Stop Missing Out: 5 Ecommerce Tips for Manufacturers

Stop Missing Out: 5 Ecommerce Tips for Manufacturers

Manufacturers and distributors without ecommerce capabilities are missing out. Traditional strategies loom large in the B2B world with paper contracts, phone deals and dedicated face-to-face sales people. While we would never advocate giving up any of those time-tested sales strategies, we think you can get fresh new clients by taking a look into ecommerce.

Stay ahead of Your Competition ran a piece about the changing landscape of manufacturing business.  Linda Taddonio, Insite’s Chief eCommerce Strategist, weighed in. She has seen manufactures make adjustments to ecommerce over last decade. With companies getting a start, she argues that it’s time for manufacturers to implement a true B2B e-commerce system.

“Customers are now in charge, and they’re going to dictate who thrives. I think most organizations — especially manufacturers — are kind of unwilling to believe that. They want to believe their traditional business model is still in control, that their sales rep relationship, which builds those contracts, is still holding up their business model. What I think they don’t realize is that it’s being nipped away at in ways they might not have the analytics to support,” Taddonio said.

Show Me the Numbers

Analytics are hugely important in the realm of ecommerce. This is when some manufacturers or distributors might wonder:  Is this strategy really going to work for my business? ROI is vital for any project of this magnitude. When implementing a new ecommerce site look for other industry examples as a beginning gage. Grainger is a great example.  In 2012, e-commerce represented 30% of the retailer’s total sales. That total revenue reached $2.7 billion, up from about 23% from $2.2 billion in 2011, it reports.

Get in Front of Your Customers

Again pulling from the Grainger example. Paul Miller, VP of e-commerce at Grainger, leads the division that has seen $9 million sales days. “Our customers are increasingly going online and using mobile to get their jobs done quicker and more efficiently,” Miller said.

It Takes a Company

We have all heard the phrase it takes a village. Nowhere is this truer than when jumping into a massive implementation, like ecommerce. When strategizing about a project of this size, don’t think of this as an IT project. Ecommerce development should be a part of your overall business plan not just IT planning.

Set High Goals and Reach Them

So you want 30 percent of your sales to come from ecommerce? This is possible. Particularly when you use the correct ecommerce platforms. We recommend finding a store that is flexible, visually appealing with precise analytics and customer data features.

Find out what we recommend in terms of your B2B ecommerce platform today!

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