Industrial manufacturing companies, like many in the B2B sector, have been late adopters of eCommerce, relying on tried-and-true relationship selling strategies. While relationships will remain important, things have changed as the industry embraces digital channels to meet changing customer expectations.
According to DigitalCommerce360, “Last year, U.S. manufacturer digital sales that took place on ecommerce sites, log-in portals and marketplaces grew at a record pace. In 2019, U.S. manufacturer B2B ecommerce sales grew by nearly 21% to $430.0 billion. That growth rate is nearly 20 times faster than the growth in total U.S. manufacturing sales.”
It’s clear this channel demands attention. A report like the one above can stoke fear in the hearts of those who still count themselves among the ranks of eCommerce late adopters. That’s why we partnered with SAP, a fellow thought leader in B2B eCommerce, for a virtual event (NOW AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND) specifically tailored for industrial manufacturers, regardless of their current eCommerce maturity. In a tangled web full of business, data, channel and product complexities that make an exceptional online customer experience and market-aligned pricing difficult to achieve, strategic partnerships with eCommerce leaders are a must.
Zilliant SVP of Products & Science Pete Eppele highlighted a necessary mix of strategies and tactics for making the leap from “we have a customer portal” to “we are a fully operational, rationally priced, online shopping destination for our industry.” The first step in this evolution is dealing with the inherent challenges faced by manufacturers when it comes to determining and consistently managing eCommerce pricing. After addressing those hurdles, Eppele shifted to strategic solutions.
Integrate elasticity-based price optimization that ensures omnichannel price consistency that achieves revenue and margin targets.
Focus on the omnichannel customer experience. Give in-context information to sellers and drive parity between channels.
Capture and capitalize on digital and eCommerce-specific data, an untapped gold mine, to set dynamic, online-specific pricing.
Differentiate pricing for existing customers and first-time visitors to the site at the product category or SKU level.
These are the pillars, the must-haves, of any fruitful effort to reach eCommerce excellence. Eppele then dug a little deeper to introduce in detail the important tactical initiatives that serious online competitors deploy.
Point APIs at the ERP system to pull data out that generates the right product and pricing guidance at the right time while syncing that guidance across channels with dynamic updates.
Set eCommerce-specific discounts that can be personalized or targeted to customer segments and product groups.
Use tools that efficiently analyze pageviews, conversions, cart abandonment data and inventory availability to set multiple discounting strategies online.
Offer customer-specific agreement prices and dynamically tiered pricing for quantity breaks.
The webinar closes with a live demonstration of how SAP Commerce Cloud and Zilliant pricing solutions bring this all to life. The demo is led by Zilliant Product Experience Manager Samantha Leung and SAP Solution Engineer Edward Shannon.