According to a recent survey of manufacturing businesses by DigitalCommerce360, COVID-19 has quickened the pace of e-commerce adoption for many B2B manufacturing businesses, with 98% of manufacturers reporting they have established or have a plan for establishing a digital commerce sales channel. However, 81% of those same manufacturers are also reporting challenges with their current e-commerce strategy.
Among the most common roadblocks reported:
- Limited product data (32%)
- Inaccurate inventory info (30%)
- Complicated/lengthy check outs (30%)
- Inability to reorder from previous orders (26%)
- Missing or limited visibility of delivery timelines (26%)
- No way to view and pay open invoices (25%)
- No way to track orders (22%)
To solve these issues, over 36% of manufacturers will look to change their e-commerce provider. But how can they ensure their next choice will satisfactorily address and solve their most challenging roadblocks?
As a first step, manufacturers should evaluate potential technology partners carefully, looking for one that can meet the specific needs of their business. That means providing:
Dedicated, tailored customer experiences to support both B2B and B2C customers
Since today’s B2B buyers are not on a linear path, their transactions are more complex, with variable pricing structures, more stakeholders, and a longer sales cycle when compared to B2C. To provide the best possible experiences for audiences with different needs, manufacturers should consider separate, dedicated platforms for their B2B and B2C buyers. By creating streamlined digital e-commerce sites that address the unique needs of each user type, sellers will improve customer experience, drive customer acquisition, gain market share, increase cash flow and reach higher growth rates than their peers.
Support for your sales order management and processing workflows
The right e-commerce solution should offer manufacturers very specific functionality to streamline and automate their sales back office and most crucial processing workflows. Look for a solution that allows custom price levels, term account creation, inventory tracking, product catalog integrations, and sales team management.
Integration of your business-critical backend systems
When evaluating different e-commerce platform options, SMB manufacturers should look for a solution that can help them maintain business continuity by integrating with their most essential systems. Look for solutions with pre-built integrations to your enterprise resource planning software provider so you can easily connect your existing business applications to your e-commerce platform. Such integration capabilities should allow for flexibility in configuring data integration rules, plus workflows that help ensure orders and associated information (customers, addresses, payment, discounts, etc.) can flow seamlessly.
Are you searching for ways to create fast, effective and secure digital shopping experiences for your B2B customers?
OneMart, Aleran’s B2B e-commerce solution designed specifically for sales agencies, manufacturers, vendors and resellers, allows you to quickly and easily customize professional, beautiful and automated B2B websites, product catalogs and shopping experiences with minimal set up and no technical expertise required.