Differences Between Conventional eCommerce and Manufacturing and Distributing eCommerce
How manufacturing and distribution eCommerce differs from traditional eCommerce
Some people like to say all eCommerce is the same; it is just buying and selling online. Those people would be wrong. Just like there are many different types of businesses, there are different types of eCommerce businesses. Whether you sell direct to consumers, run a multi-tenant site, manufacture, or distribute, your business has its own unique set of needs. Today we are going to be looking at how manufacturing and distributing eCommerce businesses and platforms contrast from traditional eCommerce.
When we say “traditional” eCommerce, we are referring to cookie cutter b2c eCommerce operations and platforms. Business to consumer companies were the first to begin selling online to consumers and became the mold for the various other types of businesses adopting online selling as a sales channel.
Some eCommerce platforms are specially developed for manufacturers and distributors. These platforms take into consideration the specific needs that go along with manufacturing and distributing and are geared towards making business processes quicker and employees’ jobs easier.
eCommerce platforms designed for manufacturing and distributing have more focused customization options than traditional eCommerce platforms. Since those platforms are designed with specific purposes in mind, developers are better able to build and customize eCommerce platforms to suit manufacturers and distributors. Some of the various customization capabilities available include customer specific pricing options, automated shipping estimates abilities, and displaying detailed inventory data and lead times.
Marketing and SEO
While marketing, search engine optimization, and social media are useful for both traditional eCommerce and manufacturing and distributing eCommerce, the ways to reach potential customers and methods for handling each is done very differently. While marketers for b2c eCommerce focus on appealing to a customer’s emotions, manufacturers and distributors market using cold hard facts. Social media, especially, is usually more important and beneficial for traditional eCommerce that sells directly to consumers than b2b businesses like manufacturers and distributors.
BI and Reporting
A key feature that is important to manufacturing and distributing eCommerce is having an eCommerce platform that has built in business intelligence (BI) and reporting or is integrated with an ERP system that has it. Business intelligence tools help manufacturers handle the large amounts of data they collect daily from distributors, suppliers, and customers. BI also enables manufacturers and distributors to better manage and reduce their costs while increasing their profit.
While both traditional eCommerce platforms and platforms designed for manufacturers and distributors have integration abilities, the latter are developed to seamless integrate with systems that are especially useful for manufacturing and distributing. Inventory systems and third party shipping providers can all be easily integrated with manufacturing eCommerce platforms, along with ERP and CRM systems. Integrations between your business systems and eCommerce platform allow manufacturers and distributors to view and display real time inventory information and count to their employees and customers. It also allows your business intelligence tools to provide you with more accurate reports, information, analysis and predictions.
Clarity Can Help
If you are a manufacturer or distributor looking for a custom eCommerce solution for your business, look no further than Clarity Ventures. Clarity specializes in offering a wide variety of business solutions for B2B businesses, manufacturers, and distributors including eCommerce sites and ERP implementation and integration. To find out more about all of the services offered by Clarity for manufacturers and distributors, call or click to contact us today!