B2C companies seem to have kept up with customer demands for digitisation of products and sales. Customers love the convenience of shopping online and through multiple digital channels and B2C owners have taken note.
However, B2B firms like manufacturers are lagging behind. Many manufacturers see their company as a “behind the scenes” component since they are not selling directly to the end consumer. However, thinking in this manner is not necessary helpful or productive. In this article, we look at how you can make sure your manufacturing business capitalises on the consumer demand for digitisation.
Online presence and content
For those of you who think eCommerce is only relevant for retailers who sell directly to consumers, think again! As a manufacturer, you are selling product that will ultimately land in the hands of a consumer. While it might pass through a few steps in the distribution chain, it will end up in the consumer’s hand eventually.
Consumers are increasingly beginning their search for products online, so in order to settle on a particular product from a particular brand, they need to be able to see it. This means manufacturers need to ensure their provide retailers with good quality photos, and accurate and informative product specifications to go with them.
If your retailers can’t show their customers quality product photos and provide the right information about the goods you sell them, why would they partner with you?
A good place to start is by creating your own website or a B2B eCommerce store so that your buyers can see your products and increase the likelihood of a sale.
Digitising your catalogue
If your manufacturing business usually uses physical catalogues to present your products to retailers, it may be time to digitise these. Just like having a website, digitising your product catalogues gives retailers easier access to the goods you are selling, and will also make selling easier for your sales team.
For example, rather than having your sales rep pull out a giant print catalogue to show potential buyers, they can just take a small tablet to the meeting instead. It looks more professional, less clumsy, and all in all makes sense!
Creating a website is a great way to build brand awareness and get your company name out there. More exposure means more chances for new retail customers, and that means more revenue. Another great way to boost your online presence is by creating social media business pages.
People tend to research companies through websites and increasingly through social media sites like Facebook, so manufacturers should take advantage of this trend. Create a simple and informative business page for your company to help gain access to new audiences and markets to drive demand.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.