November 08 2019

So, What is Smart Commerce?

I'm sure you must be wondering "what do you mean by enabling Smart Commerce for Manufacturers?" Don't worry, you're not the only one. In fact, I have had to answer that question a number of times from a number of people inside my own organization.  

Enabling Smart Commerce means preparing manufacturers for the new digital commerce economy. Buying behaviors have changed and B2B customers are now shopping in a B2C way-- even in manufacturing. In fact, according to Gartner, buyers are 57% of the way through their buying process before they even reach out to a vendor. Additionally, by 2025, Accenture predicts 50% of all transactions in manufacturing will take place over the internet. 

 That sounds crazy, doesn’t it? There is NO WAY anyone is going to buy a semi-truck, tractor, Medtech device, or any other highly configurable, customized product online. Except, in many cases, this change in manufacturing has already begun! 

 Focus on the big picture 

How can manufacturers sell configured, customized products online? By investing in a digital transformation strategy with a strong focus on digital commerce and customer experience. To execute, organizations must become operationally efficient to accelerate sales and deliver excellent experience customers expect.  

Manufacturers have traditionally dealt with internal silos, long sales cycles, inaccurate quotes, struggles to deliver what the customer ordered, and internal inefficiencies that lead to costly delays and inaccuracies.  

 While CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) tools improve efficiencies and enable faster quoting as a selling tool, the customer experience is now omnichannel. This means sales reps are not the channel, they are one channel, and customers expect more. 

 What do your customers expect?  

They expect the seamless experience they receive in their B2C experiences-- in their B2B buying journey. They demand self-service, visualization, customization, and fast delivery across all channels. Manufacturers must extend beyond the traditional definition of commerce and be prepared to understand their customers regardless of where they enter the buying conversation while delivering the right product, the first time--every time. 

The future is here and it’s digital  

As a manufacturer, that might seem like a daunting task… but it doesn't have to be. In fact, many manufacturers in specific industries have already adopted a strong digital strategy that has led to compelling results. 

For example, our heavy vehicle customer, Scania, wanted to enable their dealers and customers to configure trucks through their website. To Scania, they saw this as an opportunity that would be industry-leading, but impossible without a system that enabled anyone to configure a semi-truck. Anyone… even me, who is a creative marketing type. If you don’t believe it’s possible, check it out for yourself. 

The online revolution isn’t coming, it’s already here. Manufacturers that fail to invest in digital commerce are vulnerable to lose revenue to their competitors that do. Tacton has the expertise and smartest solution to enable manufacturers to improve their internal efficiencies, accelerate sales, enhance their customer experience, and ultimately compete on value. Don’t get left behind! 

Learn more by downloading our free ebookThe Manufacturers' Guide to Smart Commerce.” 

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