There is no getting around it, our society is turning to websites rather than in-person for their shopping habits. And that is happening for a lot of reasons; the pandemic, convenience, a higher number of tech-savvy individuals, and a combination of all those reasons.
E-Commerce is the fastest-growing channel for many manufacturers. Last year, US manufacturing B2B e-Commerce sales accounted for 7% of total e-Commerce sales according to the 2020 US B2B manufacturing report. That number is only expected to increase as we rely more and more on technology.
Today’s buyers want to be in control of the information and have easy access to it. Things like viewing order history, inventory, and spending history can be viewed in a matter of seconds. Manufacturers that are still relying on phones and fax, may face a high risk of losing customers. We recently surveyed and found out that almost 30% of marketing professionals in manufacturing have increased quick communication with their customers like social media and email marketing this year.
So now, more than ever, you need e-Commerce set up on your manufacturing website that is user friendly and that keeps customers on your pages.
What Your E-Commerce Site Should Have:
Speed & Load Time
You want your website to give customers a positive experience and you want it to be better than your competitors. Site navigation is extremely important. If people can’t find what they want as quickly as they want - they are going to go elsewhere. Share your website with family and friends and ask them to find a certain item. See how long it takes. If it takes more than a couple of minutes, you have room for improvement. We also recommend having users to look at your website on different devices. Cover all the bases from tablets, iPads, Android, iPhones, and computers.
While we are talking about speed, your site should load quickly. If it takes longer than three minutes to load, you are going to start losing customers. Online consumers are impatient. Finding something should be easy and so should the purchase process. You don’t want customers to abandon their items because the purchase process took too long. Give them a reason to stay through a little encouragement. Add a guide or a progress bar during the checkout process.
Visuals & Copy
Checking out a product in-person is difficult these days. Having quality visuals on your website can make or break a potential buyer’s decision. Use high-quality photos and a great description. Think photos from different angles, close-ups, and even videos to help sell your products. 360-degree photography has a huge benefit in e-Commerce. It offers customers an experience that closely represents the in-person experience along with a major advantage over your competition.
Your product pages are important real estate on your website. Copy needs to be descriptive and optimized for search engines. Keywords should be included in your product headline and description to prove that your page is relevant to Google and increase visibility. It’s easy to go down a rabbit hole when writing copy. Listing size, weight, and measurements are all important, but remember to share how the product will benefit the customer. Ask your customers to review the product and integrate the reviews on the product page. Reviews encourage customers by giving an inside look at how the product performs. Don’t forget to respond to reviews, both positive and constructive. If you aren’t the best at creative writing and product photography, consider professional support.
Provide A Great Buying Experience
Go for the upsell. Have your site set up to show comparable products, similar products, and complementary products. For example, you can share products that are frequently bought together, such as different models and add-on features for the product. Your website is there to showcase your product catalog. Make it easy for your customers by including a search bar, search filters, and product suggestions.
Customers are making big business decisions. The more information, the better. Make an FAQ page, that’s easy to find, to help answer questions for products that typically generate questions. Have a call-to-action that is visible on every page. The “add to cart” button should be the same color and be in the same place on every page. Enable a button that links to the product’s white paper. These are just a few ideas.
You can also establish credibility through a live chat and blog posts. A live chat pop up box is useful, but you may or may not have people who will be available to answer questions. You can always adjust the time settings the live chat is available. You might not like blogging, but it increases traffic. It’s helpful to highlight new products, share insights on trends, and give tutorials on how products can be used. Link the blog pages in the footer of your product page to allow customers to learn even more about the product before buying.
Finally, the customer is ready to buy. Avoid shopping cart abandonment through pop-ups and retargeting campaigns. “You left this behind,” “Don’t forget this,” and “Discount code valid if you place your order within the next hour” are great call outs at the shopping cart.
Everyone is concerned about security. By now we all know someone who has had their identity hacked or had a bad experience with a credit card. Let people know you have a secure site and let them know you are protecting their information.
We Can Help
The manufacturing industry is complex and transitioning your website to have a better e-Commerce user experience in a seamless process can seem like a challenge. Having the right team on your side will make all the difference in ensuring it’s smooth. For our team, we would start by making some tweaks, adding a dash of color, and making sure things work a little quicker to take your website to the next level.
Give us a call today to talk about all things e-Commerce manufacturing.