Most Manufacturers are leaving money on the table. are you?
As manufacturing industries across the board attempt to transform themselves for success in a rapidly changing marketplace, some organizations are struggling to adapt while at the same time, new competitors are entering the market faster than ever before.
Case in point, B2BecNews’s recent study, about 60% of manufacturers lack an ecommerce site, choosing instead to focus on innovation at the traditional core by improving operations with the tools of Industry 4.0. While this enhances production flexibility and efficiency, it doesn’t address the changes in customer expectations or how they are buying.
This gap in customer experience is filled by distributors, wholesalers, and marketplaces, and can include tools for self-service, contract pricing, custom product configuration. It has not been a critical problem in the past, but for many companies, might become one in the near future.Download Here
This might also be a significant chunk of potential revenue manufacturers are missing out on. About 11% of B2B sales are now flowing through eCommerce sites. Forrester’s most recent May 2018 estimate is that U.S. B2B eCommerce will account for nearly $1 trillion of the $9 trillion that will flow through legacy B2B “Online” Commerce channels like EDI and eProcurement systems in 2018. In 2012, that number was $605 billion.
As B2B buyers, driven to self-service buying habits from their years as B2C online shoppers, continue to move to these channels, new more disruptive opportunities emerge. Amazon Business, for example, is working towards a business marketplace for everything, including auto-replenishment with Amazon Dash Replenishment Services. Amazon Business however is a double-edged sword, offering the benefit of easy-access to markets, but can also erode your hard-built brand by focusing on features, reviews and price.
Amidst this shift, downstream channels are sometimes at odds with manufacturers. Those in food manufacturing are no stranger to distributors (grocery stores) competing directly with their own white label products.
The specifics of the solution will vary from company to company, product category to product category, but the core approach remains the same: build a direct, self-service relationship with customers. Even if the transaction occurs through partners, it will make your brand stronger, increase loyalty, and drive more revenue.
Our newly published Guide to Commerce for Manufacturers covers these topics in detail, exploring four key areas where transformation must occur in building better customer experiences:
Customers: Learn to adapt to evolving buyer expectations
Sales: Master increasingly complex distribution channels
Operations: Improve and integrate marketing operations
Employees: Enroll team members in the digital transformation