Why Automation is the Top Business Solution of the 21st Century

Like some other business success stories, Tony Marinaccio started Alternative Beauty Services in his garage!

Since 2004, they have grown from a small distributor wholesaler of barber and beauty products and spa products to one of the top two suppliers of salons, barber shops, and spas.

During the pandemic, when salons, stylists, and barbers were closed, Alternative Beauty Services partnered with Terracor to assist them in selling products through an affiliate program.

Alternative Beauty Service tried other B2B ERP solutions and partners with no success.

Terracor was the partner that finally got it right. Terracor was able to help Alternative Beauty Service implement a scalable, end-to-end, B2B e-commerce platform. You need a partner that is committed to your success.

The Challenge of Increasing Sales, Improving Customer Satisfaction, and Automating Operations

Businesses today face many challenges, one of which is the difficulty in reaching new markets and expanding their reach. Alternative Beauty Services had been relying on a 16-page flyer to catalog and showcase their products. However, market research shows that the average flyer distribution elicits a mere 0.5% to 1% response rate.

Moreover, being a customer-centric company, they put themselves in their clients’ shoes and asked, “If I was a salon or a stylist today, [what would] make my life easier?”

The challenges Alternative Beauty Services wanted to overcome revolved around these four pertinent questions:

  1. How do we get more orders?
  2. How do we process orders through our system and tie it into our existing ERP?
  3. How do we show our prospects and customers all the items we carry?
  4. How do we make it easier for everybody?

In short, Alternative Beauty Services wanted to be proactive about tapping into the potential to work smarter, not harder.

Seeking a Solution Through B2B E-Commerce Implementation

Tony Marinaccio noted that “Amazon has changed the world, and every business should have an e-com solution of some sort to help their customers.”. With B2B online shopping becoming more popular, Alternative Beauty Services started looking for e-commerce solutions to help them stay competitive:

  • Having an e-commerce website makes it easier for customers to view all products and read their descriptions. It also makes it easy for Alternative Beauty Services to share details of promotions and other marketing campaigns.
  • e-Commerce business integrations improve and automate their day-to-day work processes to simplify the promotion, selling, and management of products online.
  • Automating their processes saves time and money without sacrificing quality or service. In fact, the fast turnaround times increase the level of customer satisfaction.

B2B E-Commerce Implementation

Why Alternative Beauty Services Chose Terracor Business Solutions

Knowing what they wanted was a far cry from eventually getting it for the Alternative Beauty Services team.

Through a referral from a friend, Tony Marinaccio started his e-commerce journey with another provider. What drew him to them was his wish to own the platform and everything that they created. The reason for this was that the wholesale salon and spa distribution industry was small. Tony felt that it was important to own and control the solution so that it could not be copied by others in the field.

Fortunately, a friend recommended Terracor Business Solutions to Tony, and the rest, as they say, is history!

How Terracor’s eCommerce Business Solutions Unlocked the Potential of Alternative Beauty Services

Yes, Terracor develops e-commerce platforms. But, as a solutions provider, that is only part of what we do. The custom solution and its implementation is the core of our business, thanks to our highly skilled deployment and development team.

The Terracor team had a solid, comprehensive plan for the implementation, integration, and accompanying training for the e-commerce solution. While Tony is the first to admit that “you don’t know what you don’t know,” he changed that plan slightly to accommodate the budget at the time.

The e-commerce platform was integrated with existing systems, leading to concerns such as:

  • How do we integrate them?
  • How do we migrate everything across?
  • How do we do it based on the system we already know?

Alternative Beauty Services started by implementing the solution with just a few key employees initially. Although it was a long path to achieving a fully integrated system, we obliged by expanding the system based on what Alternative Beauty Services were comfortable with. Our flexible approach aims to avoid inundating our clients with too much change all at once.

One aspect of our service that Tony appreciated most was the patience and skill of our support team:

“We probably called a thousand times in the first three months”, he recalls. “[Terracor] had a couple of people that were outstanding at the time that… handled it.. the perfect way. Taking a little piece and getting more people involved and then opening up more and more parts of the platform as it was required rather than throwing the whole platform at us and going, ‘Go figure it out!’”.

“The way you [Terracor] structured it and handled it made it really easy for us. [It was] probably harder on you than it was for us because of all the idiosyncrasies that we have within our system and our business.”

What’s more, our availability made the transition so much smoother for the Alternative Beauty Services team. There is no denying that issues crop up as changes settle into place. Onboarding a new e-commerce solution is no different. What Tony remembers about how we handled any issues – understanding them and solving them – was our open communication:

“I know one thing for sure. That any time that I had any issues. I could pick up the phone and say, ‘Listen, I need this moved up or I need this changed’… That was huge.”

Being able to share a screen while talking on the phone results in faster resolution of problems – especially when our clients are not familiar with IT terminology. Avoiding misunderstandings that arise from unique word usage saves both our clients and us time and money.

How B2B E-Commerce Implementation Has Helped Alternative BeautyThe Results

Alternative Beauty Services now has eight stores running parallel to the online store – reaching a larger audience than ever before. In today’s digital world, there is no limit to how much they can expand because they have an effective online presence. Plus, with more people using smartphones than ever before, engaging with users has never been easier.

The integration of the e-commerce platform and their ERP system means that when customers place an order, it automatically gets sent to the ERP for processing. Less human intervention means fewer mistakes – better customer satisfaction and increased credibility. Furthermore, the Alternative Beauty Services team now has more time to devote to more valuable tasks.

Over time, Alternative Beauty Services has changed and improved some of their procedures. Terracor has facilitated these upgrades with the same skillful communication as used during the initial implementation.

Business To Business ecommerce implementation

The Terracor Business Solutions Advantage

Tony Marinaccio of Alternative Beauty Services gives Terracor a rating of 9.5 out of 10. He and his team don’t even read marketing material from other solution providers because they are so happy with our consistently good product and service.

Would you like your business to thrive in a similar fashion to Alternative Beauty Services? Then contact Terracor to discuss how we can help improve, automate, and build your multi-channel business with B2B e-commerce implementation.

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