Category Archives: New Features

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.

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

Suppliers – Control your own Data on DC with spreadsheet exports and uploads.

Did you know that you can export and upload your DC spreadsheet and /or images for importing back into your Product Database from your own DC account? Then you can track that update and you will be notified upon the completion of the product update.

Export your data: You can export your Product, Option and Choice data from your DC products. Most Suppliers only need to export their Products data though for pricing update purposes.

Go to Products Tab > Product Data Export > Excel Data Export

Once you click on Export, you will have the opportunity to export certain fields and criteria. Then “Submit” the file and you will receive an email with a link to download it for editing.

 

 

 

 

 

Upload your File: After you have edited your file and saved your changes, you can then upload it again for importing.

You can upload it under Shortcuts on the right side of the home page.

Once the file is uploaded, you can then track the upload and you will receive an email when we complete it.

Image Upload Requirements and Instructions:

Here are the steps / requirements to upload your product images to DistributorCentral to add to your product data:
1. Log into your Distributorcentral.com account. (If you have not received your login, ask your representative for that information)

2. Click on the link below

http://www.distributorcentral.com/home/issues_2.cfm?new=1&requesttypeguid=110D937A-A518-4444-A1DC-0140AE68AC8C&componenttypeguid=BC71A168-53A0-46E6-BB97-E4C73BAC6994

3. You will see a “Support Tracking” form. Use the images below to add in the information needed.
a. Enter “Your Email”
b. Under “Update Type” select Images
c. Under “Please Update” select Images and deselect all others
d. Upload your ZIPPED file of images by clicking on “Choose File” button.
e. Select “Upload” button and wait for the file to completely upload
f. When done uploading “Save”

Image Requirements as follows:
Image Size:  Minimum- 500 x 500 dpi – Maximum 750 x 750 dpi
Resolution:  72 dpi for online viewing
Mode:  RGB Mode for online viewing
File: must be a jpeg file and must be named according to the item # in DC to be associated correctly.

NOTE:DC system will downsize your large images for the Medium and thumbnail size automatically

Learn more about exporting your data for other service providers: http://blog.distributorcentral.com/2010/12/03/exporting-contact-information-for-other-service-providers/

Once you have your data imported, make them display with this guide: http://www.distributorcentral.com/resources/education/guides/ProductCompletionGuide.pdf

Improved eVirtual sampling tool added to DC’s suite of services

Virtual sampling just got simpler thanks to CustomView. Best of all, the improved eVirtual  sampling tool as recently released by CustomView has already been integrated into Distributor Central.

eVirtual enables your customers to personalize product samples for viewing and sharing. It is very simple to integrate into an existing web catalog or shopping cart.

Expect to be impressed by the new interface… maybe even have some fun with it. The eVirtual sampling tool is a breeze to use and is amazingly intuitive. The user can easily make corrections to custom images and logos using wrap, skew and eraser functionality. Being browser independent, eVirtual can be used in multiple devices.

As noted, this new virtual sampling tool is up and running on DistsributorCentral. Distributor Pro members get the virtual sample tool on one website at no charge. Virtual sampling can also be added a la carte for a small monthly fee.

You’ll want to check it out. To take a tour of the eVirtual tool, go to http://www.customviewonline.net. It’s yet another reason DistributorCentral stands apart as the industry’ premier eCommerce sales engine!

New Website Feature – Migrating Websites From Your Main Account To Child Accounts

DistributorCentral has rolled out a new tool in the website editor that lets you easily replace websites in child accounts with content from a website template in your main account.  This is a powerful way to quickly create new websites, using an existing design, for your sales persons within their own child accounts.  The migration tool will automatically publish the child account website, so you do not need to take this step in the child account.

Here is how to migrate a website to a child account:

  1. Log into your DistributorCentral account
  2. Under Websites on the menu bar go to Add/Edit Websites
  3. Click the Edit link next to the website you wish to migrate
  4. On the Website Main Menu, select Website Publisher – the gear with the check mark
  5. Scroll down to the header Migrate Website to Child Accounts
  6. Click on the link and then select “OK” on the confirmation
  7. Here you will see all of your child accounts and their websites
  8. You can select any number of websites in this area.  Each website selected will be replaced by the website you are currently in.  To help you keep track of which website you are in there is a link above to your website that you can use to check. *NOTE* Each child account that is created comes with a standard website that only has the product catalog.  This means that it’s easy to create a few child accounts and using the migrate tool to replace the standard site with the one from the main account.
  9. After selecting the websites, click the button Migrate Websites.
  10. The selected websites will be replaced and published
  11. Wait 15 minutes and take a look at the child account websites.

New Supplier Feature – Embed Code For Virtual Catalogs

For suppliers in DistributorCentral, we have added the embed code for the virtual catalogs.  This is similar to the embed code you would take from YouTube to display on your site.  This is an easy way to place virtual catalogs on your site where the customers can quickly view the virtual catalogs on your own website.

If you have not uploaded a catalog, you may do so by Clicking Here and following the instructions.  To obtain the embed code for a virtual catalog you have uploaded, follow the steps below.

Start by logging into DistributorCentral, on the menu bar, under ProductsUpload PDF/Virtual Catalog.

For each of the catalogs you have uploaded in DistributorCentral, below it you’ll see the embed code.  Copy the code and paste it onto your site.  If you are using a DistributorCentral site you can follow the same instructions for adding the code as the video for embedding YouTube videos Here.

You can now embed this code into your website so the virtual catalog can be on a normal webpage instead of a direct link to an outside page that has the catalog.

Here is what it looks like: