What Manufacturers Should Look for When Choosing an eCommerce Platform

There are many reasons manufacturers come to Echidna looking to add or update their eCommerce capability. From limiting technology, product complexities, improving customer experience, or freeing up internal resources - the list can go on. No matter what the reason your organization is looking to implement eCommerce technology, choosing a platform built for the complexity and challenges unique to manufacturers is imperative for the ability to scale and find new opportunities. 

With so many B2B eCommerce platforms on the market today it can be difficult to decide which option is best for the growth of your company. Echidna works with manufacturers to help them create a clear strategy and scope with prioritized requirements to help guide them to choosing the right eCommerce platform for their specific business needs. Here are several important factors to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform.

1. Integration with other systems

In today’s data-driven age, having a single view of customer data in real-time and the ability to seamlessly work between tools can be a huge competitive advantage. In order to access these benefits make sure you have a synchronous integration strategy to systems like ERP, PIM, CRM, and payment gateways. For example, Echidna worked with our client, Jessup Manufacturing, to unify all their digital tools which allowed them to turn their new B2B eCommerce platform into a cornerstone of their business.  

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2. Business user experience

The easier your eCommerce technology is for your business users, the more you will be able to get out of it. Some of these roles include the sales reps who need to be willing to onboard customers, customer service agents managing requests, and the marketing team is able to swiftly update content. Make sure every business user that is involved in the buying cycle is considered and has strong buy-in. 

3. Unique B2B Complexities

Many platforms on the market were originally designed for B2C. You will want to make sure you choose a platform that addresses the specific needs of your B2B business with out-of-the-box features and the ability to customize easily. A short-list of these features and functions include:

One unique feature uncovered while exploring customer journeys for our client, Construction Specialties, was the ability to allow customers to easily specify product attributes and measurements required and receive the pricing and discounting details needed to inform buying decisions. This feature creates a seamless and expedited shopping experience, which helps them onboard more customers to their eCommerce site. Last year they achieve a 150% increase in unique purchases.

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Choose the Right B2B eCommerce Partner

Your B2B eCommerce platform will ultimately support the entire ecosystem of your organization. Being able to understand where the technology can provide value specific to your business is important to understand before moving forward. The right B2B eCommerce implementation partner will have a strong understanding of how to guide you to meet your unique needs, how to engage internally, and have demonstrated success.

Echidna has proven experience working with our manufacturing clients to achieve success in eCommerce. We believe having the right foundation of eCommerce technology is key to the success of the entire commerce environment and having a clear understanding of these three factors is one way to move closer to selecting the right solution.

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