The State Of Omnichannel: 4 Takeaways For Manufacturers

McKinsey & Co. uncovered some eye-opening statistics in their latest B2B Pulse survey. They surveyed 3,500 decision-makers in 12 markets and found that buyers want more flexibility, availability, and personalization in omnichannel interactions with suppliers.

The article is loaded with great information—but here are 4 key points that stood out to us.

74% of B2B buyers will change suppliers if they can’t see product availability online

This stat is concerning for manufacturers without a B2B portal. But it’s not surprising.

Customers don’t want to pick up the phone anymore. They’ve come to rely on self-service interaction in every area of life. When they make purchases at work, they want the same ease, convenience, and assurance. If they have to call or email customer service to get pricing and availability, something is broken.

For manufacturers, that means a B2B portal or eCommerce solution is essential. At the very least, you need a login-protected destination where customers can see how much stock is available. But the real end game is to retire phone, fax, and email ordering completely

Manufacturers should consider selling third-party products in B2B eCommerce

McKinsey shares a fascinating stat in the article. 72% of B2B companies that have built their own online marketplace have gained market share over their peers.

This makes sense. B2B buyers want to spend less time building and placing orders with different suppliers. The more they can buy from one vendor, the more time they get back in the day.

Historically, distributors have filled this role. But the interests of distributors aren’t always aligned with those of manufacturers. Distributors want the sale, which means they’ll substitute a competing product if they don’t have yours in stock. What’s more, distributors own the customer relationship. This keeps manufacturers from getting visibility into demand among end users.

Clearly, the more you can interact directly with your market, the better.

Building your own B2B marketplace is one way to do that—but it’s also a colossal undertaking. You can reap the benefits in smaller, more agile ways. One strategy is to sell third-party ancillary products alongside your own major products in B2B eCommerce. Read more here: Why Manufacturers Must Think Like Distributors.

A login-protected B2B portal is a key component of omnichannel selling for manufacturers

McKinsey reports that 57% of B2B decision makers are most comfortable executing transactions on sites that are behind a paywall. For manufacturers, that typically means a login-protected B2B portal that’s only for known customers.

This preference is great news for manufacturers. A login-protected B2B portal or eCommerce solution is one of the strongest ways to establish direct relationships with buyers. The key is to provide the same level of personalization they get over the phone–i.e. accurate contract pricing, real-time inventory availability, personalized picklists, and more. This requires comprehensive SAP ERP integration (which the Corevist Platform includes out of the box). 

B2B buyers are increasingly willing to execute big transactions online

We love this stat.

Between February 2021 and December 2021, McKinsey found that the number of B2B buyers willing to spend $500k – $5M online jumped by 25%.

That shouldn’t surprise anyone. In fact, here at Corevist, our clients routinely process gigantic orders from their customers. Last month, we highlighted some of our clients’ biggest orders in the previous 30 days: $990k, $600k, and $540k. And that was just a random snapshot. Read more here: Ever Seen A B2B eCommerce Order Over $500,000?

The takeaway

Omnichannel is here to stay for manufacturers. While the requirements are overwhelming, the key is to start small. You don’t have to deliver all omnichannel possibilities today. (In fact, it might be unwise to undertake everything at once.) Rather, you should make incremental improvements. If you’re still using phone, fax, and email to interact with customers, the first step is a B2B portal built on an integrated platform that grows with you. That’s the thinking behind the Corevist Platform. 

The New Corevist Commerce | Full SAP Integration Included | Corevist, Inc.

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About Author

George Anderson

George serves as Digital Marketing Manager. A blogger and journalist with a passion for B2B ecommerce, he has written for the Magento blog, Digitalcommerce360, Supply & Demand Chain Executive, ERPgenie, and others.