Engaging with suppliers online

Finding better quality and value.

Looking online for your suppliers can help you find quality and value, and even reduce your overheads. The Internet makes it simple to research suppliers across a large area, read reviews and get initial quotes and information.

Key points

  • Search for suppliers by sector and geographic location.
  • Read online reviews and testimonials.
  • Make sure suppliers are registered with Companies House.
  • To save time, correspond with suppliers by email.

Researching lots of suppliers online makes it easier to make comparisons between what they offer and for what cost.

Why do it?

It's easy to compare costs

Researching lots of suppliers online makes it easier to make comparisons between what they offer and for what cost. Their websites will often have information on pricing, and you can contact them directly by email or via their ‘contact us' page for a bespoke quote.

Find new markets

You can expand your business by using search tools to find suppliers in another city or geographic region.

Look for quality and reliability

Reading online reviews and checking that suppliers are registered with Companies House is a good way of ensuring you only deal with reputable and legitimate companies.

Communicate efficiently

Correspond with suppliers using email to save time and minimise any potential errors. You can also follow them on social media to keep an eye on any latest offers you could benefit from.

How do I do it?

Searching online for suppliers

You can find potential suppliers online by:

  • Using search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo!† to find companies that offer the services you're after. If you already have a shortlist of suppliers you can search for them by name, otherwise search by their sector, e.g. ‘frozen food supplier'.
  • Finding suppliers in a particular location by searching for them by sector and geographic location in Yahoo Maps, Bing Maps or Google Maps†, e.g. ‘frozen food supplier Liverpool'.
  • Using Facebook and Twitter's built-in search tools to find the profiles of prospective suppliers.
  • Searching online directories like WholesalePages.co.uk or eSources.co.uk† to locate suppliers within a specified industry or geographic area.
Protect yourself

You can vet suppliers and make sure they are legitimate by firstly checking that they're registered with Companies House. Then read reviews and testimonials online so you can be as certain as you can be that they are a reputable business.

Liaise using email and social media

Email is ideal for requesting quotes, making alterations to orders, raising queries or engaging in any other day-to-day dealings with suppliers. If they are on Facebook or Twitter, you could follow them to hear about new product lines or service offerings, and contact them directly about any queries you have in real-time.

Take a look at our Digital Knowhow guides on using email and making the most of social media.

Further Help & Guidance

Related content

Building your website

Using email

Online marketing

Making the most of social media

Online Banking

Useful links

Companies House

†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.

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