Added benefits of maintaining an online storefront

Posted on 25 Nov 2016 by The Manufacturer

A lot of businesses, small and big, still don’t maintain a strong online presence for a number of reasons. They may be reluctant to invest in a good online store. The process of creating an online store that works can be pretty daunting, especially for businesses who are not used to online commerce.

What these businesses fail to understand is the added benefits that come with having a strong online presence and a working ecommerce site. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at some of those benefits in detail.

Direct sales to B2B customers

One of the main benefits of having an online storefront, especially if you are a manufacturing company, is direct access to B2B customers. A lot of business customers are actually searching for products and services online. Most of them will even make a purchase as soon as they find a suitable product.

A good example of how an online store can benefit a manufacturing company is Igis, a known manufacturer of bearings and other industrial parts, and its worldwide online store. The company receives a lot of direct orders from plantations and manufacturing lines across the globe, reaching B2B customers directly.

There is a big advantage to be gained from this approach. You no longer have to go through the long procurement process when you have a well-maintained, easily accessible online store.

And you don’t necessarily need to maintain your own store. You can also buy or sell through an affiliate like Amazon or Ebates.

Control retail pricing

Price control can be difficult, especially in an open market. That said, you can influence the ceiling price for your products by letting customers buy directly from your online storefront. Since setting up an online store is now very easy to do, especially with merchant services such as offering access to credit card payment processing, there is no reason why this strategy cannot be utilized.

There is one thing to keep in mind when you’re trying to control pricing by selling direct to customers. You should never set your ceiling price lower than what the average prices of your distributors and retailers are. Maintain a relatively safe distance and you can keep market prices from going above the upper limit you set.

Being able to reach customers directly is also beneficial. You can provide more product descriptions and knowledge through your online storefront. This gives customers the option to buy direct or visit local retailers upon comparing your products online.

A boost in credibility

There is no doubt that a well-maintained online store can help improve your online presence and boost credibility, especially if you accept credit card payments and use proper SSL security across the site. You can even extend the security measures to cover the entire company website. A verified SSL certificate can also help with SEO and other internet marketing efforts.

Let’s not forget that you can also introduce discounts, clear inventory quickly and perform other sales-related tasks online when you already have an online store set up. These are among the many reasons why maintaining an online storefront is hugely beneficial, even for manufacturing companies who focus on catering to business customers and large corporations.