Discover the difference and which is best for business growth.
Manufacturing has changed a lot over its long history — and as technology, demographics, and economics continue to shift, manufacturers must be creative to stay competitive.
Are your sales numbers getting lower or plateauing? Maybe you feel that your competitive edge has been lost or softened over the years. There could be many contributing factors to these challenges.
If you hired new employees, invested in staff training, overhauled procedures, automated processes, and implemented software but haven't tried updating your online presence, it might be what you're missing.
In a digital-driven age, a great website has become crucial, even for B2B manufacturing businesses. A compelling online presence can be the difference between a client finding a competitor’s website instead of yours.
In this article, we'll look at traditional manufacturer websites and manufacturing ecommerce sites to understand the difference and which is best for manufacturing businesses.
Traditional Manufacturer Website
A traditional manufacturer website is primarily a marketing tool that's used for:
- Generating company awareness
- Positioning companies as industry professionals
- Attracting & nurturing new customers
- Showcasing products
- Building trust through customer reviews and testimonials
Generating Company Awareness
According to Google, 89% of B2B buyers use search engines to research before purchasing. If you don't have a website or don't regularly update the one you have, search engines won't show your company in search results. In other words, to be found by potential customers who use search engines like Google, you have to have an active online presence.
Positioning Companies as Industry Professionals
A good manufacturer website positions your company as an industry expert and showcases your professionalism. Prospects formulate opinions about companies based on first impressions and, from there, decide if a company's worth their time and potentially their money. Prospects want to feel good when making a big-ticket purchase, so a website that is polished, thoughtful, and helpful goes a long way in securing their business.
Attracting & Nurturing New Customers
A good manufacturer website should attract prospects and generate high-quality leads. That means communicating why and how your product solves problems and pain points and offering clear conversion paths for first-time and returning website visitors.
Showcasing Your Products
A reoccurring marketing challenge that manufacturers face is not knowing how to utilize their website to showcase their information concisely or engage their audience. When website visitors (aka prospects) can't find what they're looking for, they'll leave your site and find a competitor that offers a better online experience. By aligning your website's design and content with potential customers' interests, you'll be positioned as their solution.
Building Trust Through Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Displaying product reviews on your website gives potential customers more confidence in their purchasing decisions and reduces doubts, leading to a higher conversion rate. It can also help strengthen your brand's credibility and reliability.
Check out these case studies highlighting manufacturers who decided to revamp their websites to offer a better online experience, improve lead generation, and gain visibility with online buyers.
- An Out-Of-The-Box Website Redesign For A Packaging Manufacturer
- A New Website Revealed A Manufacturer’s Re-Energized Mission & Innovative Solutions
- A Manufacturer's Website Redesign Increased Leads & Brand Visibility
Ecommerce for Manufacturers
While the purpose of having a marketing website is to promote products online, an ecommerce site takes it a step further by functioning as a selling tool.
Ecommerce websites give your target audience the ability to buy products directly from your business. They give ready-to-buy customers a way to purchase immediately, allowing the sales team to focus on high-touch, high-value work.
- Ecommerce sites streamline sales efforts and increase sales by:
- Creating an easy way for B2B online buyers to make purchases
- Giving ready-to-buy customers a way to purchase 24/7
Freeing up sales teams to focus on leads that require a longer sales cycle or more nurturing
Undeniably, the number of manufacturers using ecommerce sites has grown over the last few years. This growing demand has created a push for more convenience, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. Manufacturers who aren’t investing in ecommerce may not be positioning themselves competitively and could be losing out on sales.
Ecommerce for manufacturers gives customers a way to purchase immediately, allowing the sales team to focus on high-touch, high-value work like personal check-ins and critical conversations. They also give repeat buyers a quick way to purchase replacement parts, stock items, and accessories. An ecommerce site may be what you need to gain your edge on the competition, empower your team, and grow your business.
Here are a few examples of manufacturing ecommerce sites. Note that these companies also have marketing websites that visitors can access directly from their ecommerce store.
Should You Choose a Manufacturer Website Or Manufacturing Ecommerce Site?
The answer isn’t simple. A manufacturer website and manufacturing ecommerce site serve different purposes, so having both is ideal.
However, taking one step at a time is best. If you have a website that needs an overhaul, start with a manufacturer website refresh. If you have a website that you like and is working for you, get an ecommerce site.
While there is more to consider, like which website or ecommerce platforms are more flexible or best for long-term growth, for now, simply consider the possibilities and opportunities of a marketing website or ecommerce sales site. Start this process by thinking through your goals.
If you need help anywhere along the line, let us know. We specialize in positioning manufacturing companies as leaders in the industry and work to attract and engage ideal buyers. Plus, we understand the importance of making sure ERPs, CRMs, price lists, catalogs, RFQs, IFBs, PO processes, net payment terms, and credit applications function with whatever website option (manufacturer marketing website or manufacturing ecommerce site) you choose.
From creating ways to stand out from the competition to generating more high-quality leads, we can help your manufacturing company grow. If you’re interested in learning more, set up a 15-minute call with us, and we’ll be happy to walk you through what’s involved in getting a new marketing website or ecommerce store.
6 Ways B2B Manufacturers Can Work Efficiently to Meet Growth Goals
Running an efficient and profitable manufacturing business can be challenging. American...
4 Ways Manufacturers Benefit from a Marketing Website on HubSpot CMS
Manufacturers with websites on HubSpot CMS can effectively attract & convert the right target...
The Importance of Strategy in Digital Marketing for Manufacturers
A marketing strategy should unite and align efforts toward clear goals and how they’ll be...