If we’re taking an honest lay of the land, it’s only right to spend a good bit of time in the realm of eCommerce. While online sales offerings have been wrapped into the digital presence of most B2C businesses within the last decade or so, unexpected changes to the market over the last few years put B2B manufacturers behind the proverbial 8 ball.
With traditional sales channels put at risk by the COVID-19 pandemic, the next most viable option was to accommodate “consumerized” buyers by expanding eCommerce offerings and architecting a self-guided, configurable space. There, we at Logik.io started to ask questions.
Most specifically, we wanted to know exactly how the manufacturing sphere was maturing to meet a new age of buyers, and if there was anything we could do to help.
So, we commissioned Sinclair Customer Metrics to help us get a better understanding of exactly what we have to work with at present. Sinclair researchers independently surveyed a total of 250 B2B manufacturers with online presences to see how well they architected their eCommerce experience, noting ease of navigation, pricing transparency, range of configuration options and overall customer experience.
What we got back was a statistical treasure trove, with buyer preferences captured and quantified in entirely new ways.
Our full report and analysis, The State of B2B eCommerce for Manufacturers, is free to download at any time at https://learn.logik.io/state-of-b2b-ecommerce.
From this comprehensive data, we were able to distill three key takeaways:
-First, there is still some significant ground to cover between consumer expectations and current market offerings. The status quo simply won’t cut it for businesses looking to survive the shift.
-Second, we’re realizing just how green manufacturers are when it comes to eCommerce. The majority of surveyed businesses are still incredibly early on in their digital sales lifecycle, accounting for the gaps noted in point one.
-But the third – and arguably most interesting – takeaway is that there is a small group of B2B manufacturers currently knocking it out of the park. After all was said and done with the survey, five businesses rose to the top of our rankings, serving as living proofs of concept for the market at large.
We’re going to take some time with each of those 5 businesses, as we present:
Logik.io’s B2B Manufacturing Highlight Roster
Overall Score: 91.9%
Starting off our list on a high note, Formlabs provided a series of highly desired touchpoints throughout their eCommerce experience. Our researcher reported a “Very Easy” to use configurator with clear pricing information and the capacity to submit final orders directly back to Formlabs.
Manufacturing assorted 3D printers, Formlabs also incorporates guided selling software that helped parse through the overall catalog, with our buyer stating “I felt like even without previous knowledge of this company’s products, the catalog allowed me to find the product I was looking for.”
This places Formlabs in the top 12.6% of all surveyed B2B manufacturers, as the majority of these businesses have yet to implement guided selling as of the time of our report.
Not only were the target products easily identifiable, the website offered up-sells, add-ons, and the like in accordance with the chosen printer. Here, our surveyor reported being “Very Satisfied” with the website purchase attempt, adding that the overall process was “slightly easier than shopping on a consumer eCommerce website.”
#4: Magna Power
Overall Score: 91.9%
Continuing our roster, Magna Power rose to the top 5 thanks to a strong configuration interface and logically-designed product funnel. An electronic manufacturer producing products like programmable DC power supplies, Magna Power has a variety of options that can be recommended to buyers based on their final needs.
Our site surveyor reported that it was “Very Easy” to create a custom configuration, complete with input-triggered recommendations for up-sells, add-ons, cross-sells, etc.
Even with the amount of configuration options available, the researcher marked that “I felt like even without previous knowledge of this company’s products, the catalog allowed me to find the product I was looking for.”
Looking at the overall survey responses, 74.5% of participants reported feeling like they needed prior product knowledge to successfully navigate the website, putting Magna Power in the top quarter of websites for ease of product selection.
In conclusion, our Sinclair liaison noted that the holistic experience was “slightly easier than shopping on a consumer eCommerce website,” solidifying Magna Power’s reputation.
#3: Woodland Direct
Overall Score: 91.9%
Exactly matching Magna Power’s overall score, Woodland Direct comes in next on our list at spot #4, bringing with it a strong guided selling setup. An outdoor furniture manufacturer specializing in fire pits, barbecues and the like, Woodland Direct facilitates custom interior – or, in this case, exterior – design experiences through their website.
The researcher tasked with navigating the Woodland Direct site reported it was “Very Easy” to construct their configuration, but did not note any upsells, add-ons, or the like as part of the flow.
They still reported being “Very Satisfied” with the ordering experience as a whole, reflected in an aggregate order satisfaction score of 93.8%.
Guided selling tactics helped narrow down the product catalog, with this surveyor also attesting “I felt like even without previous knowledge of this company’s products, the catalog allowed me to find the product I was looking for.”
At the end of the survey, the participant ranked the manufacturing eCommerce experience as “the same or as easy as shopping on a consumer eCommerce website,” solidifying Woodland Direct as a success story for the omnichannel experience.
Overall Score: 94.6%
Sailing smoothly into second place, Hanna Instruments leverages dynamic price updates through its custom configurator to break ahead of the pack. Specializing in food- and wine-grade implements and hydroponic systems, Hanna has a dense inventory that is still easy to navigate without prior catalog exposure.
The in-site configurator was marked as “Very Easy” to use, and reflected real-time updates to the price in accordance with configuration specs.
In total, only 19.4% of all surveyed websites had a similar configurator available to use, and of those, 47.9% did not have the capacity to reflect price adjustments. Hanna stands amongst the remaining 52.1% that do provide such a desired feature.
With a fully functional configurator, and properly implemented guided selling, our researcher ranked Hanna as the only top 5 site whose experience was “much easier than shopping on a consumer eCommerce website.”
Overall Score: 97.3%
With an almost perfect holistic score, Lenovo stands at the top of our 250-party data set – a case study in successfully implementing B2B eCommerce. A technology manufacturer producing smart devices, phones, PCs and more, Lenovo is the only business in our top 5 to have received a 100% satisfaction rating for Ordering Experience.
Averaged with a 95.2% Overall Experience rating to yield the ending 97.3% of acclaim, that perfect score cemented Lenovo’s renown.
Every marker our survey was looking for could be found in Lenovo’s architecture – guided selling, add-ons, upsells, low-touch navigation, dynamic pricing, and more – and enhanced the buyer experience along the way.
It was “Very Easy” to both configure and order products, and our researcher was “Very Satisfied” with the routes followed to each end.
There was nothing about the environment that our surveyor found notably challenging, and a standard consumer eCommerce site could not provide a better experience – placing a custom order via the Lenovo site technically ranks “slightly easier than shopping on a consumer eCommerce website.”
It may take effort to set up, and there may be an adjustment period that follows, but businesses like these 5 are living, breathing proof that eCommerce for B2B manufacturers can be the golden ticket to a new era of sales.
To see how Logik.io Commerce Engine is helping B2B manufacturers navigate this new normal and come out on top, visit https://www.logik.io/ecommerce.