The Internet’s large-scale global penetration has spawned an increasingly large number of technology and web-savvy consumers, creating a huge opportunity for both industrial manufacturers and their end customers. Over the past decade, the application of e-commerce in manufacturing and industrial distribution, has evolved from basic communication and transaction channel between buyer and seller, to an end-to-end collaboration medium between all stakeholders. This collaboration is driven by companies looking to increase sales by offering online product recommendations and promotions, as well as end-customers seeking the rich and personalized online experience that many retail websites offer.
E-commerce is a way for manufacturers to experiment with new products without risking a significant investment. Instead of setting up brick-and-mortar stores, or keeping inventory on hand, you can start offering this new product on your new store.
Manufacturing Business Technology recently wrote the 5 e-commerce trends for 2016 for manufacturers to look at that include:
Manufacturers will seek to increase their share of aftermarket parts sales.
Manufacturers will seek custom (or specifically tailored) e-commerce solutions.
Manufacturers will integrate e-commerce systems with IoT (Internet of Things) initiatives.
Equipment manufacturers will require dealers to adopt modern parts management systems, and to integrate those systems with their own.
Manufacturers will sell more parts directly to consumers, even if it’s still through their dealer channel.
A recent report by Frost & Sullivan, “The Future of Parts and Service Retailing in the Automotive Aftermarket” , predicts that by 2025, 10 to 15 percent of all global parts sales will be made online. This trend will be seen in the Equipment Manufacturing sector as well, especially in international markets.
The hindrance for manufacturers in the past was having a system in place to handle opening up to multi-channel or even omnichannel sales. However, with the various supply chain systems manufacturers use, such as ERP, WMS, and TMS, the systems must all provide options to integrate together with such e-commerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, and others in order to take hold in 2016.