It pays to be prepared – something that many manufactures learned when an unforeseen pandemic rocked the world.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the period between February and March 2020 saw 35.5% of manufacturers experiencing supply chain disruptions, and 78% felt uncertainty around the pandemic and worried that it would impact their business.
As many offices began to work remotely, the manufacturing industry continued to be affected as distributors, wholesalers, warehouses, fulfillment centers, and other links in the supply chain ground to a halt.
While traditionally-minded B2Bs have been slow to adapt to the change, other manufacturers are increasingly focusing on online selling. In fact, turning to B2B eCommerce to offset losses from dwindling in-person channels was the only option.
And these companies were pleasantly surprised with the outcome: taking their businesses online had generated 60%-80% of their global revenue.
How to Use eCommerce in Manufacturing
The B2B eCommerce industry is predicted to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023, so it makes sense for manufacturers to take their businesses online – however, it’s essential to use a speedy courier company like www.californiacourierservices.com to deliver their products on time.
Businesses also need an engaging website, equipped sales staff, optimal online product configuration, and personalized catalogs for their clients.
Create a Great Website
Your website has to have researching, purchasing, after-sales support, and reordering features for your clients to make online sales.
To enable your clients to do their own research, you should provide high-quality content, reviews, and comparison tools. In addition to this top-of-the-funnel information, you should also offer more comprehensive content – such as white papers, webinars, and case studies.
Purchasing on your website should be simple with a user-friendly design, searchable catalogs, secure checkout, and intuitive navigation.
The most crucial information for after-sales support should be easy to find on your website. The three most common after-sales searches are ‘on-site repairs,’ ‘returns,’ and ‘on-site maintenance – ensure your clients have access to this information.
A feature that allows your clients to reorder items quickly is vital. The process should be user-friendly and easy for customers to set up themselves.
Equip Your Sales Staff
While online storefronts are vital, most consumers will want to speak to a sales representative while researching complex products and making buying decisions.
To ensure that your clients are empowered to purchase your products, all your sales staff should be equipped with deep knowledge about the products you sell. Support staff should also be willing to provide after-sale support across all channels – this could be over social media, online chats, mobile apps, etc.
Provide Personalized Catalogs
B2B shoppers value personalization in their suppliers.
You can provide a personalized buying experience by setting up quizzes or questionnaires, offering searchable product comparison tools, and leveraging email marketing to send personalized catalogs or discounts.
Configure Your Online Products
Another valuable feature for B2B buyers is custom online configuration. Customers should be able to create different product setups and comparisons to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
By adding a virtual product constructor feature on your website, clients will be able to view real-time pricing, have questions addressed by helpful links to manuals, and feel empowered to assemble fully customized specs.