Manufacturing B2B Clients Are Redefining the Purchasing Process
89%(1) of business buyers are using the internet to find their products. 76%(1) said the website design was the most important factor in determining their purchases.
The transition from traditional to e-commerce purchasing models for businesses is happening faster than predicted. In 2018, B2B e-commerce sales passed $1 trillion (2), an amount initially not expected until 2020. This permanent shift is rapidly changing the buying expectations of buyers, wholesalers, and distributers with 57%(1) of buyers saying they make purchasing decisions prior to speaking with a sales agent.
This shift has been taking place for almost 20 years. Since the early 2000s, the average growth rate for total manufacturing shipments was 2.3% while the average growth rate for manufacturing e-commerce shipments was 10.9%(3). Companies who have invested in this sales channel have not only seen additional sales, they now have the added benefit of fully integrated departments to reduce order costs. Yet, when surveyed close to 50%(2) of manufacturers still use manual sales processes for their business clients.
Driving these mismatched expectations is inaccurate or outdated information provided to manufacturers. Common misconceptions about e-commerce solutions are that they are cost prohibitive and not built to include: 1) complex and unique orders, 2) bulk and repeat orders, 3) customers as decision making units, not single buyers, and 4) varying payments and payment collections. But today’s solutions have been focused to address these pain points for manufacturers. Not only that, they’re also cost effective and often revenue generating.
The solutions that exist are vast, and often leave manufacturers not knowing which best and most affectively addresses their needs. When evaluating e-commerce options, manufacturers should assure they are able to fulfill the entire order, from quote through delivery without adding work. They should also understand how their new platform can scale over time to help other business processes. Often, hiring a digital consultant specialized in manufacturing leads to reduced costs and a more optimal outcome.
E-commerce is no longer the new way of doing B2B business, it is becoming a buyer expectation for any products they purchase. For many years, manufacturers were able to avoid this sales method because of their specialized products and relationships with buyers. Although this shift to e-commerce is now changing sales predictability for manufacturers, the market has solutions to assure sales longevity, and people to make sure manufacturers succeed.
Dusty is CEO of BITCADET, a consulting company that builds digital sales solutions for manufacturers. Learn more by reading Dusty’s bio and latest insights from his company. Connect with Dusty on LinkedIn, or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org