I am seeing more and more manufacturers and industrial distributors using e-commerce as a sales channel for growth. The adoption rate has been much slower as compared to the online retail industry but B2B marketers are catching on fast.
According to a survey conducted in 2011 by BtoB and Rainmarker Systems, while only 35% of B2B marketers are involved with selling directly online, 58% of those companies have an increasing commitment to the channel.
Manufacturers have used e-commerce to sell components, spare parts and off the shelf industrial products for a long time. However, I have noticed a growing trend among industrial companies using e-commerce as their primary sales channel.
Industrial sales are different from online consumer retailing and so the e-commerce experience has to be different too. Manufacturers and industrial companies need to be mindful of differences such as:
Let’s look at some examples and let me start with a few 800-pound gorillas in their respective industries.
Here are two examples of two mid-sized industrial companies that use e-commerce.
Some manufacturers have reservations about adopting e-commerce in their sales process. My social media friend Tom Lee, Jr., Principal at Great Northern Products (www.gnpinc.com) that distributes specialty, industrial products for Process Safety Management and Mechanical Infrastructure Integrity protection, advises manufacturers to understand that:
Let me wrap up this post with another example:
Is e-commerce a part of your industrial sales? If not, what is stopping you or your company?
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Industrial Marketing Today is an integral part of Tiecas, Inc., a Houston-based industrial marketing agency. We’ve been in business since 1987, serving the marketing needs of manufacturers, distributors, and engineering companies from various industries.