Millennial or not, online websites are not enough to woo the B2B buyers. They lack the X-factor that defines a user’s buying journey. And that something is personalization. Most B2B buyers want to engage with manufacturers and suppliers offering user-friendly services, comprehensive B2B capabilities, flexible solutions, exceptional experiences, scalable performances, and personalized pricing. They want information regarding quote estimation and other customization opportunities across multiple channels 24/7.
In fact, 64% say that they might immediately switch to a buyer offering such prospects.
Such demands require an integrated eCommerce solution available whenever and wherever customers need them. Thus, a B2B eCommerce platform is the best bet manufacturers have to survive and thrive through this paradigm shift.
How B2B eCommerce benefits the manufacturing industry?
As per studies, by 2051, over 41% of revenue garnered by B2B manufacturers will be from digital commerce solutions, be it a business selling to other business consumers or directly to the end customers. Further researchers
predict B2B eCommerce to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023.
It is a staggering number for manufacturers to embrace, particularly when there are thousands yet to find the right web solution, let alone delve into digital commerce’s deep waters. However, one aspect that is crystal clear for B2B manufacturing companies is that eCommerce will be a prominent income source in the years to come. In no way should B2B manufacturers let go of such a profitable and futuristic opportunity.
Apart from the said monetary gains, there are other ways eCommerce tends to benefit the B2B manufacturing space.
Access customers directly
The direct-to-consumer business model has well-served the B2C brands, but now, it can also assist the manufacturing industry. B2B manufacturing businesses can sell products via their website over the distributors, hence saving the commission, you would have spent otherwise.
Approaching customers directly:
- Increases profit margins
- Lets you exercise higher control over brand representation
- Strike balance between optimum pricing and discounts offered
- Derive consumer insights to enforce personalization
- Elevate customer loyalty through retention campaigns
Without a doubt, one of the most significant advantages of having a B2B eCommerce website is customer data analysis to procure actionable insights for better decision making. Consequently, you can employ those acumens in your sales and marketing strategies, or you can communicate with the customer for feedback and incorporate the same into your product development process.
Knowing your consumer’s shopping patterns adds value to your manufacturing and supply chain. Feedback received from your customers regarding equipment functioning can help modify your product ability in a manner that suits their needs. It functions as a unique value proposition for your B2B manufacturing business.
At every step of the process, from procurement to after-sale support, you can improve your services to introduce better delivery schedules, improve warranty, extend installation and training assistance. It also helps you know your popular product, and then you can pitch those to a more expansive customer base.
What’s more, you can move beyond geographical boundaries and sell your products to global customers. Not only does it strengthen your operations, but it allows you to modernize as per the customer trends.
Follow a scalability approach
For a scalable industry vertical like B2B manufacturing, it is significant to invest in resources that can accommodate the growing demands without requiring any migration or system upgrades. With a B2B eCommerce website, you’ll experience a surge in processing orders. However, to ensure steady profits, you need to fulfill business growth without needing more distributors or sales reps. Equipment requirements without customization can be instantly sold to the buyers.
With a robust B2B eCommerce solution, you can tap into new markets or even sell cross-border. Considering that in 2019, internationally sourced products conquered 43% of the total spending on industrial goods, it is a lucrative opportunity for the B2B manufacturing industry.
Improve process efficiency
For B2B sales reps, there is nothing more frustrating than contacting a client for payment clearance.
However, in the case of an active eCommerce solution, since customers directly shop from the website, it massively reduces the time spent by sales reps on product pitching and manual invoicing. More so, with automated payments and recurring billing for EMIs or regular reorders, the process becomes efficient and hassle-free.
In the long run, it streamlines account and invoice management, giving your staff and sales reps their much-deserved peace of mind.
Educates consumers about the brand
With distributors disguised as the middle man between manufacturers and consumers, it is usual for the latter to have little or no knowledge about the former. As per Google, over 58% of B2B industrial manufacturer buyers research a product online before following up with a brand. That is why you need to SEO-optimize your eCommerce website to receive higher traffic from organic searches for brand or product-related queries. Once you have a web page ranking on Google, it will familiarize more buyers who’ll then explore your product range.
Unlock the power of data analytics
Data analytics is a potent weapon, and eCommerce transformation provides you an opportunity to use it for your benefit.
A digital commerce website opens avenues to gain plentiful customer data that you can employ to derive insightful information, boosting CX and sales. Over time, these insights help better product manufacturing processes as per customer recommendations. B2B Manufacturers can use data analytics to:
- Personalized product recommendations as per order history. As a company, you have an extensive product catalog that you’d want to share with your customers. You can tailor this file depending on the segment, customers, and other external factors with personalized product suggestions.
- Dynamic pricing as per customization required or order history. If a customer has a bulk order, you can adjust your pricing to make maximum profits while closing the deal at a price that they’ll accept.
- Allow upselling or cross-selling propositions depending on the recent purchases conducted. An ERP B2B eCommerce platform will enable customers to look for connecting parts, thereby improving customer service and efficiency.
- Offer configuration and product matching that differ in shape, size, and color. It means customers can customize the products as per their requirements without requiring any help from the support department. It saves your and a customer’s time.
These benefits help realize the potential of digital commerce as-a-service in today’s rapidly changing economy. It unlocks possibilities related to automation, optimization, and profound transformation, adopting new business models that allow the small, medium, and large manufacturers to accomplish their business goals.
Wrapping It Up
In the B2B manufacturing industry, digital transformation is an ongoing process. Today’s trends will become tomorrow’s old news. But once you’ve laid the foundation of digital transformation in manufacturing, it will simplify your task of leveraging futuristic technologies, hence driving efficiency and innovation to your processes.
To achieve your B2B manufacturing goals., wholesale change isn’t required. Start slowly and grow from there. The key is to forge a strategy that allows you to step into the world of digital commerce, realize its benefits, and use it to take your next step forward.
But that isn’t even the only segment B2B manufacturing needs to work on!