With manufacturers intently focused on the shop floor, managing projects and meeting deadlines, eCommerce strategizing quickly gets put on the back burner. However, many manufacturing organizations that have implemented a properly designed eCommerce model (online purchasing) have seen an increase in their sales.
Why Manufacturers Shouldn’t Overlook eCommerce for B2B Selling
Many manufacturers overlook the importance of engaging in an eCommerce model saying they sell to distributors or wholesalers, so it doesn’t benefit them. That isn’t entirely true though. While you’re spending time negating the effectiveness of eCommerce, you could be enhancing your relationships and meet your customers at the start of their buying journey-- online.
There is something that B2B and B2C selling have in common-- a buyer. The buyers of each sales model take advantage of the immediacy of online purchasing. In fact, approximately 60% of the B2B sales process is completed by the time a sales representative ever knows about the the customer. By using an eCommerce model in your B2B selling, you are building value for your buyers or customers. Customers will appreciate being able to find this information online to browse data to make efficient decisions on who they want to purchase from. Ecommerce models allow manufacturing organizations to reach out to buyers and encourage them to take the next steps of choosing them as a provider. It displays credibility and knowledge for the company that has a strong online presence.
How Implementing eCommerce Helps Your Manufacturing Organization
When your eCommerce website is designed properly, the implementation of your eCommerce platform will benefit your sales, partners, distributors, shipping efficiencies and brand awareness.
Ecommerce platforms for manufacturing organizations help increase sales by identifying new markets and expanding current product lines. You will also have direct access to your customers which can help grow profit margins. Manufacturers are able to engage with more prospects and customers which can ultimately result in product innovation.
Successful eCommerce implementations allow manufacturing organizations to meet market demands and their customers’ needs. This increases their scalability resulting in new sales channels, market segments and potential partners.
By having an eCommerce presence, you can expand your brand awareness. You can do this by creating pages with effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategies resulting in increased traffic. Increased traffic means it is more likely for a new target audience to discover your organization. Also, using an eCommerce platform allows you to utilize analytics and measure the ROI of your new efforts.
From customer experience to product shipment, eCommerce can create a more efficient sales process through the integration of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other business systems. Your eCommerce platform eliminates the possibility of purchasing error and improves shipping processes thereby increasing order throughput.
Using an eCommerce platform gives the company insight to what end users are searching for online and the most common products being purchased. This is important data to use for the implementation of new product lines, pricing, brand development, and company decisions.
Changes Needed for Your Website
Design your website to be responsive and compatible with all devices - android tablets, iPads, smartphones and desktop computers. Remember buyers are on the go and searching the website for solutions to their problems or searching for products they may need. There are many plug-ins available to accommodate shopping cart technology, shipping quotes, postage or freight costs. Simplicity is key. Check with your website vendor to explore these applications to see what makes sense for your business.
The Future of eCommerce
The Internet is a lucrative shopping platform among consumers. It has the ability to instantly gratify the consumers wants and needs with the click of a button. Organizations of all types, manufacturing in particular, can drive higher results by perfecting their eCommerce models. The Small Business Association provides statistical support as to why organizations would benefit from having a strong eCommerce for their buyers and remain globally competitive.
The Internet has been infused into mainstream business functions from what was formerly a communication tool to a possible main form of business transaction tool with immediate sales achieved. With proper eCommerce models in place, an organization has the advantage of securing their business and generating sustainable growth.
Implementing an eCommerce model cohesively with your existing sales model offers many benefits. These benefits can be seen in the financial pulse of your sales, the relationship between manufacturers and distributors, the efficiencies of production and the impact of brand awareness. As eCommerce continues to be more and more essential to organizations, how will your organization use it to bolster your sales?