Why do manufacturers (and their customers) need an e-commerce future?

2020 was the year of disruption and many manufacturers struggled to keep up with the pace. Many couldn’t move past their traditional, offline ways of working. Unfortunately, the hesitation to digitize is holding back manufacturers’ potential for business transformation.

Transformation in the manufacturing industry is being driven by consumer behavior. Manufacturers that still primarily serve clients through phone, fax, or email risk losing the loyalty of these customers, especially as their worlds become more and more digitally driven. More than two-thirds of manufacturers (67%) have accelerated their adoption of digital technologies as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a major new report published today by The Manufacturer. Yet, we know that manufacturers still have a few more improvements to make in order to appease B2B customer expectations.Online interactions grew from 42% of customer engagements in 2019 to 60% in 2020.

On top of that, 42% of the manufacturers who have invested in e-commerce and digital recognize improved customer relationships as a result. As stated here, online sellers get better at meeting the needs of the contractor and demonstrate reliable delivery, the contractor will be less worried about where the supplier is located. They expect an Amazon-like experience – easy, reliable and continually improving. Free shipping becomes two-day free shipping, becomes one-day free shipping, becomes same-day free shipping.

Today’s B2B customers want to be in control of their experience online, so you need to offer self-service capabilities in addition to a transactional website. When engaging with your web store, these customers also expect to be able to rely on accurate information, whether it is inventory levels, product details, order history, or their own negotiated discounts. They also want to be able to do so whenever and wherever they want.

Adding a B2B web store to your sales channels helps you inform your customers about your complete assortment. Tools like quick search, search filters, and search suggestions will guide customers through the complete inventory of products. Customers can now learn about new and additional products, as well as alternatives.

The manufacturing industry is complex and transplanting your business to an online environment with minimal disruption can sound like a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be. For example, most processes can stay the same. You can look at it as just another channel that your customers can use to buy your products, and as long as you choose the right B2B e-commerce solution, you have a strong foundation.

If you are in the construction and manufacturing sector and would like to see how SouqBox can help you jump into this opportunity, contact us for a demo,2 and our friendly team can show you how this can work for you. Best of all pricing starts at £200 PCM with no contract & you can launch a trial with us for free for 30 days to test your idea in the market.

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