BlogB2B EcommerceThe Manufacturing Industry in the New Normal 2.0

The Manufacturing Industry in the New Normal 2.0

There’s no question that COVID-19 has and will continue to impact the way the manufacturing industry operates. While the pandemic has had a heavy impact on the manufacturing industry in the past 2 years, it has also positively affected them by pushing their focus toward online and more sustainable business strategies.  

With the landscape experiencing frenetic shifts, we wanted to find out what manufacturing industry trends were going to impact manufacturers in 2022 and beyond.  

  1. Digital Transformation

Manufacturers are striving to transform their business operations digitally to keep up with the evolving internet of things. Research suggests that 51% of manufacturers have already invested in e-commerce, a major shift toward embracing technology. But the evolution does not end there, a whopping 94% of manufacturers say that they will change their market strategy in 2022 despite the economic uncertainty. Amid all of these shifts, it comes as no surprise that 49% of manufacturers say that in 2022, they will be investing in online sales channels. 

Manufacturers who have already invested in an e-commerce platforms will be looking to invest in new technologies such as headless commerce, Group Selling, Advanced PIM, Warehouse Management, Digital Asset Management, Complex Pricing Rules, AI and machine learning. 

  1. The rise in D2C sales amongst manufacturers

With the rise of online shopping and push to online marketplaces, manufacturers are increasingly pivoting more toward D2C via their own stores. This clearly enables them to have greater quality, brand and margin control.  

It’s a win-win for both the consumer and the manufacturer. 

An astounding 67% of manufacturers say that they already sell directly to consumers, and this trend will only grow. Naturally, the priorities have shifted to providing a seamless and better customer experience, across channels, across touchpoints.  

  1. Elimination of Errors

According to research, a significant number of manufacturers expressed too many order errors as being one of the challenges they face while digitizing. A whopping 49% of manufacturers answered that they would invest in more personnel. While adding more personnel was the way to go yesterday, today, the way to eliminating this to invest in more in software tools or automate catalog management. Today, there are a host of digital tools that clean manufacturer catalogs and ensure a single-click import experience for retailers or buyers to view data from. What makes real-time data integration such a reliable — and scalable — solution is the fact that there is no personnel training needed, nor is there any room for human error. 

  1. Seamless Customer Experience

Customers are the new ‘market-makers’ who are redesigning all industries and altering how companies can succeed online. McKinsey had predicted that to survive and thrive in today’s world, manufacturers would need to refocus their digital efforts to echo customers’ ever-changing preferences. 

Hence, it comes as no surprise that manufacturers are investing in e-commerce platforms as their new market strategy to improve customer experience. These investments include but are not limited to reducing the sales friction and making real-time product data available online. A stellar experience would ensure that you retain customers and also have repeat orders from them.  

  1. Resolving complex order-to-cash (O2C) processes

The lifeline of every business is order-to-cash (O2C). However, from billing to payment, there are so many manual steps that make the process slow, complex and error-prone. This creates a lot of obstacles like errors in invoicing, shipping, orders and inaccurate inventory information.  

Automation ensures that the process becomes easy, seamless and error-free! Manufacturers have already started investing in payment service providers (PSP) to overcome the complexity of the lengthy O2C process. This is a manufacturing trend we will only see grow in the foreseeable future as manufacturers continue to optimize processes. 

The underlining theme for the industry is e-commerce digitization. Driven by technological advances, digitization and customer demands, B2B e-commerce has evolved drastically over the years. The key to success in the manufacturing industry and any other industry seems to rely on digitization!