B2B manufacturers are often cautious about establishing their own e-Commerce presence, due to fears about alienating retailers and other distributors. To avoid these channel conflicts, more than half (53%) of suppliers use third-party marketplaces to foster direct connections with consumers, according to a study conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Mirakl and SAP Hybris.
Key study findings include:
- 53% of companies sell on third-party marketplaces or through channel partners, even though this interferes with their control of the customer experience and ability to gather valuable customer data and insights;
- Manufacturers feel 10% more confident at converting visitors to buyers through an online marketplace, and 9% more confident at managing the final stages of purchase fulfillment through a direct online marketplace; and
- 35% said they are very confident in their ability to convert site visitors to buyers, and 34% said they were very confident they could properly manage their customers’ final purchase stages.
“Manufacturers must quickly create direct relationships with customers, or risk falling behind and losing control of the customer experience altogether,” said Adrien Nussenbaum, Mirakl U.S. co-founder and CEO in a statement. “Direct online marketplaces help manufacturers approach these critical abilities more effectively while preserving a partner-centric selling ecosystem.”
Forrester conducted a custom survey of 125 e-Commerce and marketing decision-makers from medium and large B2B and B2B2C manufacturers in the U.S., UK, France and Germany. Survey respondents included 70% who are final decision-makers in their company’s eBusiness strategy and 30% who are members of strategy teams.