The Benefits of eCommerce for the Manufacturing Industry

November, 2021
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Today, we live in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world. With the rise of technology and the internet, we have seen the manufacturing industry change from manual labour to automation to keep up with the modern world. ECommerce has changed the retail industry, and manufacturers are starting to see the benefits and explore how they can benefit from eCommerce.

 

eCommerce Is the Future of Manufacturing

 

The pandemic was hard for all industries, and manufacturers have had to realise that they have to evolve to survive. Historically the manufacturing industry is used to an ‘offline’ way of working.

What is B2B eCommerce? 

Technically, B2B commerce refers to the online business conducted between two or more companies. eCommerce is a strategic tool that can help to futureproof your manufacturing business. Building a tech stack that is integrated will give a 360° view of your customers, provide a great experience, boost productivity and efficiency. 

But, B2B eCommerce is more complex than B2C eCommerce. B2B sites need to accommodate unique challenges of B2B selling, like customer-specific pricing, complex workflows and more. 

Manufacturers have to stay competitive and eCommerce can benefit and amplify their businesses. The more efficient and affordable it is for customers to shop for their needs, the more they will be able to market their products. 

 

The Benefits of ECommerce in Manufacturing

Manufacturing has had a difficult time adjusting to an industry driven by consumer trends and technology. From competition to cost to changes in labour, production is undergoing huge changes. ECommerce offers the opportunity to change all of that. 

With a new focus on consumer experience, manufacturing companies can focus on a perfect fit for their product or service, rather than mass production. By focusing on the end result instead of the start, manufacturers can be more efficient and productive.

Improved efficiency 

  • Online catalogues cut out the costly printing costs
  • Save time in maintaining and updating online catalogues, cross-checking data and manual data entry
  • eCommerce systems support customer-specific price-lists to help maintain order accuracy
  • Enhances the ordering process for both the buyer and seller, reducing errors and saving time
  • Increased insights into your customers and gain valuable insights
  • Increased data insights will help to optimize inventory and guide the development team to product improvements, marketing to better target customers and direct sales efforts. 

 

Increased revenue

  • Online stores open up new opportunities to reach new customers as well as new geographic regions
  • An eCommerce store requires fewer resources and costs to run and maintain 
  • Automation helps take relief off the sales team and expands office hours. Manufacturers can sell 24/7 while pursuing other revenue avenues. 

 

More customers

  • A solid eCommerce and online platform can help increase brand awareness
  • Digital channels allow better use of customer data and the creation of personalized experiences
  • Ability to assist customers as they move between channels

 

Business Growth

  • Digital commerce will allow businesses to innovate in different ways and in different departments within the business.
  • Easy to scale to new verticals, markets and locations
  • Its the step forward to future-proofing your business

How manufacturing can take advantage of eCommerce

To start developing an eCommerce site for your manufacturing business, you need to take the following factors and steps into consideration. 

 

  1. Identify your audience
    One of the biggest hurdles to starting your eCommerce store is to identify your audience and define your niche. 

    1. Thoroughly study the background of your current customer base
    2. Understand what motivates your existing customers to buy from you
    3. Identify the value customers see in your products
    4. Visit competitors’ websites to conduct a competitive analysis
    5. Determine what your margins and pricing will be
  2. Select the Products
    Once you have built a foundation, you need to focus on the products. 

    1. Determine if you are offering our entire product line or select items
    2. Create a list of products that currently generate the most revenue
    3. Analyze the market for opportunities
    4. Stay ahead of trends
  3. Build your eCommerce Store
    It’s time to build your store. When all of these items come together it will help build your brand identity. 

    1. The goals of the eCommerce site
    2. Select an eCommerce platform that fits your needs and goals
    3. The store theme
    4. The store design
    5. Product photography
    6. Product descriptions
  4. Select somebody to manage the store
    1. Check your current staff for the possibility of placing an existing employee in the role
    2. Hire when you are ready to hire and you’ve found the right applicant
    3. Create a detailed document outlining the job responsibilities, working conditions and whatever else they would need to know. 

Conclusion

Manufacturers need to be more innovative, product-driven and focused on customer needs. They should be focusing on one-to-one service and developing relationships with their customers.

As manufacturers embrace this concept and invest in the ways of the future, they will be able to take advantage of the changing consumer demand and demand for the future of manufacturing.

Are you ready to bring that perfect system in your head to life?

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