e-Commerce is blossoming beyond regional frontiers in the manufacturing sector.

With over 60% of manufacturers preparing to race for international e-Commerce leadership while concurrently persevering in their efforts to maintain a responsive regional presence, it is now prime time to reflect on newly projected areas of growth for maximized results.

Teodora Gaici

Author Teodora Gaici | Copperberg

Photo: Freepik

Manufacturers are on a pace to expand their e-Commerce presence into global markets. Earlier this year, a survey report on The State of International e-Commerce in Manufacturing, which was published by Copperberg and written jointly with Intershop and Evident, found that many industry players hold a favorable outlook towards profitable international sales growth.

The forecasts of buoyant e-Commerce gains are progressively materializing across the manufacturing sector as some survey participants report significant bursts in global revenue. Most professionals expect online sales to continue their global upward trend and suggest a commitment to setting up increased budgets for strategic investments throughout 2021. The investments are part of a long-term plan to maintain competitive differentiation and assume e-Commerce leadership for larger jumps in online sales and revenue. But much will depend on how fast manufacturers cash in on the anticipated growth areas worthy of investment.

Here are some of the most important ones to consider.

Investing in Transnational Plans Is Foreseen to Balance Local and Global Authority On the Path to Greater Prosperity

A well-established transnational strategy is poised to facilitate growth as the importance of localizing global B2B e-Commerce amplifies.

Adjusting to the requirements imposed by regional markets is every manufacturer’s concern when attempting to build up a thriving international commerce presence. Industry players seem mostly determined to allocate more resources for supporting local subsidiaries, but pushback exists—mainly due to the fear of losing autonomy that prevails in many regions. In such a case, a compromise is incumbent on industry players to prevent the great potential of commerce internationalization from falling flat. Transnational approaches are proving beneficial for industrial firms trying to work out that compromise.

A transnational strategy essentially sets out to establish a balanced ground between the local authority and central coordination. There is a raised possibility of robust economic growth for manufacturers pursuing transnational plans that result from a blend of standardization and multi-domestic approaches. As pointed out in The State of International e-Commerce in Manufacturing survey report:

“Through standardization with a robust and scalable global commerce platform, you will not only achieve economic growth but also maintain the level of flexibility that you need to respond to local conditions.” 

The ambition to compete in international markets should not lead to a suppression of local autonomy. It should rather nurture a mutually beneficial collaboration between central and local units intended to support global expansion in the quest for new sources of revenue while keeping regional responsiveness in check.

Customer Centricity Is an Anticipated Force for Sustainable Growth

The past year and a half marked a new era of B2B e-Commerce where the pattern of customer purchasing behavior has not only fundamentally changed but is still largely unstable. Despite contending with a notably volatile buying climate, manufacturers planning to ramp up online sales globally can successfully respond to the unfolding changes in customer interest in different regions. Much of that success is likely to rely upon a firm’s commitment to customer centricity.

It is ever clearer that today’s customer wants to be the focal point of all efforts undertaken by a manufacturer. Many industrial firms pivoted their attention to the client’s shifting interests during the thick of the pandemic—finding that digital channels exerted a growing influence on purchasing decisions. This new customer behavior reaffirmed the importance of e-Commerce investments, which prompted manufacturers to buy into digital sales enablement and venture into global markets.

E-Commerce has opened a profitable opportunity for industrial firms to fulfill the digital-first expectations of their existing customers and attract new prospects online. But these achievements are not sustainable without maintaining a customer-centric outlook. Committing to a customer-centric plan, which adds maximized value across the client’s entire buying journey through more personalized interactions, is anticipated to significantly increase a manufacturer’s chances of driving repeat sales and sustainable business growth.

Modern Commerce Platforms Are Set to Open the Door to Upticks in Online Sales

The burst of growth in online sales is strongly hinging on the manufacturer’s commerce platform. Those who seek entry into global markets are encouraged to look for scalable and standardized platforms with functions optimized for international growth. But experts suggest e-Commerce technology should also enable firms to respond flexibly to local conditions.

The problem with homegrown technology is that it often fails to deliver on any of the above. Not all manufacturers have migrated from potentially precarious homegrown systems, but most plan to expand their investments in e-Commerce technology. Here is a recommendation to consider for those in the market:

“A modern commerce platform should provide at least 80% of the global requirements. In addition, there are business processes that are specific to your company but are mapped in all national organizations. That’s about 15%. The remaining 5% is what makes each online shop special in each country—functions, user journey, or 3rd-party applications.” — Nils Breitmann, Principal Enterprise Architect at Intershop

The utilization of modern platforms fully scalable across the globe is seen as a source of continuous growth—helping manufacturers develop outstanding buying experiences that contribute to increased online sales in every region.

Opportunities Abound But Should Get Noticed Fast

Manufacturers presently see new e-Commerce opportunities to swing to online sales increases. As the industry remains on an upswing in e-Commerce activity, those who chart a path to international expansion should aim to readily take advantage of the areas projected to set manufacturers on a solid trajectory to local prosperity and global growth.

Get a copy of the most recent e-Commerce survey report from Copperperg, written jointly with Intershop and Evident, to take a closer look at each e-Commerce investment decision that may result in long-term spikes in online sales and revenue. The full report corrals expert opinion on digital sales growth and provides fresh insights into how manufacturers address global e-Commerce expansion.

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