In today’s unpredictable world, manufacturing enterprises are grappling with the issue of how to meet the booming demand for digital e-commerce. Covid-19 has definitely been the catalyst for the increased appetite for convenient e-commerce services like product re-ordering.
A recent McKinsey survey showed that digital interactions are twice as important to B2B customers since the pandemic struck, shining a spotlight on manufacturers’ e-commerce offerings. This applies to manufacturers of medical consignments as much as it does to manufacturers of consumer packaged goods or industrial goods.
Modern B2B buyers are also online consumers, and their personal experience shapes their business expectations. They want the same B2C experience in their working lives, with faster product ordering and product information at their fingertips.
Traditionally, salespeople helped customers to place B2B orders, whereas now e-commerce provides efficient self-ordering. The modern customer doesn’t require the same sales relationship – they prefer to remain more anonymous, and would rather place orders on their own.
As paper catalogs and order books have shifted to digital sales channels, manufacturers and distributors have turned to online solutions to offer self-service convenience to the customer. This DIY purchasing is particularly suited to re-ordering, as only 15 percent of B2B buyers wish to speak to a salesperson when repurchasing exactly the same product or service.
Interestingly, buyers have easy access to e-commerce solutions that seem to meet their needs – so, why have so many sellers struggled with user adoption? Here we take a look at the main reasons:
The buyer’s bottleneck
Providing a superior user experience is now the key to driving successful e-commerce solutions, and simply providing a catalog of products for purchase online is no longer enough.
On many sites and retail settings, even a simple re-ordering process is far from frictionless, as customers face a time-sapping search through online catalogs to find the right products. This is particularly challenging for industrial goods that may all look very similar, or for buyers requiring large volumes of different items. A slip of the finger when manually keying a product code leads to costly mistakes, while time constraints and frustration limit cart sizes.
Adding ‘scan-to-reorder’ functionality to existing B2B e-commerce websites or apps beats this bottleneck, enabling faster, easier and more accurate order placement to enhance customer experience, which in turn leads to increased conversions and sales.
Fast, frictionless reordering
Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK for the Web enables mobile barcode scanning and text recognition, removing friction in the ordering or reordering process. Convenient, intuitive and easy to use, customers use any camera-enabled device to quickly and accurately scan and reorder the correct product through the company’s website in seconds, removing the bottleneck in user experience.
And for manufacturers preferring to offer ordering functionality through a mobile app, Scandit Native SDK can be used to add high performance barcode scanning to native mobile apps too.
Scandit software works on more than 20,000 devices, allowing buyers to use their camera enabled smartphones for everyday flexibility. Barcode scanning performance is fast and reliable, even in operating conditions that are less than ideal, from low lights to high glare, or shelves with crammed SKUs.
Integrating seamlessly with existing e-commerce solutions for fast, straightforward transactions, Scandit mobile computer vision offers superior data capture for any product. For non-barcode labelled products, OCR text recognition reads alphanumeric code in any font size or color, and reordering can be made even simpler when enhanced with an augmented reality (AR) overlay to deliver real-time stock levels and product information.
On-the-go reordering to maximize sales
When customers can build their reorder carts quickly and accurately on the move, channel revenue can be maximized. With mobile scanning on everyday mobile devices, there’s no searching for products, and no risk of mistakes as the buyer scans the specific items they need while walking around the store or warehouse. And they can order on the spot when stock levels are low, driving sales and reducing the risk of missed revenue from stock outs.
With minimal employee contact throughout the process, the cost of sale is minimized as internal efficiency is improved. Additionally, the single ordering location facilitates better data collection for improved cross-selling and up-selling, and more reliable information on which to base important decisions such as an accurate product mix.
Simple, seamless self-service
While new customers may benefit from contact with a salesperson or browsing an extensive catalog, existing customers simply want to reorder as quickly and easily as possible.
Mobile barcode scanning on smartphones simplifies and improves the efficiency of the B2B ordering process, making self-service a breeze for buyers, and offers the same convenient user experience they have come to expect in their B2C lives.
Stay connected to read more insights in future blogs on the role of e-commerce in modern manufacturing. In the meantime, contact us to start a conversation.