Recent Posts



Which 3 Big Industrial Supplier Problems eCommerce Solves

Question: Are You Facing Any Of These 3 Problems?

1. Drive incremental revenue gains despite customers increasingly researching online, expecting to quickly find and purchase what they want, often without talking to your sales team!

2. Reduce the cost of serving customers despite customers demanding online self-service in addition to the telephone service you already offer!

3. Increase customer loyalty despite the fact that switching to a competitor can be just a click away!

Answer: eCommerce Can Solve All 3 and Here’s How:

1. Drive incremental revenue gains. At about $900 Billion in 2017, US B2B eCommerce is continuing to grow fast. Already it dwarfs B2C eCommerce yet it only accounts for a small percentage of total B2B sales so there’s plenty of room for further growth! Forrester forecasts $1.2 trillion in annual US B2B eCommerce by 2021 (CAGR of 7.4%). Customers and prospects increasingly research products online (Forrester estimates that “the percentage of B2B buyers who research their purchases online will rise from 38% to 55% over the next four years”If you want to be in consideration with these buyers you need to be found online. But that alone is insufficient. The buyers’ experience you offer must be excellent across any and all channels your customers choose to use. In terms of specific industry growth, Forrester also found that, durable goods will be the fastest-growing segment, which includes motor vehicle/motor vehicle parts and supplies; electrical/electronic goods; and machinery, equipment, and supplies.

2. Reduce the cost of serving customers. As the research covered in this blog post, B2B eCommerce – 5 Disruptions So Far, 5 More Coming In 2018 shows, most B2B industrial suppliers know they need to expand their eCommerce business. Some 2018 research even shows manufacturers are investing more in eCommerce! There’s a broad spectrum on eCommerce adoption and success. For example, some already have more than 50% of their revenue from eCommerce, some don’t yet know where to start, some have started but aren’t sure how to move to the next level If you are in either latter category see Online Industrial Marketing – You No Longer Have a Choice! Wherever you are today, your customers likely want the choice of using your services or helping themselves. If you must offer both then make as much as possible by self service and thereby decrease the cost of serving customers. Need to configure a product, help yourself. Need to check your personalized price, help yourself. Want to know stock availability, help yourself. Want a product 3D CAD model to include in your CAD design, help yourself. Need a 2D drawing to include in your project spec, help yourself. Want to track an order, help yourself. Have a question, call or chat online. Easy and intuitive self service, should at scale reduce the cost of serving customers!

3. Increase customer loyalty. Competitors in complementary spaces are adding new product lines and entering adjacent businesses. Amazon is also a looming threat from a sales and a fulfillment point of view. Customer expectations keep rising as each successful innovation raises the ‘customer experience’ bar. That bar will keep going up as industrial competitors offer more and more interactive (think configurators) and personalized (think pricing, order tracking, order repeating) experiences online. Customer defection is easier than it’s ever been – it can be just a click away! Which is why you need to provide the experience and content (for example CAD models) that saves your customers time/cost and so earns their continued loyalty.Grainger Product Page


Whether you agree or disagree that B2B eCommerce can help solve these problems for you, or a bit of both, please join the discussion by sharing your thoughts as comments below. As always, if you’d like our opinion on your industrial eCommerce, website, Catalog, Configurators or CAD call us or click either button below:


Posted in