This article from the Ultra Commerce Marketing Team is co-authored by our partners at Above the Fray.
As life returns to normal for much of the world following the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s natural to reflect on how the manufacturing industry was forced to adapt (along with every other industry) to the realities of the modern buyer. Even prior to the pandemic, B2B distributors were already making the move to going ‘all in’ on online buying.
According to data from Digital Commerce 360, from 2018 to 2019, over 300 B2B distributor businesses reported their eCommerce sales had grown 11 percent year-over-year. That may seem like an insignificant figure until you consider that equates to over $700 billion in revenue.
In 2019-2020, the pandemic only accelerated the eCommerce growth experienced among manufacturers. Now it has gotten to the point where manufacturers that have not invested heavily into their digital commerce strategy will promptly fall far behind their competition.
For example, Grainger projects that as much as 80 percent of their overall revenue will come from eCommerce in just the next two years.
Additionally, Fastenal reported their eCommerce revenue grew 27 percent year-over-year and now comprises 35 percent of their total sales.
Simply put, if you’re a manufacturer and eCommerce revenue does not equate to at least 30 percent of your overall revenue then you must act now on investing in your online selling presence.
Manufacturing revenue growth awaits those who ‘buy in’
If you’re concerned about your most loyal customers transitioning from their expected method of buying to a fully online experience, then start thinking of them as a modern consumer as opposed to a traditional B2B buyer.
After all, that is exactly what they are at the end of the day – a consumer. The attitudes, preferences and ‘pet peeves’ of B2B buyers are exactly the same as B2C consumers because at the end of the day, B2B buyers are just that: consumers.
It may seem counterintuitive, but the leading manufacturers are already shifting their online presence to better cater to this buying mindset. In a perfect (and future) manufacturing commerce world, ordering from a B2B distributor will be just as easy and intuitive as ordering delivery online or purchasing clothing from your favorite online merchant.
This world awaits. Is your business ready?
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.