Manufacturers who are willing to sell online, should understand that they don’t need to become web merchants, but instead step into the shoe of a retailer.
Many manufacturers already sell online to their business customers, while others are planning to do, and some are still investing further in their digital sales platform. Today, owners are seen to be adopting e-commerce over the development of their brick and mortar presence, but are not sound of the challenges in implementing an online sales operation.
Are you one amongst those who is planning to do so, then let me throw some light on the most common challenges that you will face while selling online.
Product offering and price not ecommerce ready
Manufacturer’s product offering are designed for retail business and are not consumer ready, so it hampers key decisions for making an online offer – that can include testing of new products, exclusive products and even pricing. So, it’s important that your product offering and price offer a competitive value to the consumer, and ensure that it does not affect the profit margin.
Lack of in-house talent
Your firm will have employees who are trained in a manufacturing environment, hence there will be no logical leader to understand the complexity of an online business. Lack of in-house ecommerce talent will hamper executing online business!
In a manufacturing unit, there is no deep involvement of customers support and hence your staff may find it difficult to directly communicate with the customers. And, in the world of online, customers prefer shopping from sites having a complete customer support in place. Outsourcing your customers support to a third party may be a critical decision, so ensure you have a trained customer support team to reap the benefits.
Fulfillment process not set up
Inventory management and order fulfillment are one of the biggest challenges in e-commerce industry and if you think that fulfillment is the same as the manufacturing industry, then you are wrong. A strong process or ecommerce solution system in place needs to be set-up, to effectively manage shipments and returns. Your fulfillment process will determine the success of your business.
Marketing, a whole new start
Digital marketing may not be implemented in the world of manufacturing industry, so understanding social media, search engine optimization, email, affiliate marketing, and the whole balance between traffic and conversions can be a whole new start. And, without marketing how will you promote your products to consumers. This is one of the biggest challenge manufacturers are facing in the world of online.
Lack of a research to work through the above mentioned points
If is always suggested to research well before plunging into the world of online. Start investigating on the e-commerce process to wrestle the above issues, as none of them are hard to overcome. But, always remember an online business requires a disciplined thought and decision making power to be successful.
Are you ready for ecommerce? If yes, spend time and make use of the internet and get help from experienced experts that will help you identify the challenges and opportunities, while you engage in a process to work through the answers.
Image Source: internetretailer.com