The B2B sector is $14.9 Trillion which is easily 30 times more than the $470 billion B2C sector, still some of the manufacturing companies haven’t realized their full potential. Why so? Well, primarily because they are stuck with the old-fashioned ways to sell their products.
Even on this date less than 50% of manufacturers have a B2B eCommerce site. Primitive methods are still being used to sell goods, as such many companies have experienced problems with marketing and were hit with inefficient handling of products; besides failing to network with customers.
Employment was hit terribly as the new generation refused to accept the old-style resources that were in use and the ones hired were also quitting in quick succession; resulting in the sector suffering from a major candidate shortage. Why, because brands refused to accept cutting-edge tools for daily-routine tasks.
Organizations relied on outdated channels (phone/fax/catalogs) to achieve their sales targets and refused to partner with the latest tech to acquire new leads, update stocks, keep track of orders, manage customer data, and so on. Millennials prefer a workplace that is in tune with the modern tech.
Fortunately for the sector, the inbound eCommerce wave changed everything, and the companies would go on to adopt newer methods to escalate their profits.
When the digital phase started, many firms made the switch to the latest ways, and refined their overall marketing strategies to serve the customers better. The ones who stayed back are yet to realize the full potential of their business or have SHUT DOWN completely.
The stiff resistance to expand beyond a single channel, was partially due to the fear of not getting a good value for their investment.
However, the same has now become a non-factor for many, and they are beginning to embrace the benefits of the eCommerce model. 35.2% of the manufacturers are planning to invest in eCommerce within the next 6 months.
Since this sector is facing a myriad of challenges in; lack of workforce, order management, organizing inventory and improved workflow. The need for better solutions has also risen; thus, eCommerce is the new tack to achieve growth in your sector.
How could the B2B sector benefit from the innovative eCommerce ways and what can be done to integrate this into your future marketing campaigns is what we will explore in this blog.
Why would you do so?
Bigger firms have forced their smaller counterparts to look for multiple ways to sell their industrial SKU’s. Simply bringing common strategies to the field will result in disappointing results.
If you have always had a store or were relying on physical selling to obtain most of your profits; it’ll have to be reconsidered. Sure, you can still trade on these places, but it will only limit sales. When you could branch out and capture sales from other touch-points as well.
Big brands took to the eCommerce like “fish to water” and have been doing so consistently. If a small player decides to fall back, he’ll soon find itself out of the race.
The competitive field means other corporates are clawing your profits, while you are refusing to adapt and adjust to cutting-edge ways to sell your goods. On top of that, the time it’d take to settle down means these backward companies must switch to the new age ASAP.
The biggest brands now mark their presence on multiple channels. From websites, mobile, tablets, smart devices and more; you too can have it all, and that is the aim going ahead. Sit and sell from every point.
Eliminate the need to hire multiple staff loads for order fulfillment and customer service; handle everything on the internet and leave the laborious tasks to self-service options or with fewer service representatives.
Tech-savvy customers have paved the way for digital purchases and the demand to complete orders leisurely and seamlessly. Manufacturers, distributors, and businesses need functionalities that support and provide a seamless and customer-oriented purchasing experience.
What are the Merits?
Going on the eCommerce tangent may seem like a bit of hassle in the initial stages, but once done the high ROI will diminish all the pain and effort.
Overcoming the initial anxiety to invest and turn your business into an eCommerce corporation is what will decide your brand’s fate in the coming years. Work done now will pay out even higher profits and help you to compete with the giants in your field.
So, what can be the benefits of having a presence on the internet and everywhere else, let’s look at some of them if you end up adopting eCommerce for your business:
- ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning helps businesses with a few dozen accessories to a thousand parts, simplify back-end work and product pages. ERP holds the ability to integrate marketing, logistics, and customer service to make these departments more efficient.
Automates the core processes by collecting orders, delivering reports and gathering and storing information. In short, an ERP software can cut out needless tasks and jobs, minimizing the amount of effort each person must complete; saving you money in the long run.
- Personalization – One of the prime advantages of eCommerce in manufacturing is the ability to show variable rates for different clients. Share the price as per the price of raw materials, geographic region, order volume and other such parameters.
In addition to this provide a custom catalog for every client, preventing you from displaying the same stock rates to B2B buyers all over the world. Set aside specific promotions, discounts, shipping and other such offers that helps you to give a more personalized experience.
- Information – Readily available info can become the greatest asset for any company. Specs, dimensions, volumes and other configuration of the materials sold will be easily accessible.
Product details/description mean a great deal and serve as the principal factor in a buyer’s decision-making process. Digital presence helps you to highlight this properly across every inventory item - spec sheets, CAD drawings, and other documentation at your fingertips.
- Global penetration - You are online 24/7 which makes it easy to access prospects anywhere at any time. What field sales agents couldn’t accomplish earlier, can now be easily completed via video/text messaging on the web.
A face-to-face chat of this sort helps to get a better insight into who you will be dealing with and helps to serve your clients and even accept requests with ease; regardless of geographic boundaries.
- Integrations – Besides the above discussed ERP, integrating with CRM and OMS systems will further the omnichannel experience for your company. Then, the ability to have plugins, payment gateways, loyalty programs, and email services will give manufacturers the real success.
- Social Media – Selling resources are helpful, but you’d still need to reach out and connect with your buyers at some point to comprehend their needs, and that is where Social media figures in your marketing campaign. 75% of people in the B2B sector are influenced by social media.
Feature products, post updates, run deals/ promotions, conduct surveys, solve grievances, sell, and rebrand yourself in any way you wish. With a large percentage of your audience on it, you won’t even look for other outlets.
- Shipping – Delivery is a struggle for most industrial companies. Shipping in cartons, boxes, containers; plus, the loading-unloading results in errors. If that was not enough, the tracking receipt availability could make it a cumbersome process for the department handling the same.
Now with express delivery, volume packaging, size specific charges, ability to define labels, multi-carrier options, and instant tracking the process has become relaxed for the delivery party.
- Security – A business running online can easily firewall a site to convey a sense of authenticity. Once done the buyer can place orders from anywhere without a threat of unwanted hacks. Ecommerce makes it possible to tighten all channels to give the peace of mind you seek.
A protocol arrived at to secure your business and its entities from getting corrupted - complete loss of data. Once sorted, any abandonment due to safety flaws will not happen.
Displaying trusted logos on the site will also help to gain your customer's trust, which will then convert into orders.
- Analytics – Marketing that was earlier limited to physical channels will find itself assisted by keywords, meta descriptions, on-page/technical SEO, analytics, metrics, statistics, and various other figures to drive organic traffic to your business.
Get discovered in a variety of ways and bring in some eager customers, from around the world.
Systematic and accurate practices that will end the sales drought for your business as soon as you steer the marketing in the right direction. Don’t just randomly invest funds, learn the SEO ways and then proceed.
- Omnichannel – Conventional selling is not enough; an eCommerce approach will give you a bigger footprint. Soon your buyers will find you anywhere; the earlier desktop model won’t be the only source. They could complete the order on the web and get the tracking done on their phone.
The ability to do so would mean, your sales will increase as buyers can now discover you from every medium. Owning a specific device to do deals won’t be an issue anymore.
- Connectivity – A buyer leaves your store, and you wish you could’ve offered him a better deal. Ecommerce solves that; on cart abandonment, you could send your valuable customer a reworked deal, send promotional emails, top-selling mails, combo deals, store openings and so on.
Pretty much any activity that could potentially generate some interest can be forwarded to the customer via phone messages, emails, video and more. Let your buyers know about a price drop, send reminders, post-sale emails, forward brochures. All come from a click of a button.
- Less in Print – Printing out catalogs & pamphlets was costly. Plus, the updates on them along with the delivery to each client would prove even more expensive. Going digital means, you can upgrade these templates and mail them easily, and it wouldn’t even come at a hefty cost.
- Latest Tech – Give your customers a better way to engage with your brand. In the form of AI, AU and voice search, customers are finding innovative ways to get in touch with you. As such, the need to integrate space-age tools to market and present your services is vital.
Limiting yourself to traditional channels will not be enough to gain the acceptance of a wider audience that is finding diverse ways to consume content. Digital natives now expect brands to deliver info to the platform of their choice. Embrace the change and get closer to your customers.
Millennials lean and remain with companies, that are equipped with cutting edge resources. For they realize the dependency on these modern tools is vital to get anything done. Take the effort to assist the youth with state-of-the-art gears to drive your company’s growth
The current generation doesn’t shy away from using automation tools and sees it as a need to support their workplace practices. As they manage decision making, they will come to expect more of these in the future to assist with their office activities.
In the absence of this, organizations run the risk of losing participation from the current generation; who are by and large influencing everything around you; making them more apt for transforming and guiding the company in the long term.
The present workers exhibit an openness/willingness for the newest gears to simplify tasks, as such companies must find a way to accelerate its usage to improve their productivity on all levels. Besides, how well the adoption of such mechanisms will serve your company.
The complexities of eCommerce in manufacturing may seem like a little overwhelming now, but in the long term, this is what sustains your business, as such overlooking it will jeopardize the future of your brand.
So, leverage the power of eCommerce and grow your company - a revolutionary step for sales, hiring and growth. If you have a strong enough footing in your sector, then with an eCommerce makeover you could expand that and move into another dimension altogether.
Manufacturing nowadays extends beyond providing transactional capabilities; it’s about delivering an engaging and resolute experience across all channels, which is what calls for merging your business with eCommerce to improve customer service and cut down on inefficient administrative tasks.
APIs, Internet of Things, connection services and cloud-based technologies will help organizations migrate from old systems to an interconnected, smart, and predictive system. Ultimately, this will help manufacturers to thrive in a digital space.
Revamp your rankings, change the way people perceive you, expand beyond your territory, provide a more streamlined activity, simplify all the administrative tasks and lastly rank higher as the page hits grow, every time a customer connects positively with your brand.
Whatever is your eCommerce agenda, Virtina can help you to accomplish the same. Our tailor-made solutions will target the crux of your company to pay-off rich dividends.
Our experts and consultants are well versed with eCommerce in the manufacturing sector, having served the same with astute planning and commitment over the years. We will take the minimal from your side and turn it into an extensive profile that resonates beautifully with your clients.
Get in touch with us to improve your reach & revenue with eCommerce for manufacturing