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This article was provided by eCom News.
Currently, only 10 percent of manufacturer revenue comes from digital sales. While a large majority knows the importance of digitalization, challenges to implement digital sales channels hold them back to implement a complete ecommerce strategy in their business.
Intershop released a survey report with more than 50 B2B manufacturers with a turnover of at least 250 million euros. At least 83 percent of them will increase their digitalization budget up to 20 percent this year. They understand that digitalization is important to expand and tap into new revenue streams (41 percent).
Most revenue comes from direct sales
However, most revenue is currently coming from direct sales and sales reps (54 percent) and distributors (26 percent). Only 8 percent are using ecommerce platforms, while 2 percent use Electronic Data Interchange to generate revenue.
‘B2B customers prefer digital interactions with manufacturers.’
According to research, B2B customers prefer digital interactions with manufacturers, self-service and making online purchases for big transactions and complex products. Selling more complex products online this way, will open up opportunities to increase customer lifetime value in aftermarket sales.
Yet, according to the report, many department heads in B2B companies (34 percent) do not support implementing ecommerce solutions because they don’t understand the value it creates. This means that resources and capital are allocated elsewhere.
‘For 30% of manufacturers, channel conflicts hold them back from fully implementing ecommerce solutions.’
In addition to the lack of c-level support, other challenges that hold manufacturers back to implement an ecommerce solution are channel conflicts (30 percent) and a lack of regional market knowledge (38 percent).
Channel conflicts arise when partners or distributors are alienated by ecommerce solutions. However, if they are integrated into the software, these conflicts can be easily dissolved. To create more regional market knowledge, manufacturers could develop buyer personas based on the demographics of a specific region.
Software for manufacturers
Ecommerce software for manufacturers should go beyond a functional online store, according to Intershop. It should involve mobile touchpoints, integrations with marketplaces, reseller and distributor management and an omnichannel customer experience with self-services.
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