Five Reasons Why Manufacturers Should Leverage B2B Commerce

Five Reasons Why Manufacturers Should Leverage B2B Commerce

The manufacturing sector is going through a digital revolution, which is being fueled by new technology developments and by a radical shift in customer expectations. B2B buyers nowadays are wary of dealing with clumsy, out-of-date websites, waiting days for a quote, or exchanging many emails with a sales representative. 

According to data gathered in the Salesforce State of Commerce‘22, 91% of B2B buyers say that a company's shopping experience is as important as its product or service. To meet customer expectations, B2B sellers need to create a more satisfying transaction experience. 

Companies are quickly diversifying into new sales channels as digital impact grows. While 31% of business sellers claim that more than half of all income is now generated through online channels, 57% of digital leaders predict that during the next two years, more than half of all revenue will be generated through digital channels

Manufacturers are aware that they must change as consumers seek simple, self-service purchasing experiences. In fact, The Manufacturer’s Guide to Digital B2B Commerce Salesforce states that over the next four years, businesses will spend over $2.4 billion on  B2B Commerce platforms.


Manufacturers are still behind in the digital evolution

According to a McKinsey report, companies in the media industry are digitally mature at 70%, whereas the number in the manufacturing industry is significantly lower, as it lies between 30% and 33%. Given this disparity, manufacturing companies still have a lot of room for improvement. If they decide to keep following a 'traditional' approach, they are facing challenges that will keep them behind in the competitive landscape. 

Some of the obstacles that manufacturing businesses are facing without digital transformation include: 

  • The inability to react rapidly to market changes 

  • Decreased client acquisition and retention

  • High overhead expenses

Manufacturers can tackle these challenges and differentiate themselves from their competitors by utilising the latest technologies and making the appropriate digital changes but also by leveraging the immense data and analytics that can be accessed through the internet to take meaningful strides to streamline operations. 

However, as we all learned in recent years, it’s not just a matter of staying ahead. Making sure your business can operate online became a matter of survival. The Trends in Manufacturing sector leave no doubts - manufacturers have realised that the effects of the pandemic are here to stay (Salesforce).

Companies within the industry have to navigate tumultuous, unfamiliar waters while increasing customer and channel openness. Going multichannel is an important part of digitisation. No matter what industry or what model your organisation is, it’s crucial to consider going multichannel, and that’s exactly what manufacturers plan to do. 

The Manufacturing & E-Commerce Benchmark Report shows that a promising 98% of manufacturers have, are, or are planning to implement an e-Commerce strategy. This is certainly a step in the right direction to close the digital transformation gap between the sectors. And what exactly motivates manufacturers to take this step? 

Five reasons your company should consider digital B2B Commerce 

1. Selling online 

This may be the most obvious benefit but certainly a crucial one. As a manufacturer, you may have thousands of products in your offering, and only a small percentage of these products are purchased by the average customer.

Having a B2B online store in your sales channels allows you to inform your customers about your entire inventory. Quick searches, product filters, and suggestions will guide customers through the entire product inventory. Customers can now learn about new and expanded products, as well as alternative options.

2. Reaching new target audience

Search engines like Google play a big part in how potential customers find you. During the B2B purchasing process, nearly half of the customers use the internet to find information, solutions, and suppliers.

As a result, having a strong online presence that is search engine optimised is critical to reaching new prospects and staying ahead of the competition. The valuable information you provide online can then be linked to by Google and other search engines.

3. Personalisation of your product catalogue 

Prices for the products from your catalogue may differ depending on the customer, segment, or other factors. As a result, you may be hesitant to share pricing information online. Moreover, personalising your catalogue with product recommendations based on your customers' needs can also be challenging to do.

A B2B e-Commerce store allows for both price and product personalisation by connecting your assortment to a personalised account. This way, you can increase conversions through cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, which is especially beneficial if you have an extensive product catalogue.

4. Better visibility for spare parts 

Spare parts are frequently in high demand in the manufacturing industry. You can match these spare parts with the more complex products that customers have purchased using an ERP-integrated (Enterprise Resource Planning) eCommerce platform. 

This facilitates and expedites cross-selling and up-selling. As a result, customers can save time looking for connecting parts. This use of e-Commerce in manufacturing improves both service and efficiency.

5. Online configurations of your products 

In your e-Commerce platform, your customers can mix and match products that differ in shape, size, and colour. This means that your customers can tailor products to their specific needs without the assistance of your sales or support teams. This saves time and effort for both your customers and your company (Report on Benefits of E-Commerce for the Manufacturing Industry).

Picture 3


We know why, but do we know how?

As new, more efficient competitors with comparable products enter the market, one of the most significant opportunities is to capitalise on emerging technologies. Manufacturers and distributors need to take steps to ensure they are digital-first in everything they do. However, without the proper procedures or instruments, responding to quickly changing circumstances, going digital can be very exigent.

To do this effectively, it is essential that you have the right tools and a clear understanding of the extent to which you are using them to reach your business objectives. New insights based on data analysis, coupled with the ability to act on them, will enable you to tackle complex challenges and drive toward innovation and success. 

One of the solutions available on the market that offers such assistance is Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud. B2B Commerce Cloud makes online shopping easier by enabling quick reorders, contract pricing, personalised catalogues, and more. Additionally, it equips sales teams with automated procedures and 360-degree customer perspectives for wise decision-making. If you’d like to know more about this solution, have a look at this article.

Our experts are here to help 

However, it’s important to remember that implementing digital solutions comes with a steep learning curve for any organisation, and it requires top technical expertise from all employees, from executives to sales and marketing. 

Reach out to us to know how your company can leverage a B2B Commerce platform today!

Wiktoria Kaglik, Copywriter @Waeg, an IBM Company



TheChannel is all about where the waves take us. Going from ideas to results, experience to knowledge, expertise to success and practice to perfection. We invite you to join the Waeg world.