Some manufacturers, particularly those in the B2B sector, ignore the need for digital transformation as a part of substantial changes in the manufacturing industry, even though B2B customers now demand online experiences that resemble those of B2C eCommerce. It is represented in PwC's statistics of American manufacturers that two-thirds of them consider deploying digital marketing and sales over the next two years as a high-priority goal.
One of the reasons for this tendency is that industrial eCommerce could alter business and operating models to provide a variety of advantages, such as:
- maintaining and protecting sales;
- expanding into new customer segments;
- gathering information about customers' habits and needs;
- enhancing revenues;
- lowering cost-to-serve by reducing in-person marketing and selling.
This article takes a deep dive into B2B eCommerce for manufacturers, covering everything crucial setup procedures for managing manufacturing eCommerce operations. If you want to be one of the industry leaders.
How manufacturers get benefits from an eCommerce store
The recent growth of B2B eCommerce makes it profitable to build an Industrial online store. But there are various advantages over financial ones, like scalability, the full catalog display, higher brand recognition, and access to more customers' data.
eCommerce SEO that helps organically grow traffic and sales
Manufacture eCommerce considerably expands your capacity for processing orders online without recruiting additional distributors or sales representatives. There is no need to see the customers in person, non-customizable goods can be sold right away. Also, an eCommerce store of a manufacturer helps raise brand awareness without investing huge budgets in marketing.
Moreover, as opposed to interacting with a salesperson, based on Google data around 60% of B2B consumers prefer to conduct their research online. Therefore, having a strong online presence with enhanced SEO is essential for bringing in new clients and gaining a competitive edge.
The nopCommerce platform has a powerful eCommerce SEO functionality that includes SEO-optimized and localizable URLs, XML and HTML sitemaps, Microdata management, breadcrumbs, and advanced Google Analytics integration.
Opportunity to effectively sell all products from your catalog
Manufacturers usually have a lot of products, including customized ones, whose prices vary depending on the market sector and consumer. Additionally, you should make targeted product recommendations to potential clients in order to boost conversions.
With an eCommerce platform, like nopCommerce, manufacturers can cover both of these bases, syncing your entire catalog to your website by integrating any ERP, PIM, WMS, and other business systems and configuring prices as needed. Moreover, all related products that are presented on a product page, as well as cross-sell ones ー on the checkout page, can be manually added for each product.
Provide a personalized shopping experience
Having an Industrial online store enables merchants to have full access to customer data, you can use a variety of eCommerce analytics tools to improve client satisfaction and drive sales by creating individual product recommendations and appropriate cross-sell and up-sell suggestions. On the nopCommerce platform, it can be implemented with the "Recommended product" and "Automatic Similar Products" plugins.
The growth of sales and customer base can be only limited by the ability of a chosen eCommerce platform. nopCommerce is a scalable platform that allows manufacturer eCommerce store owners to add more than 10'000 SKUs to your catalog. Additionally, the nopCommerce platform enables hybrid enterprises with both B2C and B2B clients to easily give several price lists or catalogs using the multi-store feature.
Finally, another feature that can improve the shopping experience is reordering. Most B2B customers prefer to save their time on consistent purchases. For this reason, nopCommerce has a recurring product and payment feature that enables customers to set repeating orders.
How to Effectively Use eCommerce for Manufacturing
Distributors, channel partners, online marketplaces, and resellers are just a few of the numerous sales channels available to most B2B customers.
Your major objective is to make their online shopping experience as simple as possible by making your eCommerce store convenient, creating customer service that is effective for your sales reps and customers, giving individual shopping options, and integrating with popular selling platforms.
Create a comfortable industrial eCommerce website
A static website can be changed into a transactional, interactive website by updating your online presence and providing a B2C experience for your B2B customers. B2B customers now demand a quick and tailored digital experience, similar to what they do for B2C customers.
Obviously, it requires looking far beyond online price lists and catalogs. Configuration options and visualization, customer-specific pricing and items, inventory accessibility, order history, and product tracking should all be part of the customer experience.
Manufacturers should be thinking about how to maximize eCommerce before they get started. They should also think about providing richer content, for example, describing product use cases and specifications by industry. Industrials will probably need to do much more than just digitize their product catalog. One of the main tasks is to implement and automate omnichannel eCommerce marketing.
Industrial businesses can gain from shifting to more online products and a higher proportion of overall revenues coming from eCommerce in a number of ways:
- utilize effective targeted advertising thanks to data that is collected from your customers;
- creating a multi-vendor eCommerce store that enables other manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to market their products on your website paying a commission;
- availability of advanced eCommerce sales forecasting software makes it more effective to sell online;
- ease of selling abroad due to integral multilingual and multi-currency support, as well as integrations with international shipping and payment systems.
Use marketplaces for promotion and extra sales
Marketplaces accounted for at least 50% of B2B purchases in 2021. Amazon Marketplace leads the field with over 25% of all U.S. eCommerce sales, followed by Walmart Marketplace and eBay.
Connecting your eCommerce platform to online marketplaces should be certainly implemented in your sales strategy. Fortunately, eCommerce platforms like nopCommerce integrate product data with the biggest marketplaces in the world, including Google Shopping, Amazon, Facebook, and eBay. This enables you to reach more people and increase your sales.
Improve your business operations
Your manufacturing business can improve customer service and equip your sales staff using an eCommerce platform. Chatbots and additional instructions on product pages can aid with question-answering and support at the whim of your clients.
Some eCommerce platforms, like nopCommerce, even permit sales and customer care representatives to shop for customers by logging in on their behalf. Reps may easily recommend customized products, put them in their shopping cart, and finish the transaction.
Top 5 manufacturers' eCommerce stores
Based on the information above, most manufacturers' eCommerce businesses build their online presence. Here are 5 examples of successful industrial online stores that are based on nopCommerce.
The current situation for manufacturing executives is interesting. They can continue to rely on legacy systems and the "old way of doing things".
Manufacturers who take matters into their own hands and go the eCommerce path may be able to future-proof their businesses, guarantee more profitability, and provide better customer service.
Opening an industrial online store gives you several advantages. The most basic one is improving the client experience when selling most things. Also, data collection is available, which improves targeted promotions and recommendations. Optimized content helps to promote and substantially grow traffic via search engines at low costs.
As B2B customers require customer experience that reminds them of a B2C eCommerce, comfortable navigation and simple order processing are valuable for manufacturers. It is also essential to integrate preferred eCommerce services to maintain the existing supply chain and distribution channels.
Since the resources of most manufacturers allow them to invest in an effective online presence, it is recommended to contact nopCommerce professionals that effectively create industrial eCommerce solutions.
Create an Industrial eCommerce store with nopCommerce!
FAQs about manufacturing eCommerce store
1. Why do manufacturers move into eCommerce?
Simply, the eCommerce market for industrial purchases is rocketing. Most B2B buyers conduct their supply research and purchases online. By eliminating middlemen and resellers, an eCommerce website enables manufacturers to raise profit margins, boost sales, enter new markets, and even go international.
2. How can manufacturers start an eCommerce store?
Manufacturers can establish an internet store to sell directly to customers instead of going via third parties to distribute their products, ensuring that products are transported from the manufacturing plant to the final users.
Manufacturers must select an eCommerce platform, build an online store, list individual items and product catalogs, design a checkout process, and initiate eCommerce operations.
3. What is the best industrial eCommerce platform?
Many manufacturer eCommerce platforms are available on the market. Now choosing a perfect platform for your company comes down to picking the one that best meets your requirements. However, nopCommerce is recommended for manufacturers, as it can cover most of their business requirements.
It is one of the top open-source eCommerce platforms for medium and Enterprise companies and provides all the advantages of modern software:
- flexibility and scalability;
- Enterprise features out-of-the-box (multi-store, multi-vendor, multilingual and multicurrency support, etc.);
- built-in security with PCI DSS compliance and GDPR support;
- seamless integration with international payment, shipping, and tax management providers;
- the headless commerce functionality to quickly integrate any eCommerce service or even create a custom front-end.
Design a unique customer experience on the storefront and develop any business logic and functionality with nopCommerce's Web API.