The Rise of eCommerce for Manufacturing

The demand for eCommerce for manufacturing has rapidly changed from a low priority to a top priority in the past decade alone. With nearly every industry shifting to an online buying journey it’s critical for manufacturers to offer a fully integrated eCommerce journey for customers.

While this is commonplace in other industries such as retail, eCommerce for manufacturers has at times been a long, slow journey. Many manufacturers are wondering how we got to this point and are looking for ways to transform how they deal with online selling, to understand where eCommerce for manufacturing is going, we must understand how we got here.

A global pandemic and a shift in buying power

Let’s face it buying highly configurable manufacturing products hasn’t ever been easy. Without reliable internet and cell phones, manufacturers we’re in a good spot selling products in-person to their valued customers. In the past when searching for product buyers would find themselves in the office of the sales team discussing product specifications and pricing. That info would be sent to engineering, CAD modelers to create a final product. This old way would lead to misconfiguration, disappointed customers, and discounts to keep their business.

Now that the majority of buyers are Millenials with access to the internet and buying power directly on their cell phones it’s no longer feasible to only sell in-person and compound that with the ongoing pandemic pivot to online sales, selling isn’t going to go back to the way it was.  54% of millennial buyers make purchases online (Martech). With an estimated 72 million Millenials in the United States alone, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that buying power has fundamentally shifted to individuals who have grown accustomed to a B2C buying experience.

ecommerce for manufacturing

A shift from in-person buying to online has accelerated faster due to COVID-19

An expectation of Self-Service

With the accuracy needed for custom product quotes it’s important to implement products like CPQ as a solution that enables eCommerce for manufacturing. Proving fast accurate products will help customers get what they need when they need it.  This has created a shift that enables customers to buy using self-service without interacting with a sales team. Enabling an online shopping cart makes it easy for customers to buy from home, the warehouse, or in the field for an expedited process. A great self-service experience for manufacturers will highlight the value of any specific product.

Discover how Tacton is helping manufacturers achieve their eCommerce goals with CPQ in our upcoming Smart Commerce Summit! 

A move towards a seamless experience

Omnichannel has been a popular buzzword across industries for the last few years. Simply put an omnichannel experience for manufacturing customers creates a seamless, multi-touchpoint buying experience. Manufacturers have failed to create an experience that is like Amazon or big retailers, which lets them know the status of their products after a purchase.  87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless experience. (Zendesk) With that in mind, many manufacturers’ have shifted to creating an omnichannel experience that will keep the customer close, informed, and ready to buy again.

Customers want to have a unified experience that gets them their products from any channel at any time. Your customers want to be able to check the status of every order whether it’s in design, in production, or being shipped to their office. Without a connected experience, customers will opt for companies that let them know every detail about the product they’ve purchased.

Putting the product at the center of the eCommerce journey

Product information is nearly as important as the final product that’s delivered to your customer’s door. But many manufacturers have failed to give anything more than text-based product descriptions coupled with CAD drawings to their customers. Ask yourself a simple question, when was the last time you bought any product site unseen? Without proper visuals in an eCommerce shopping cart manufacturers will continue to struggle selling to an increasingly demanding customer pool. That’s why it’s important to enable customers to be as informed as possible about your product offering by giving them visuals and tech specs. Visual configuration for manufacturers has made it easier than ever to not only give visuals but let customers build their own products that are 100% configurable. This will lend trust to your business while also providing a new exciting way to showcase your products, online, anytime.

The change is here are you ready?

Simply put, if manufacturers fail to offer an eCommerce journey for their customers they will struggle to sell and ultimately lose to the competition who enable an exciting and easy buying journey. With so much at stake it’s time to start looking for solutions that transform how to sell highly-configurable products. Setting up an eCommerce solution coupled with CPQ can help make your business the envy of the industry by creating quick, accurate quotes that can be sold bought and sold online.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo with one of our CPQ and eCommerce experts today!

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