Construction ECommerce For B2B Customers
In the past, it was easy to identify what the construction industry needed. And with that knowledge in hand, you could find exactly what they needed and deliver it on time. But times have changed, and today, manufacturers of building materials must be flexible and able to change with the times. This means creating new products and marketing them in a way that suits modern buyers: With construction eCommerce for B2B.
In this blog post, we'll explain how your business can take advantage of eCommerce solutions for its B2B needs by offering tips on getting started with eCommerce projects from scratch or improving existing ones.
If you're looking to gain a competitive edge in the building materials industry, there are a few key things that you should focus on.
First of all, build a strong brand. If people hear your name and automatically have positive feelings about it, they'll be more likely to buy from you. This may seem obvious, but many businesses neglect this step and regret it later when they try something new or different—and their customers don't respond as well as they had hoped.
Next: make sure that you have an online presence as well as an offline one. The internet is now essential for any business, whether brick-and-mortar or not, so having both is critical for success these days (especially if your competitors are doing it). It's important because consumers often use social media sites such as Facebook Messenger instead of calling up customer service reps directly; this means there needs to be someone monitoring these conversations 24/7 who can respond quickly with helpful answers before asking questions themselves.
You may be wondering why you should bother selling online. After all, you've been selling brick-and-mortar for years, and it seems to be working fine.
The answer is simple: Online sales are growing faster than traditional brick-and-mortar sales. In fact, according to a recent report by eMarketer, the B2B eCommerce sector (which includes the building materials industry) will increase by 16% annually over the next three years — twice as fast as traditional retail channels; such as retail stores or catalogs.
So what does this mean? If you're not taking advantage of eCommerce now, your competitor will probably be soon enough, and they'll leave the door wide open for you if they succeed. And if that doesn't sway your opinion on this matter, then let's look at why building materials companies should consider adopting an online presence sooner rather than later.
The building materials industry is facing a digital transformation. As you may have noticed, the building materials market is growing in every way possible. Its growth has been driven by worldwide population growth and urbanization, which has led to an increase in construction projects across the globe (and, therefore, an increase in demand for building materials). In addition to this demand-side shift, there's also been a supply-side shift — new technologies have made it easier for manufacturers and distributors to efficiently produce and distribute products from one side of the world to another.
The result? An explosion of online sales channels for companies that sell construction materials globally. eCommerce sites like Amazon and Alibaba have made it possible for companies like Titebond or Franklin International Corporation (a leading manufacturer of adhesives) to reach customers worldwide with just a few clicks—and at lower costs than ever before.
To pick the right eCommerce platform for your business, here are some questions to ask:
- What type of products do I sell? You'll want to ensure that the platform's product catalog accommodates your products. For example, suppose you're a small woodworking shop with a large inventory of different types of wood. In that case, you may need more sophisticated search functionality than what is offered in simpler platforms designed for selling books or clothing.
- How big is my team? If it's just one person handling everything from design to content management and SEO (and if those skills aren't already part of their job description), you might consider something that offers more assistance with those tasks. Many platforms offer simple tools like keyword research tools or Google Analytics integration out-of-the-box—but if these aren't important to your business model yet and aren't part of what's being offered by the software provider themselves, then they probably won't be enough for long term success on any platform no matter how simple it seems at first glance.
- What are some standard features to look for? Features like a customizable product catalog, dynamic pricing support (so buyers can change prices), and an analytics dashboard that tracks sales metrics across your platforms are essential. Integrating third-party tools such as payment gateways or inventory management software will also be necessary if you have multiple storefronts with different business models. And finally, if possible, try testing out any mobile apps before committing so that everything works together seamlessly when customers start using them.
If you're a building materials manufacturer or distributor, your business is in a position to benefit significantly from eCommerce. If you're not using eCommerce to sell your products online, it's time to start.
As they say: "If you build it, they will come." But what if there's no one around? You might be surprised how many people are looking at—and buying—building materials online. Some estimates suggest that nearly half of all new construction starts today include at least one material purchased through an online marketplace like Amazon or Home Depot's website (that doesn't even count those folks who go directly onto the manufacturers' websites).
Why does this matter for businesses like yours? Because it means that there are plenty of potential customers out there ready and waiting for someone like yourself to offer them precisely what they need in terms of construction materials and supplies, as well as installation services related to it (and more). All they need is access via an easy-to-navigate website where they can quickly browse through product categories without having any problems finding what they need at reasonable prices with fast delivery options, thanks to Amazon Prime shipping services being available 24/7, 365 days per year.
In a nutshell, if you want to start selling online, you need to establish an online presence and sell through it. This is usually done by using an existing website as a storefront or creating a new one for eCommerce purposes. Either way, once your business has been established online, you can choose which platform will best suit your needs based on the type of product or service you're offering.
The building materials industry is a unique one. It's not just about selling products; it's also about providing services and supporting your customers when they need it most. That being said, there are many ways to reach out to your audience through eCommerce channels that will help you get more sales and build trust with consumers.