Lara Gilman, Co-lead iwocaPay, explains how alternative trade credit options can help builders’ merchants thrive in 2024.

As the building materials industry faces uncertainty in 2024, it is important for builders’ merchants to find ways to upgrade their offering and get more sales. 

Giving customers greater flexibility at the point of purchase is one of the most effective and efficient ways to drive sales - whether that’s in where they buy, how they buy or when they pay.  

Flexibility around payments is so critical that it has a direct impact on where trade customers choose to shop.

Based on research in 2020, 22% of trade buyers reported they would actively not purchase from a supplier because the payment terms they offered didn’t suit their businesses needs. 

Moreover, a further 30% seriously considered not using a supplier for the same reason.   Without a competitive trade credit offering, builders’ merchants could be losing sales to those that do. 

The problem is that traditional trade credit options are limited. B2B businesses, like builders' merchants, have been largely relying on clunky offline trade credit options or complex invoice financing, facing expensive fees and the risk of late or non-payment by customers. 

With the rise of new technology, this no longer has to be the case. Alternative trade credit options like iwocaPay offer a remedy and a growing number of suppliers are now using these solutions to upgrade their trade credit offering.

With iwocaPay, builders’ merchants can provide a seamless experience with an integrated and competitive trade credit offering that their customers demand, without taking on the burden of credit management or endless admin.

iwocaPay takes care of the credit checking, onboarding and repayments; so suppliers can focus on serving customers and closing deals. Trade customers can repay in 30 days, 90 days or even over 12 months while their supplier is paid upfront, instantly.

Industry leaders like Axminster Tools are jumping on the new technology, adding iwocaPay to its payment options for trade customers. iwocaPay is not only enhancing the experience offered to customers, it’s allowing those customers to better focus on long term growth. 

Axminster Tools’ Retail Manager, Berni Callery, said: “I think the convenience and the speed of iwocaPay will really help us expand our B2B market share, and hopefully it’ll help our customers become more long-term focussed, spreading costs over their next few jobs, rather than focussing solely on the here and now.” 

Callery has also noticed the impact on streamlining internal processes, reducing the need for extensive quote monitoring and minimising effort spent on chasing payments, especially for important segments like sole traders.

“Not only is it better for our customers, but it’s also a lot cleaner for us," he said. "Previously, with our sole trader customers, we’d be looking at personal finance, which is not ideal and hasn’t always been the easiest option from an accounting point of view. It just doesn’t give us flexibility in how we work with the customer or how we deliver the goods."

With streamlined trade credit options like iwocaPay, builders’ merchants can provide the flexibility their customers need and win more sales, without having to carry the credit risk or administrative burden. A win for the top and bottom line.