B2B is now the fastest growing division of business for online warehouse retailer Boxed. Recently expanding its B2B inventory, Boxed has focused on selling items geared toward millennial tastes and for stocking up the office break room.
Boxed has come out strong over the last five years as a consumer-oriented marketplace, and now the company is taking those skills and applying them to the B2B world, led by Neel Madhvani, Boxed's head of sales. Madhvani joined the Boxed team a little over a half a year ago and since then, he's helped expand the B2B products and sales teams. The division has come out of the gate running, displaying double-digit sales growth in the last month.
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Since implementing some new key elements, such as a streamlined ordering process and automatic replenishment, Boxed has seen B2B orders grow by four or five times the usual sales.
"It's amazing how well businesses respond to the traditional, bulk wholesale model," Madhvani told FierceRetail.
While traditional retailers already have a model in place for selling products to businesses, Boxed is changing that traditional setup, which requires thousands of salespeople and 20-plus fulfillment centers. In addition, it's offering an alternative to the office manager walking around the building, taking employee orders.
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Boxed is streamlining the process so that companies can place orders less frequently and collectively. Referring to it as Smart Stockup, Boxed uses an algorithm to send a message to customers when it is time to reorder a product and offers it on one group ordering feature. Boxed's platform has a link that the office manager can send out to all employees and the products all end up in the same shopping basket.
Plus, Boxed is now offering a snack box subscription service so that businesses can easily order food for their break rooms in a flip-back presentation box. Prefilled, it again saves the office manager the time it would take to pick out individual snacks for refill.
Madhvani credits the company's B2B success to the nimbleness of being a technology-based startup that can build its platforms from scratch.
"We get to sit down with customers on a personal level and have a good conversation and understand their intent. Because we have a great engineering team, it gives us the ability to be flexible and nimble so we can have a thought and turn it into a useable product within days not months," he said. "And being able to change that quickly, it's truly the foundation of what's different about a company like ours."