A vast majority of consumers and shoppers now shop online from digital stores and e-commerce websites. There’s no doubt that e-commerce has become one of the most popular modes of selling goods. However, one sector that seems to have been left behind by this shift to online selling is the manufacturing and industrial sector. And even industrial businesses that have set up their e-commerce websites are experiencing very few transactions other than answering inquiries from potential buyers.
Marketing specialists recommend that industrial businesses should also make the most of industrial e-commerce. By doing so, these companies can capitalize on the large opportunities for business growth.
Here are a few specific reasons industrial businesses should adopt e-commerce strategies:
- Move To The Online Market
The first reason industrial businesses should adopt e-commerce strategies is that they help brands move efficiently to the online market. Even though most industrial businesses already have their own wholesale and institutional clients and customers, they should still continue to explore other avenues to attract new customers.
In today’s business climate, gaining access to your target audience involves developing a substantial online presence, which will require e-commerce success. When it comes to making your mark in the present market, it’s the site visits, page visits, product listings clicks, and bookmarks that count.
Since the internet is such an expansive marketplace, people need to comb through various e-commerce websites to find whatever they’re looking for. This is where popular search engines come in. The results of searches made by people in search engines are what they’ll rely on when looking for their preferred products and services. For this reason, search engines have a significant role in helping your prospective new customers find you. In fact, market surveys found out that almost half of business-to-business (B2B) buyers use search engines to look for solutions, suppliers, and additional information.
Therefore, having a visible and accessible online presence is critical in getting new clients and customers. Of course, you should be careful to avoid e-commerce mistakes, especially if you’re still starting out with your new strategies.
- Give Your Existing Clients Custom Catalogs
The second reason industrial businesses should adopt e-commerce strategies is that it will enable them to provide better service and information to their existing clients and customers. The most obvious advantage of an e-commerce site for your existing customers is that it will enable you to offer a convenient procurement experience for your B2B customers. You’ll then be able to provide constant information to your existing customers about products and services that interest them.
Aside from providing your existing clients and customers with general information on your e-commerce website, you can go the extra mile and provide them with focused, specific, and detailed information. Sending them messages that are custom-made for their company will help them recognize your care and attention for them. You can do this by allowing your existing clients to collect their own custom catalogs based on the extensive products you have on your e-commerce website.
Most manufacturers are hesitant to provide their complete and extensive product catalogs to the general public. This is because the prices of each product may vary based on the quotes sent out by the manufacturer to each specific client. Prices can be affected by other factors such as the volume of the order, frequency of orders, availability of raw materials, and inventory, among other things. But with a B2B e-commerce store, you can send specialized product catalogs that your existing customers can access through their own company accounts.
- B2B Stores As Virtual Service Centers
Another reason industrial businesses should adopt e-commerce strategies is that they can employ their e-commerce website as a virtual service center. Of course, if repairs and parts replacement have to be done, their e-commerce website can’t serve as a substitute for a physical service center. However, an e-commerce website can definitely serve as an avenue for appointment-setting and communications.
Before a machine or equipment is brought to the physical service center for diagnostic testing, troubleshooting, parts replacement, or repair, the client or customer usually calls the manufacturer to set up an appointment to discuss the scope of the repair or parts replacement works.
An e-commerce website can be an effective channel to coordinate this aspect of your customer service. Clients can chat or call the service agents of the manufacturer to set up an appointment. The client can also send any initial information or results of diagnostics done by their in-house technicians if these are available. They can also inquire through your e-commerce website whether the parts that needed repair or replacement are available in your inventory.
Big Business E-commerce
Many industrial businesses still haven’t migrated to the e-commerce space because most of their existing clients and customers are B2B and wholesale purchasers. But there are ways to optimize the strengths and advantages of e-commerce to suit the requirements and circumstances of industrial businesses. Some of these ways have been discussed in this article.