The Complete Guide to eCommerce Strategies for Manufacturers: Why, How and Best Practices
- The Benefits of eCommerce Strategies for Manufacturers
- Tips for Launching eCommerce Selling Strategy for Manufacturers
- Advanced Manufacturing eCommerce Strategies
- How to Promote an eCommerce Site for Manufacturers
- Case Studies of Successfully Implemented eCommerce Strategies by Manufacturers
The Benefits of eCommerce Strategies for Manufacturers
Expand your reach
Save on costs
Improve customer experience
Collect & analyze data to sell more
Increase customer loyalty
Scale & innovate on the go
eCommerce also allows manufacturers to quickly scale their business and try new things without incurring a lot of risks. You can employ various testing techniques when it comes to new products and marketing strategies on your ecommerce site before investing in them.
Speaking of innovations, ecommerce also allows manufacturers to introduce new products and services quickly and easily. With scalable and adaptable ecommerce platforms like Virto Commerce the cost of ownership and cost of innovations are both predictable so it won't require any unexpected budget spending.
Tips for Launching eCommerce Selling Strategy for Manufacturers
Inventory management & product data
Choose the right ecommerce platform
Some of the must-have features for manufacturer ecommerce platforms include:
- Product configurator
- BOM management
- Quotation & order management
- Returns & warranty management
- Shipping & logistics integration
Marketing & SEO
By following these tips, manufacturers can set themselves up for success when launching their ecommerce selling strategy.
Advanced Manufacturing eCommerce Strategies
If you already have an online representation of your manufacturing business, but looking for effective ways of improving it, check out these advanced ecommerce strategies for the manufacturing sector:
Move from B2C ecommerce solution to B2B ecommerce platform
Even if you are selling to consumers, the fact that you are a manufacturer puts you in a B2B environment. The needs of businesses when they shop online differ a lot from the needs of individuals. To take the most out of ecommerce and give your customers the best possible user experience it is important to use an ecommerce platform designed specifically for the B2B companies. Why? The key to success for manufacturers selling online is to offer configurable products. This way businesses can easily find what they are looking for and configure it according to their specific needs.
B2B ecommerce platforms make shopping easy and convenient for businesses due to these important features:
- Customer groups & segmentation
- Quotations & orders
- Returns & warranty management
- Configurable products & pricing
By using manufacturer ecommerce software, you will be able to offer a much better shopping experience for your customers and increase sales.
Look for the best ERP integrations
As a manufacturer, you are probably using some sort of ERP system to manage your business. In order to streamline operations and make sure all your data is in one place, it is important to look for an ecommerce platform that offers seamless integration with your ERP system. This way you will be able to manage all your data from one place and avoid errors that can occur when using multiple systems.
The benefits of integrating your ecommerce platform with ERP system include:
- improved accuracy of data
- real-time inventory management
- streamlined order management
- better customer service
Use customer portals
Another way to improve your manufacturing ecommerce strategy is to use customer portals. Customer portals are private areas on your website where businesses can login and access their account. In the customer portal, businesses can see all the information about their orders, invoices, returns & warranty claims and more.
Customer portals offer many benefits for manufacturers, such as:
- Improved customer service
- Increased sales
- Reduced costs
Don't miss the B2B marketplace boom
B2B marketplaces are managing to increase selling volume at a rate of over 8 percent every year. According to DigitalCommerce, B2B marketplace sales grew 7.3 times faster than total B2B ecommerce sales and 8.5 times faster than total manufacturer and distributor sales in 2021, making B2B marketplaces the fastest-growing digital sales channel.
Given the enormous popularity and development of B2B marketplaces, it's only natural for producers to attempt to establish one of their own or link with existing successful marketplaces.
The Virto Marketplace is a cloud-based, open source ecommerce platform that supports both first and third-party marketplace models and works with almost any existing ecommerce solution without requiring replatforming.
Study your competition
In order to create a successful ecommerce business strategy for manufacturers, it is important to study your competition. By understanding what your competitors are doing, you can learn from their mistakes and avoid making the same ones yourself.
When studying your competition, there are a few things you should pay attention to:
- Their product offerings
- Their ecommerce solution
- Their marketing strategy
- Their prices
You'll be better prepared to design an effective ecommerce strategy for your manufacturing company if you can correctly identify both the weak and strong points of your competitors.
Review your website design and user experience
Your website is the first thing potential customers will see when they search for your products or services online. That's why it's important to have a well-designed website that is easy to navigate and provides a great user experience.
If you want to improve your website design, there are a few things you should pay attention to:
- The overall look and feel of your site
- The user experience
- The navigation
- The content
How to Promote an eCommerce Site for Manufacturers
You can also promote your ecommerce site through social media. This involves creating content that is shareable and engaging and then sharing it on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Another way to promote your ecommerce site is through email marketing. This involves sending emails to potential customers with information about your products or services.
Finally, you can also use paid advertising to promote your ecommerce site. This involves placing ads on search engines like Google or Bing, or on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
All of these strategies are effective ways to promote your ecommerce site. However, it's important to remember that promoting your site is an ongoing process. You'll need to continuously create new content, analyze it and adjust to your ideal customer profile in order to see results.
If you're looking for more information on ecommerce strategies for manufacturers, be sure to check out our complete guide. This guide covers everything from the benefits of selling online to choosing the right way of building your ecommerce presence.
Case Studies of Successfully Implemented eCommerce Strategies among Manufacturer Companies
Let's look at some case studies of companies that have been successful in selling online after we've covered the basics of ecommerce for manufacturers.
- Lavazza by Bluespresso
Lavazza by Bluespresso is a manufacturer of coffee machines. The company has an ecommerce site that sells its products to both consumers and businesses. Lavazza by Bluespresso has chosen a strategy of unification of B2B & B2C portals. With a new ecommerce website, Lavazza now provides more than 4,000 business clients with immaculate customer service.
- Bosch Thermotechnik
Now that you understand some of the basics of manufacturer ecommerce, it's time to put those ideas into practice.
Check out this blog for more tips and trends in the manufacturing sector for 2022, or contact us today to learn more about how we can help you take your manufacturing business online.