Top 10 eCommerce Strategies for ManufacturersManufacturers are constantly pondering over ‘What’s Next?’ Well, focusing on end-to-end eCommerce strategies for manufacturers is what they should be thinking of! The manufacturing industry, much like other industries, has undergone significant disruption. This disruption has both a positive and negative side to it, like accelerated digitalization, an increase in cyber-attacks, and a shift in consumer behavior. Change, no matter how daunting it is, always comes with a window of opportunity.

The manufacturing industry seeking to boost their sales and expand their business horizon should explore eCommerce strategies that align with their business goals. The eCommerce strategies for manufacturers that business owners should consider must enable them to reach a larger audience, drive more traffic, sell directly to consumers, improve customer experience, and allow data-driven decision-making. Having said that, adopting eCommerce best practices would also mean making a few tweaks in the operations and business models for manufacturers as well as their consumers. Hence, we curated the top 10 eCommerce strategies for manufacturers that they can follow to achieve newer heights of business success.

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Top 10 eCommerce Strategies for Manufacturers

1. Choosing the Right eCommerce Platform

Though there is no one-size-fits-all approach to it since the definition of the best eCommerce platform would change depending on the specific business needs and requirements. However, some popular eCommerce platforms to look out for in 2023 that are trusted by enterprises across the industry include:

Magento/Adobe Commerce – It is a highly customizable platform offering features specifically designed for B2B businesses. It provides robust inventory management, and multi-store support, and integrates with several ERPs and CRMs.

Shopify Plus – It offers scalability, security, and easy customization, which is ideal for small to medium-sized manufacturers looking for a user-friendly experience.

BigCommerce – It is a highly flexible platform that offers SEO capabilities and provides multi-channel integrations. Ideal for large-sized manufacturers who require scalability and the ability to manage multiple storefronts.

WooCommerce – An open-source free plugin and is an excellent choice for manufacturers already using WordPress for their websites. It offers a broad range of customization options, integrates with various plugins, and provides an easy-to-use interface for managing product catalogs.

2. Adopting B2C eCommerce Strategies for Manufacturers

Manufacturers often overlook eCommerce because they believe their business models are not well-suited for selling online. They usually depend on their channel partners to reach the end users. Therefore, adopting a B2B eCommerce website would mean minimizing the involvement of a middleman and being able to interact directly with the end consumers.

It is essential for manufacturers to design their online ordering systems with a B2C mindset, as B2B buyers are also B2C consumers. As the pandemic has significantly impacted consumer behavior, buyers, regardless of B2B or B2C businesses, prefer purchasing online instead of engaging with sales professionals. Therefore, B2B online store experiences should be similar to online retail experiences making it more important for manufacturers to have an eCommerce presence.

3. Integration for the Manufacturing Industry

Integration for the manufacturing industry is an essential eCommerce strategy for manufacturers. By integrating various systems, such as ERP, CRM, inventory management, and shipping, manufacturers can optimize their processes, enhance productivity, and streamline their operations. It can also enable real-time data sharing between different departments, thereby eliminating data silos and improving communication.

Moreover, integration can enhance the customer experience by providing them with a seamless shopping journey, from browsing to purchasing, and post-purchase support. Integrating the eCommerce platform with customer service, marketing, and sales systems can enable businesses to personalize their services, provide customized recommendations, and improve order fulfillment.

4. Personalization is the Key

Personalization is a powerful eCommerce strategy for manufacturers that can help them maximize revenue growth by tailoring unique online shopping experiences. Consumers want to feel that brands are addressing them directly, therefore the best ways to deliver personalization are through email marketing, product customization, and social media marketing. Some benefits of personalization as an eCommerce strategy for the manufacturing industry are:

Enhanced Customer Engagement – Personalization aligns customers with products and promotions that are of their interests and needs, fostering greater customer engagement and making the shopping experience more memorable.

Increased Sales – By leveraging data such as browsing history, purchase history, and demographics, manufacturers can offer personalized product recommendations, targeted promotions, and other incentives that drive sales.

Improved Customer Loyalty – It helps manufacturers to build stronger customer relationships and foster loyalty, hence increasing their likelihood of repeat purchases.

5. Driving growth with Mobile Commerce

Post-pandemic, B2B sales have undergone a natural evolution, resulting in the adoption of smartphones in B2B purchases. They anticipate a seamless purchasing experience accessing a company website or a mobile app via their smart devices. However, B2B sites often fall short of these expectations. As online purchases are often relegated to secondary consideration, there is significant scope for enhancing and innovating in this area. Manufacturers with a strong mobile commerce strategy are well-placed to gain a competitive advantage in today’s market. Therefore, now is the perfect time for manufacturers to establish a robust mobile commerce strategy and seize opportunities in the changing landscape of B2B sales while keeping the following factors in mind:

Focus on Optimization – The pace at which a company’s mobile site or app performs is a crucial factor that impacts the growth of mobile commerce channels.

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) – Having PWA as part of your mobile commerce strategy would provide users with an app-like interface, accessible through the web, offering faster site speed, improved buyer re-engagement, and higher conversion rates. PWAs are a cost-effective alternative to native apps, functioning efficiently even in offline or poor network conditions.

6. Implementing Omnichannel eCommerce Strategies for Manufacturers

Manufacturers are increasingly adopting an omnichannel eCommerce strategy to create a seamless and consistent customer experience across multiple sales channels, aiming to expand their customer reach and increase sales. However, manufacturers need to approach this strategy differently because they typically have B2B sales channels to manage which include retailers, distributors, and warehouses.

To achieve the desired results, manufacturers need to establish collaborative relationships with their warehouses and distributors and consider both direct and indirect channels. Going omnichannel is set to provide flexibility and agility, which would allow manufacturers to quickly respond to changes in the market and customer behavior and give them an enhanced opportunity for data collection and analysis.

7. Social Media eCommerce Strategies for Manufacturers

According to Gartner, nearly 46% of B2B buyers already turn to social media at the very beginning of their buying journeys. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are not only platforms to build credibility and promote brands but also marketplaces that allow companies to carry out business through them. If manufacturers can identify their target audience correctly, there is nothing more powerful than social media.

However, each social channel has a different narrative purpose and is designed to reach a particular audience. Facebook works well for personalization capabilities with targeted ad engines that help brands improve their visibility. YouTube, being one of the biggest search engines in the world, gives manufacturers an excellent opportunity to market their brand through product demos, video testimonials, tutorials, brand storytelling, and a lot more. Brands can also use the live video feature to share their real-time experience from trade shows, and trade fairs.

8. Multiple Payment Options

By providing a variety of payment options, manufacturers can improve the customer experience and increase the likelihood of a sale. Payment preferences change dramatically based on demographics. While the older generation prefers debit and credit cards, the younger generation would opt for mobile wallets. Similarly, geographic location also has a crucial factor to play. Therefore, providing multiple options ensures that manufacturers can cater to everyone’s needs. Additionally, accepting various payment methods can help manufacturers in improving the customer experience, reach new markets, increase sales, and build customer trust and loyalty.

9. Having a Streamlined Checkout Process

The checkout process is a critical aspect of any eCommerce business, and the manufacturing industry is no exception. A well-designed checkout process can help reduce cart abandonment rates and improve the conversion rate, leading to increased customer satisfaction, sales, and revenue. In the manufacturing industry, where the buyer is often a business or a distributor, the checkout process must be streamlined and efficient to ensure a smooth transaction.

By optimizing the checkout process, manufacturers can provide a seamless and convenient buying experience for their customers, ultimately driving growth for their eCommerce business.

10. Keeping Pace with Automation Trends

Manufacturers are increasingly embracing automation trends such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Business Process Automation (BPA), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to streamline their operations and mitigate the risk of human errors. The implementation of automation trends in the manufacturing industry has gained significant momentum, driven by the need to achieve sustainability, address skill gaps, and gain a competitive edge. Aside from the manufacturing pipeline, automation of data management for manufacturers is also critical to the streamlined operation of their business.

Seamless bidirectional data sync for inventory is of utmost importance for manufacturing enterprises to allow predictive order placement for restocking and prevent halting of production due to miscalculated lead times. Thus, keeping up to date on the latest innovations in business automation technology is an essential step for manufacturing businesses to keep pace with the industry. Strategically implementing them into the production workflow, and the management of back-office processes can therefore be one of the most critical eCommerce strategies for manufacturers.

Final Thoughts

Modern B2B businesses are already undergoing a digital transformation enabled by B2B digital commerce, and manufacturers can also leverage these transformations to catapult their growth. Businesses can expand their reach to a wider global market by focusing on the latest eCommerce strategies for manufacturers. Manufacturers need to stay agile and adaptable in the fast-paced world of eCommerce. Enterprises need to experiment with new product offerings, pricing strategies, or marketing tactics, and quickly respond to the shifting trends of the eCommerce market. The sooner the industry adapts the best practices and time-tested eCommerce strategies for manufacturers the better, as it provides companies with the unique opportunity to reach a wider audience and grow their business.

Looking to get started with automation for the eCommerce platform behind your manufacturing business? Seamlessly connect your eCommerce solution with your entire software ecosystem under a single, intelligent, and secure Business Process Automation platform through APPSeCONNECT’s robust integration packages and achieve exponential business growth.