Manufacturers’ Guide to Magnify B2B Ecommerce Success

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With online B2B sales expected to surpass $1 trillion in the United States next year, many of the 250,000-plus U.S. manufacturers are moving quickly into this selling avenue.

In these highly prolific circumstances, it is said that about 40% of manufacturers already have an e-commerce site.

According to a recent survey of more than 140 manufacturers, out of those who don’t already have an e-commerce site, 69% of them are expected to launch one within 2 years.

Not only that, 55% are planning to go live within one year and 34% will do it in six months’ time.

Why are manufacturers so excited about selling online? What are the best practices that must be performed?

Going forward in the article, we will be answering these extremely important questions. We’ll also try to shed light on magnifying the B2B e-commerce possibility from a manufacturer’s point of view. Keep reading to learn more.

Why Online

There’s a lot to be said about selling online, but does it really stand tall on the claims? Let’s find out.

Here are some key benefits of selling online.

Increasing Sales

One major advantage of selling online is a huge business opportunity and tremendous selling capacity that it creates.

As per the survey, 71% of executives believe they saw a major hike in their selling capacity after going online. They also termed the move as a gamechanger” for them.

Decline of Retail Stores

Even after trying the retail business model repetitively, several manufacturers believed they could not extract similar results when compared with online sales.

This massive decline on the part of retail stores has also led manufacturers to shift towards the online business model. When done right, the online approach can prove to be extremely successful.

Sell Directly to Consumers

When manufacturers realized that they could directly perform business with consumers rather than using a mediating channel, there was no turning back.

This not only helps them to mitigate the mediators, but it also helps to clarify communication with consumers which obviously benefits business in a broader way.

The Best Practices

Smooth and successful movement of a B2B e-commerce business is a tricky and challenging process. A website is always the entry point for e-commerce businesses, and it must efficiently handle complex transactions that can include detailed quotations, custom pricing, and product specifications.

Manufacturers that already have a successful e-commerce site offered some insight on the best practices they followed that benefitted their venture.

They emphasized the key points that should be kept under consideration in building the site and designing the e-commerce strategy.

  • Benchmarking the competition
  • Developing clear and concise strategic goals and objectives
  • Thinking through the technology and channel integration details
  • Tailoring the website to the needs of the customers

The Best Practice report will give a detailed explanation of how manufacturers can expand their business. Some key features of the Best Practice report are listed below.

  • A detailed overview of how manufacturers designed and sustain successful B2B e-commerce sites
  • Detailed survey results from 142 manufacturers by B2BecNews on their business, technology and design priorities for B2B e-commerce
  • In-depth case studies on how manufacturers overcame challenges and developed a successful ROI in areas such as business strategy, customer service, design, marketing, and social media, systems integration and technology
  • Specific best practice tips and strategies from leading B2B e-commerce business, design, and technology analysts that managers of all types can use within their organization

You can get your copy at

Case Study

Proto Labs Inc., based in suburban Minneapolis, bills itself as the world’s fastest manufacturer of custom prototypes and on-demand production parts. Proto Labs provides several types of custom manufacturing that customers can order online.

Two years ago, Proto Labs developed an e-commerce site where customers could place orders for all of these manufacturing services, replacing a former setup that operated separate websites for each service.

Proto Labs builds, buys, and acquires both e-commerce technologies and other manufacturers that further its mission to be a manufacturer that uses e-commerce for faster product design and development, faster product prototyping and on-demand custom manufacturing, CEO Vicki Holt says.

As part of its ongoing focus on digital manufacturing and e-commerce, Proto Labs has a new company tagline: “Manufacturing. Accelerated.” The company’s top priority for 2018  is to “continue to evolve our sales approach and engagement with our customers to drive revenue growth,” Holt says.

Proto Labs sees itself as well out front among U.S. manufacturers in the race to become more digital and commerce-enabled. “Manufacturing is just getting started,” Holt says.


To all the manufacturers who are still operating through any channel except the Internet, reconsider your decision and start moving towards the online way of doing business. Follow the best practices while doing so, in order to help guarantee your own success.


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