First the good news – 76 percent of small and medium sized manufacturers and industrial companies reported that their websites made a contribution to their growth during the second half of 2010.
Nearly 9 out of 10 “Outperformers” credited their websites for helping them increase revenues, open new sources of business, compete more aggressively in core markets and serve customers better or more efficiently.
Even among the “Optimists,” 54% reported that their website opened up new sources of business, 44% stated it helped them serve customers better and 33% reported it contributed to new revenue growth.
Outperformers are defined as manufacturers, custom manufacturers and wholesalers/distributors that experienced growth in the last half of 2010 and expect further growth by June 2011.
Optimists are companies from the industrial sector that expect growth to happen by June 2011 even if their sales were flat or declined in the last half of 2010.
Those are some of the findings from ThomasNet’s Industry Market Barometer™ (IMB) which is a semi-annual survey of buyers and sellers of industrial products and services.
There were a total of 3,370 survey respondents from North America, primarily the US. The overwhelming majority represented small and mid-size businesses (SMBs), over 61 percent of the companies have less than 50 employees and more than half (54 percent) reported revenues of under $3 million. That is a typical makeup of companies in the industrial/manufacturing segment.
Survey respondents were engineers and purchasing agents, business owners and managers, and sales and marketing executives from manufacturers, distributors and service companies. This is also a close representation of buyer personas at these companies.
Now the bad news – there is a disconnect between what buyers/specifiers want from a supplier’s website and what they are getting. Keep in mind these are the same industrial companies from the survey that credited their own sites for generating growth.
Here a picture is worth a thousand words! See chart below.
I have written about some of these website issues in the past. Look for my earlier blog posts under Industrial Websites if you want to dive a little deeper into these issues and pick up some free tips.
Or download our free web design guide if you are in the process of redesigning your industrial website.