August 12, 2014, 1:33 PM

Report details how manufacturers can attract, sell and serve customers via e-commerce

As manufacturers delve more into the world of B2B e-commerce IDC Manufacturing Insights offers tips on how they can best digitally engage and win over customers.

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Just as with consumers who shop on the web, people who buy online for businesses have increasing expectations for digital help in finding, evaluating and purchasing products—and receiving post-purchase service,  IDC Manufacturing Insights says in a report featuring e-commerce tips for manufacturers.

The report, “Business Strategy: Preparing Manufacturing Organizations for New Customer Expectations,” by IDC analyst Heather Ashton, lays out several key steps that manufacturers are taking to attract, sell to and serve business customers.

To effectively attract, sell to and provide post-purchase service to business customers online, the report says manufacturers are providing:

● Cooperative advertising funds, which manufacturers provide resellers to market and promote their products, across digital marketing channels;

● Rich educational content accessible via web browsers across desktop and mobile devices to help dealers and end-customers evaluate a manufacturer’s products;

● Visibility into product availability in real time, with pricing that reflects a customer’s contract terms;

● Guided navigation and site search to allow site visitors to narrow their search for products by product attributes;

● Online tools that let customers configure products according to their requirements and get price quotes based on a particular configuration;

● Distributed order management, through which a manufacturer works with distributors and resellers to route orders to the warehouse best able to quickly and efficiently fulfill orders;

● Online tools and data forms designed to let customers request returns and re-delivery of defective products.

IDC Manufacturing Insights is a practice area of technology research and advisory firm International Data Corp., which is a subsidiary of media, research and events company IDG.

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