This article from the Ultra Commerce Marketing Team is co-authored by our partners at Above the Fray.
The manufacturing industry, and B2B as a whole, historically has relied on shopping, transaction and payment processing through now outdated methods. Purchase orders, telephone, email and even fax – organizations doing business with other organizations may not have prioritized a sleek, fast-responsive, customer-centric website and experience in the past but times have changed.
The modern B2B buyer is more a consumer now than ever before. Their seamless experiences on direct to consumer (D2C) and/or B2C sites as well as the permeation of Amazon’s same-day delivery model in the marketplace have increased customer expectations of what a manufacturer website should be.
The first step to outpacing your competitors, providing outstanding Customer Experience and growing company revenue is to invest in your website and digital commerce capabilities. But first, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the customer appetite there? As a B2B organization in manufacturing, you know your target customer better than anyone. Have you received numerous requests for the ability to purchase online? Have you received lost business or negative reviews due to poor CX? If you do not know the answers to these questions immediately then it may be worth conducting a survey of your most loyal customers to ‘take their temperature’ on digital commerce.
- Is the internal team ‘all in’? For the smoothest transition possible when launching a manufacturer website with full fledged eCommerce capabilities, you must first prepare your internal stakeholders. Make sure everyone from Admin to Operations to Marketing & Sales to Executives are all adequately briefed and looped in consistently throughout the eCommerce adoption process.
- What should we be looking for in terms of an eCommerce platform? There is no shortage of digital commerce platforms in market to choose from. It will be critical to choose the SaaS provider that offers a fully integrated solution – one that will grow with your organization as it grows – because requirements today become outdated by tomorrow.
Once you’ve made the decision to add eCommerce D2C sales to your revenue streams, and you’ve got the answers to the above questions, the next step is mapping out what your digital journey looks like to the needs of your customers and then sky’s the limit for your company’s growth potential.
Use our partner Above the Fray’s D2C Buyer Survey to get a gauge on what your end-buyers want and need from your new site before you define what you are going to build for them.