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The Rise of E-commerce for Manufacturing

Key Drivers of the Rise of E-commerce for Manufacturing

B2B selling has changed significantly over the last 5 years. The pandemic changed B2B buying behavior, with a big shift towards e-commerce. The preference for online and omnichannel purchasing has continued to grow. B2B customers now regularly use 10 or more channels to engage with suppliers, up from five in 2016, according to a McKinsey & Company B2B sales study. B2B customers are also making higher-value online transactions with a recent survey showing that 71% of B2B buyers are willing to spend more than $50,000 in a single transaction using a remote or self-service model, and 27% would spend $500,000 or more.

As more and more manufacturers understand the benefits of digital transformation, the integration of e-commerce forms an important part of a digital transformation strategy. Customer preference combined with numerous business benefits means that manufacturers are increasingly realizing the value of an e-commerce sales channel.

How do Manufacturers Benefit from E-commerce?

Streamlined Product Configuration

The sales process for custom products is streamlined with an online product configurator. By enabling customers to visualize and customize products to their exact specifications, manufacturers can appeal to a wider audience and upsell premium features or configurations. This can increase sales volume and average sales values.

Ability to Offer a Complete Product Range

E-commerce makes it easier for manufacturers to offer their complete product range for sale to B2B buyers. Selling complex custom products offline requires large product catalogs and assumes sales teams have a detailed knowledge of all possible configuration options. An online sales platform enables manufacturers to present complete product inventories and custom options and be able to quickly update and amend different options.

Attract New Customers

E-commerce provides access to new customers and new markets without the need to open new physical sales outlets. An online sales channel enables manufacturers to sell to a wider audience than traditional offline sales channels. Customers can access your products at any time from anywhere without the need to leave their office or home.

Reduced Costs

Operational costs associated with e-commerce sales are lower than offline sales. E-commerce sales involve lower levels of sales team interaction and therefore lower staffing costs. Putting all product information online and automating ordering processes means that overall business costs and errors are also reduced.

Improve Customer Satisfaction

The online B2B buying journey is associated with an improved customer experience and enhanced customer satisfaction. Online 3D product configurators make it easier to communicate complex custom designs to customers, enabling a clearer understanding of the finished product and reducing misinterpretations. A convenient and user-friendly online buying process delivers improved customer satisfaction rates and an increased likelihood of future repeat sales.

Improved Customer Analytics

An e-commerce sales platform enables manufacturers to collect extensive customer data and provides detailed insights into buying behavior, product preference, customer trends etc. These analytics can be used to inform future product development and sales and pricing strategies. They can also help with forecasting future product trends and provide data to inform cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

CPQ for B2B E-commerce

CPQ solutions enhance e-commerce for manufacturers by streamlining the process for configuring, pricing and quoting custom products.

With a CPQ solution, online buyers can quickly and easily configure complex products using a 3D configurator. This enables them to see a real-time 3D visual representation of their customized product, removing the chance of misinterpretation and improving the customer sales experience. With in-built rules working behind the scenes, the configurator automatically checks for compatibility, adjusting options and pricing to a set of pre-determined rules. It ensures the final configuration is feasible for production.

DriveWorks CPQ for Manufacturing also automatically creates order-specific manufacturing data and documents, such as 3D drawings, BOMs and specifications, further reducing error rates and ensuring accuracy in production.

How DriveWorks CPQ Makes a Difference For Businesses of All Sizes, Across All Industries, All Over the World

DriveWorks CPQ for Manufacturing enables businesses to build and manage their own custom configure, price, and quote solution that automatically generates documents and data to sell and manufacture custom products.