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Why eCommerce Matters in Manufacturing

By TJ McDowell

eCommerce Manufacturing

Magento for Manufacturing

You manufacture an amazing product, but it hasn’t gained much traction. Why is your creation merely wasting space in a warehouse? Unfortunately, this situation happens to plenty of gifted manufacturers who don’t have the proper tools to market, sell or distribute their merchandise. One such tool is eCommerce software.

For a while, eCommerce was viewed as a useful solution only for online retailers and distributors. However, as we’ll explain, the rapid development of the online marketplace has blurred the lines between manufacturing, distribution and retail, making eCommerce software an imperative for manufacturers.

How eCommerce is Disrupting Manufacturing

Traditionally, manufacturers have mass-produced goods to sell in bulk to retailers or distributors. But now, manufacturers relying solely on this method are losing out on major opportunities. The roles of manufacturing, distribution and retail industries are not as distinct as they were in the past thanks to our booming online economy. Buyers aren’t flipping through catalogs or making phone calls; they’re checking their social media and using search engines to find the products they need.

To clarify, we aren’t just talking about business-to-consumer (B2C) interactions. Business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce is thriving, with Forrester projecting it to grow to twice the size of B2C eCommerce by 2020. However, B2B experiences still have a long way to go. Businesses want customer-centric, omnichannel, personalized experiences. Realizing the growing need for robust B2B eCommerce platforms, software vendors have revamped their solutions to support complex ordering processes, various payment methods and multiple decisions makers. 

As buyers increasingly turn to the internet to seek out products, manufacturers without eCommerce solutions will fall further behind the competition. An online store is the best method to get the word out about your goods and attract business. Your buyers don’t just want a quality product; they want the convenient shopping experience that only a sophisticated eCommerce platform can provide.

Essential eCommerce Functions

Now that you know why eCommerce is vital for manufacturing success, it’s time to dig into the crucial functionality that will take your buyers all the way to the checkout page:

Pricing Models

B2B and B2C processes differ. Your eCommerce solution must go beyond credit cards and PayPal to support a variety of payment methods and pricing models needed to facilitate B2B transactions. Magento is one such solution, supporting quantity and tier-based pricing, customer group pricing, contract customer-specific pricing and more. Magento also enables users to assign customer catalogs and price lists to companies and respond to quotes quickly through a streamlined workflow.

Search Features

Nobody enjoys entering search query after search query without yielding the desired results. That’s why it’s critical to go beyond basic on-site search functionality. For example, you can enable visitors to drill down in the search menu to find merchandise that fits their specifications, such as price and size. Additionally, an adaptive on-site search feature will automatically promote the best performing product to the top of search results. You can also implement enhanced autocomplete, which goes beyond basic suggestions to allow site managers to push certain products to the top of autocomplete suggestions.

Product Information

Once visitors find products, ensure they have all the details they need to make a purchase. That entails going beyond the price and basic description. With Magento, you can easily customize attractive out-of-the-box templates to show your products in their best light. Utilize images and videos to display your merchandise from every angle and demonstrate how it works. Descriptions should concisely convey your product’s functions and features while utilizing keywords that improve search engine optimization (SEO), helping your product appear high on Google searches.

Integration

Manufacturers must cut back on wasted time and maximize their resources to get ahead of the competition. One of the best methods of getting the most value from your tools is to integrate your software instances into a single source of truth. This is especially true for manufacturers running their eCommerce and ERP systems separately. An ERP-eCommerce integration seamlessly submits orders from your online store to your back-office system, ensuring quick, accurate order fulfillment. Your eCommerce site can also access inventory data to show when products are out of stock. By integrating ERP and eCommerce software, your business accelerates processes and reduces errors to improve customer satisfaction.

Wrap Up

With eCommerce, manufacturers hold more power than ever before. An effective eCommerce strategy and solution can deliver optimal customer experiences and increase brand awareness to make your manufacturing business a major player in your industry. One of the best eCommerce vendors for manufacturing is Magento. Magento offers the world’s most flexible eCommerce platform to support both B2B and B2C processes. Its solutions are designed to cover an array of business needs, from SMBs to large enterprises, with both endlessly customizable features and out-of-the-box tools.

Datix is a Magento expert, making us the go-to source for delivering eCommerce implementations from start to finish. In addition, we created Unity, our integration solution designed to make it easier than ever to form a connected enterprise. Our pre-built Unity application integrates Magento and Epicor ERP to streamline processes, mitigate risk and power transparency.

Ready to take your manufacturing business to the next level? Get in touch with Datix’s expert consultants today!

CONTACT AN EXPERT AT DATIX TODAY!

Tags: b2b, Customer centric, magento, manufacturing software, ecommerce, magento and manufacturing, omnichannel

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