Handshake Launches its Direct Mobile App to Simplify B2B Commerce

Handshake, a provider of B2B commerce technologies, today enhanced its tool set with Direct Mobile, an application designed to help manufacturers and distributors give their customers more efficient buying options.  

According to Mike Elmgreen, Handshake's chief marketing officer, Handshake Direct is an omnichannel B2B platform that helps manufacturers and distributors provide their business customers with a consumer-like experience. The desktop version of this tool—available prior to today's announcement—works as a portal through which retailers can log in to browse catalogs and place orders.

The "dedicated mobile app," Elmgreen explains, works as an extension of the platform in which users can easily maneuver the ordering process while staying "untethered from a desktop environment." It includes several elements that allow for timely and accurate transactions, among these the ability to scan bar codes using a cellphone camera or Bluetooth feature.

Because the app also works offline, retailers who are in danger of losing their Internet connections as they roam their stores can manage their inventory more effectively. The tool hangs on to the data retailers entered into the system and sends the order through as soon the device reconnects to the Web. Elmgreen points out that this will prove especially useful to food companies, for instance, as employees of these businesses have to keep track of inventory by checking freezers or navigating other low-connectivity environments.

Elmgreen adds that many of Handshake's customers are eager to give the retailers who buy from them a "captivating experience" in which the user logging in to the app isn't presented with distractions. He points out that every user's mobile environment is personalized according to preferences and history, as it integrates with ERP systems and can gather the relevant information required to determine product pricing and order history.

Handshake Direct Mobile has already been adopted by several companies, Elmgreen says. Among these are audio equipment manufacturer Peavey Electronic and Cooper-Booth, a distributor of goods to convenience stores.

Elmgreen notes that Cooper-Booth has seen growth in the frequency and volume of its customers' orders, as well as the nature of those orders. "We've noticed that because of the convenience factor, customers are starting to order products from new categories," Elmgreen says. Previously, they might have ordered only a specific type of candy, for instance, but because of the technology, they are ordering items from categories they haven't explored before, such as soda.  

Meanwhile, Peavey's goal has been to give its dealers direct access to products and promotions; the company acknowledges the fact that mobile is one of the channels they must work with to do so. "In conversations with Handshake, I knew that they understood our end vision for what we could do with mobile technology,” Fred Poole, general manager of product development and North American sales at Peavey Electronics, said in a statement. Poole added that the technology was easy to use, and could be implemented quickly.

While Handshake's Direct Mobile is available as a stand-alone application, Elmgreen notes that it's not uncommon for customers to invest in all of Handshake's offerings, as such companies are often comprised of teams that include reps who work in person and reps who handle online orders and wish to tie all of their operations back to one system of record. 

Elmgreen says that looking ahead, the company will continue to build out its customization and personalization engines as it continues to move up-market and target enterprise-size customers. "What that means is continuing to support more and more complex business rules and workflows," Elmgreen says.

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