Is your manufacturing company looking for ways to increase revenue and decrease expenses? We all buy a LOT of stuff on Amazon and other online platforms, so we’re used to and expect this type of simple online ordering. That’s why one of the places manufacturers are looking at leveraging is e-commerce. One of the top areas I’ve been asked to speak about on webinars, podcasts, and videos is digital sales strategies. And e-commerce is a big part of what I speak on.
The article below will help you understand:
- Why manufacturers should consider selling some of their products online (even if they work with distributors);
- How to set up an e-commerce store with WordPress; and
- How to set up an e-commerce store with Shopify.
The point of the article below is to spark ideas on ways you could see if e-commerce will work for your company. I don’t promote this publicly, but I sell the entire training where I show exactly how to set up a WordPress and Shopify store. So shoot me a message if you’re interested, but until then, read on for a better understanding.
Why Consider an E-Commerce Platform?
Most manufacturers work with distributors, so it may not seem to make sense to use or create an e-commerce platform, but avoiding this area may allow your company to miss out. It is also likely you already have an entire network in place to work with distributors, but customers want access 24/7 to the products they need or want. When working with an e-commerce platform, customers have access anytime and can get your products sooner rather than later.
E-commerce is also a way to stand out from your competitors. We all want to stand out in positive ways, and e-commerce may be the edge you want to consider. Technology has created changes in how we buy and sell. In years past, personal one-on-one sales, trade shows, and personal selling tactics were the norm, but these options are becoming much less viable and competitive. E-commerce allows you to disrupt the market, connect with more customers, and attract potential new customers.
Keep in mind that when websites first became important, it was just a brief introduction to the company and a way to put a face and basic information in the forefront, but this has changed. More often than not, people are adding videos, tutorials, and content to showcase your company as an industry leader. The more a company can show itself an industry leader, the more likely customers are to choose that company. Therefore, blogs, tutorials, FAQs, social media, safety videos, and massive amounts of content are becoming necessary, no longer an option.
Another positive of e-commerce is diversification. We cannot always be face to face with every customer or potential customer, but e-commerce makes products available with a click of a button. This does not mean that every product must be available on every platform. Try putting your top twenty products on e-commerce sites or choose an e-commerce platform that appeals to a certain segment of your customers and put the products they most often use on that platform.
Many companies work with a single, big channel partner, which is usually great for business, but what happens if this partner suddenly disappears? E-commerce offers an alternative if the worst happens and a major distributor disappears. Consider an e-commerce store before the worst happens. This will allow you to diversify slowly and build as you prepare for whatever the future may hold. In the past, you had no choice but to use distributors, but the internet has leveled the playing field so you can go direct to customers online.
Where to Start
Before you throw up your hands and get overwhelmed, it may be easier to get started than you think. Consider creating a unique, white-labeled e-commerce store for your top few partners or all if you only have a few. Each store could be branded toward the product. The other option is to create specific pages on your website that are branded toward a top-selling product or products. There are options. Whether you have considered any of these options or not, competitors have, and it is time to move into the future of sales. Contact me for further information or help getting started.