor Tools Brochure

Stephanie Protz, CAS | Marketing Director
sprotz@distributorcentral.com
@stephprotz

DC ARTStudio Testimonial

“Our team loves working with the New DC ARTStudio.  It allows us to have a full service graphics department on our team.  We are a new company and do not have the resources to create artwork for our clients. So we tried using the new Art Studio and love it; which in-turn allows us to continue selling to increase our bottom-line.”

“Promo Place 365 recently used the ARTStudio service to create vector artwork for Morrison Construction Services.  I sent in a hand-drawn design and they sent back exactly what the customer asked for.  It only took one day to get the artwork back! We plan on using this service every week and love that we can have a full-time graphics team on-hand.”

-Elizabeth Morrison, Promo Place 365


To go to ART Studio portal visit: http://distributorcentralartstudio.artworkservicesusa.com/

 

 

DistributorCentral Launches DC ARTStudio

DistributorCentral (PPAI: 220404 | UPIC: DC) announced their new value added service called DC ARTStudio.  Members can now order production ready artwork services directly from their accounts.  Services will be provided by software partner Artwork Services USA.  Distributor services include vector art, digitizing, virtual samples, flyers, brochures, image retouching, and product templates.

DistributorCentral members can take advantage of a special introductory offer of a 50% off flat discount for one month with offer code 1M50DIS.  “In addition to the initial 50% off, DC members receive better rates than the general industry. We’ve made it very easy to order artwork and it’s completely integrated with their account.” said Jason Nokes, President of DistributorCentral.

“We are truly excited by our partnership with DistributorCentral to provide a critical service to its members; one that can be such a stumbling block for executing the order accurately and on time. We hope the members can take advantage of our special rates and speed of execution.” said Varshal Thakor, President of Artwork Services USA.

For more information visit: http://distributorcentralartstudio.artworkservicesusa.com

Engage Online Customers


Last month, DistributorCentral partnered with Technologo for an online webinar called “Keep Em Coming Back; How to Engage Online Customers” where we demonstrated various ways to engage customers on you website.

Tiffany Tarr, Vice President of Sales at DistributorCentral talked about some of the features that can be enabled on a DistributorCentral-hosted website that will enable you to be more proactive.

Being proactive isn’t always about finding ways to generate new business. By understanding the buying habits of your current customers you can anticipate their needs. Send them ideas well before their events so that you can avoid last minute rush orders.  One of these ways is by setting up Reorder Reminders. Distributors can setup automatically generated emails to their customers to remind them that it’s time to place a reorder. This is helpful for items like Calendars that are ordered annually.

Another way to be proactive is by sending customized presentations with products that display your customer’s logo. The Technologo Virtual Sample Tool can be enabled on your website and allow you to create virtual samples that can be used in your product presentations.

Stephanie Protz, Marketing Director at DistributorCentral talked about the benefits of implementing a Live Chat Feature on your website during last month’s webinar.  A “live chat” feature is a plug-in that can be enabled on your DistributorCentral hosted website that provides a quick and easy way for you to be proactive by reaching out to customers currently browsing your website. Questions can be answered in real time which greatly reduces instances where customers leave your website because their questions haven’t been answered. This type of functionality has been proven to increase sales, since it captures customers at the point of sale and helps them through the conversion process and checkout completion.

Create a sense of urgency by setting up a Discount Code to drive business within a specific time period. Discount codes are another easy and effective way to drive traffic to your website or encourage repeat sales. Whether you offer free setups, free shipping, or simple discounts we highly suggest taking advantage of this tool in your account and using it in your marketing efforts with your customers.

Lastly, take advantage of DistributorCentral’s Monthly Themed Product Specials. Themed Supplier product specials are available each month and are accessible on the homepage in DistributorCentral when you log into your account. These specials are also sent via email three times each month to Distributors subscribed to our marketing emails. This month we are featuring “Back to School” items. Looking ahead into this summer, you can expect “Sports/Fan Gear” products in July and “Awards/Recognition” products in August.

Each of the tools mentioned are available to you as part of the DistributorCentral suite of tools, or as 3rdparty tools that can be easily integrated into your DistributorCentral-hosted website.  Each of them also represent one more way to be more proactive in your sales efforts, and better leverage technology tools to grow customer relationships and generate more sales.

All-In-One® Appoints New Sales Executive

All-In-One® Appoints New Sales Executive  

San Diego, CA – All-In-One® is pleased to announce Jennifer Strom as the newest member of our sales team. Jennifer, formerly from iClick where she served as Sales Manager, will further develop a portfolio of regional and national accounts for All-In-One®.

As a strategic supplier located on the West Coast, All-In-One® continues to build out a best of breed sales organization. CEO, Harris Cohen states, “We are elated to have Jennifer join our Sales team at All-In-One®. There are many great reps, but few are exceptional. We are fortunate to add another exceptional rep to our growing All-In-One® team.”

 All-In-One® is a 25 year supplier of promotional products based in San Diego, CA.  A consistent 5-Star Award Winner, Distributor’s Choice finalist and Supplier Star Award Finalist, All-In-One® is a prominent member of the promotional products industry focused on innovative domestic production techniques, high quality products, timely delivery and outstanding customer service.  For more information, visit www.allinoneline.com.

 

Virtual Samples via Technologo

As part of a promotional offering, virtual sampling capabilities as provided by Technologo are being integrated into all websites as hosted by DistributorCentral. Technologo provides unique and advanced virtual sample technology allowing real-time presentation of logos and messaging on products regardless of shape, color, texture or imprinting.

The collaborative initiative is part of a promotional offering that extends through September 8.

“Technologo’s virtual sampling tools fit seamlessly into DC-hosted websites of both suppliers and distributors,” said Jason Nokes, President of DistributorCentral. “We’re confident our customers who rely on DC for website hosting will quickly discover the numerous benefits and increased sales associated with the ability to create online virtual samples for their respective customers.”

Technologo

During the promotional period, DC-hosted URL addresses will be enabled to use Technologo virtual sample tools at no charge. Those who opt to subscribe to Technologo services during that four-week timeframe will receive another month of virtual samples capabilities at no charge.

Mike Betts, President of Technologo, said the integration of an enhanced virtual samples tool into DistributorCentral’s website platforms will allow suppliers and distributors to “test drive” a premium virtual tool.

“DC-hosted website users will be able to experience the capabilities of realistic virtual samples in real time,” Betts said. “Technologo makes it easier to set up personalized presentation materials for their clients, who in turn are in a better position to make purchase decisions.”

For more information about Technologo’s virtual sample technology being available on DC, visit www.DistributorCentral.com

DistributorCentral Enables Technologo Virtual Sampling

LONG BEACH, Cal. (August 6) – Two cutting-edge web technology-oriented service providers are making virtual sample functionality available to over 10,000 websites within the promotional products industry.
As part of a promotional offering, virtual sampling capabilities as provided by Technologo are being integrated into all websites as hosted by DistributorCentral, the industry’s only free and open centralized product database. Technologo provides unique and advanced virtual sample technology allowing real-time presentation of logos and messaging on products regardless of shape, color, texture or imprinting.

Announcement of the collaborative initiative was made this week in Long Beach at the annual Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC) Show.

“Technologo’s virtual sampling tools fit seamlessly into DC-hosted websites of both suppliers and distributors,” said Jason Nokes, President of DistributorCentral. “We’re confident our customers who rely on DC for website hosting will quickly discover the numerous benefits and increased sales associated with the ability to create online virtual samples for their respective customers.”

From August 11 thru September 8, DC-hosted URL addresses will be enabled to use Technologo virtual sample tools at no charge. Those who opt to subscribe to Technologo services during that four-week timeframe will receive another month of virtual samples capabilities at no charge.

Mike Betts, President of Technologo, said the integration of an enhanced virtual samples tool into DistributorCentral’s website platforms will allow suppliers and distributors to “test drive” a premium virtual tool.

DC Integrates Technologo Virtual Sampling Technology

“DC-hosted website users will be able to experience the capabilities of realistic virtual samples in real time,” Betts said. “Technologo makes it easier to set up personalized presentation materials for their clients, who in turn are in a better position to make purchase decisions.”

For more information about Technologo’s virtual sample technology being available on DistributorCentral, visit www.DistributorCentral.com

The Revolutionary Eyewear Company FOCALEYES, LLC Brings Branded, Low-Cost, Disposable Reading Glasses Into Focus

FOCALEYES, LLC, a market leader in the manufacture of paper 3D eyewear for the advertising, education entertainment industries announces the introduction of its new FocalEyes line of low-cost-eye glasses with patented Opti-Lens technology.

Reseda, California April 21, 2014

Imagine you’re sitting down in a dimly lit restaurant with this great menu you’ve been eager to try, but can’t read it because you left your reading glasses at home. Or you’re boarding an airplane and picking up the in-flight magazine, only to realize you packed your reading glasses in your luggage. Or have you ever tried to read the impossibly tiny printed instructions on a prescription bottle without your reading glasses? With this week’s launch of FOCALEYES Reading Assist Glasses, you and your customers can now see clearly in these types of situations.

FOCALEYES is an exciting, new patented product from FOCALEYES, LLC. The company was founded by successful entrepreneur Mark S. Margolis, who also owns Rainbow Symphony the leading manufacturer and supplier of 3D glasses, Fireworks Glasses and Eclipse Shades to the promotional products industry since 1975. Mark says, “You could live your entire life without ever having a pair of 3D glasses or Fireworks Glasses and be perfectly fine. Although fun and entertaining, you don’t need them. What people do need is an inexpensive, convenient pair of glasses that allows them to see and read in all types of conditions. Usually around age 40, people start showing signs of presbyopia and lose the ability to focus their eyes. People need glasses with corrective lenses to read. FOCALEYES Reading Assist Glasses solve this problem.”

FOCALEYES are low-cost, brandable paper frame reading glasses that are comfortable to wear, stylish and fun, and offer precise magnification in high- and low-light environments. They can be customized in any color or design, with any company logo or copy. “Any design you can think of can be printed on a pair of FOCALEYES frames,” says Mark. Additionally, FOCALEYES come in a variety of attractive stock frame designs, ready for your logo and creative touch. Inexpensive enough to give away, FOCALEYES are the perfect promotional item.

Besides all the custom benefits that will allow companies of all sizes and industries to tailor these paper reading glasses for their different customers or special events, Mark, who spent six years designing, perfecting and patenting the product to bring it to market, says, “A low-cost pair of reading or eye glasses just didn’t exist. The fact that we can make this product available to lots of people who really need it and for a very low cost is exciting! Think about the impact a product like this could have on people in the world who have no access to corrective lenses, and if they did, wouldn’t be able to afford them. Half a billion people worldwide are in need of eyeglasses!”

Other benefits of FOCALEYES include:

  • Available in four powers: +1.5, +2, +2.5 and a +5 magnifier (In the future, the goal is to introduce basic prescription corrections into the FOCALEYES™ frame system)
  • The +5’s are great for magnifying fine detail work (Think: using as part of a first aid or emergency kit to remove a splinter or dress a wound, or reading 4-6-point type on a prescription bottle)
  • Synthetic water-resistant laminated option for the rugged customer who might, for example, need to read a book or instruction manual while near water
  • Affordable price point at $1-$3 per pair (Most store-bought reading glasses run between $5-$20; prescription glasses run even higher, not to mention the cost of a doctor’s visit)
  • Wide range of quantities to meet every need, with only a 250 minimum order for custom branded glasses
  • Frames are made to last with two layers of extra-thick coated board; lenses are crystal-clear acrylic resin

To inquire with questions or to place an order, visit the FOCALEYES website at http://www.focaleyes.com or contact 818-708-8400 or Toll Free 800-821-5122

Try the Google Product Export Feature to Help Boost Your Sales! (Available to PRO Distributors)

DistributorCentral gives its distributors the chance to boost their sales with the Google Product Export Feature. This feature exports the products from DC, into a format that you can add to your Google Webmaster account making those products available in the Shopping section of Google.

Once Google has received and approved your products they will become part of the search results when people use Google’s Product Search Tool. When visitors click on products in Google’s Product Search Results they will be directed to your website where they can purchase those products.

If you are unfamiliar with Google Shopping, view the Beginner’s Guide: About Merchant Center.

To enable this feature do the following:

1. While logged into your DC Pro account, go to Account>Preferences>Account Preferences

 

 

 

2. In the Account Preferences, select “Catalog” in the left box.

 

 

 

 

3. Once you have “Catalog” selected, on the right side of your screen you will see a few options. The last choice is “Access the Google Product feed generator”, here you can select “Yes”, to activate this feature.

 

 

 

4. Now that the Feed is active you can find the Export under Products>Google Product Feed Generator.

 

 

 

There are several fields available for you to customize on this page that will allow you to create feeds for specific catalogs or for the main “All Products” catalog on your website. At its very basic level you would simply enter your website domain name, choose the “All Products” catalog and leave all the other options set to their default values.

If you wish to customize the feed (e.g., you use the discount module on your site and you need to add a discount to the prices included in your Google feed so the match what users will see on your website) follow the instructions for each field on the page.

By default – Google wants the “total minimum price” of a product in your feed. That is, they want the total price (qty * price) plus any setup charge as the value in the “Price” column in your data feed. You may opt to use the minimum per-piece price, or download two columns of pricing for your own calculation purposes, but you will need to remove one column of pricing and ensure that the remaining price column is named “price” prior to uploading the data to Google.

Since shipping is typically dynamic by product, qty, and delivery location – and Google only allows a single value – most users opt to put a basic flat shipping fee in this field. Be sure to also include the state and tax rate if you collect tax from your in-state customers.

Once you submit the form the system will generate the feed (a tab-delimited .txt file) and you will be able to upload the data to your Google Webmaster account.