Digital KnowHow

Helping businesses and charities improve their digital skills.

Engaging with suppliers online

Interacting with suppliers onlineReduce your overhead costs and ensure quality by working with the top suppliers available. By researching and comparing suppliers online, you can locate those that offer the best value for money.


  • The benefits
  • How to do it
  • Useful links
 

The benefits

Easily compare costs to find the best deals

Accessing many potential suppliers online makes it easy to compare their costs and services. Simply visit their websites for information on pricing or contact them via email for quotes.

Expand to new markets

Online search tools make it easy to locate suppliers in another city or geographic region, creating opportunities to expand your operations.

Vet suppliers for quality and reliability

Ensure you only work with companies that are legitimate and reputable. By reading online reviews and checking that they're registered with Companies House, you can enter new business relationships with confidence.

Communicate with suppliers more efficiently

Save time and minimise order errors by corresponding with suppliers quickly and clearly via email. Stay privy to your suppliers' latest offers by following them on social media.

How to do it

Search for suppliers online

There are several different ways to locate potential suppliers online:

  • Use search engines, such as Bing, Google or Yahoo to find suppliers that offer what you're looking for. If you have a supplier in mind, you can search for them by name. Otherwise, simply search by description (i.e. "wholesale printer ink supplier").
  • Find a supplier in a specific geographic area by searching for them by description and location in Bing Maps, Google Maps or Yahoo Maps (i.e. "wholesale printer ink supplier London").
  • Use the search tools within Facebook and Twitter social media sites to locate the company profiles of potential or existing suppliers.
  • Search online directories, such as eSources.co.uk or WholesalePages.co.uk, to find suppliers within a given sector and location.

Protect your company by vetting suppliers first

Check that a supplier is indeed a legitimate, registered UK company by searching for them by name on the Companies House website and reading online reviews, if available.

Use email and social media to liaise with suppliers

Use email to quickly request quotes, make changes to an order, ask questions or engage in any other routine correspondence with your suppliers. If a supplier has a Facebook page or Twitter account, follow their profile to receive updates on products/services and to communicate your questions/queries in real-time.

  • For more information on setting up email for your company, read our guide.
  • For more information on setting up your own social media accounts, read our guide.

Please note that these are just examples of the types of search engines and web directories available and Lloyds Banking Group does not endorse the services they provide.

Useful links

For further information about interacting with suppliers online, you can visit pages listed below.

Clicking on these links will take you to pages on other websites.

Buying IT equipment for your business:
www.enterpriseitguide.com/buying-it/buying-it-equipment-for-your-business/
 
A great place to start for all your business advice:
http://www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/where-to-get-start-up-advice/.

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