June 25, 2024

In 2023, a large m3D illustration of an user experience gauge with the needle pointing very bad UX design. anufacturing company with a well-recognized B2B brand faced a significant challenge: it wanted to transition more customers to online ordering, but its legacy e-commerce site provided a poor user experience and was not scalable. This resulted in heavy reliance on a large outside sales team, an approach that created excessive overhead and eroded margins. Recognizing the need to streamline its go-to-market approach, the company embarked on a year-long project to overhaul its online presence with a new e-commerce site.

Within six months of launching the new site, the company doubled its online revenue, switching many large customers to online ordering exclusively. Additionally, nearly 20% of those who placed orders on the site were new customers. This success was the result of meticulous planning and strategic implementation.

The company attributes its success to the following:

1. Define Clear Objectives: What do you hope to achieve with e-commerce? Whether you are aiming to increase sales, reduce business costs, or provide a 24/7 storefront, it’s essential to think through the purpose of the investment. E-commerce transformations can be complex and costly but are worth the investment when aligned with clear objectives. In this case, the goal was to provide a 24/7 storefront that could help reduce the transaction cost associated with phone-in or email orders.

Write your story written on an old typewriter concept for unique, individual or personal life history message2. Think Design – from the User’s Perspective: Develop detailed user stories from both the customers’ and internal teams’ perspectives. Understanding how customers, sales, customer service, and other stakeholders want to interact with the site and address their needs to ensure a better user experience. This served as the basis of their website design, ensuring that the needs of all stakeholders were addressed.

3. Invest in a Solid Foundation: Proper research and investment in building a robust site foundation are crucial. This includes creating flow charts detailing back-end processes, data flows, involved systems, and overall site topology. Seamless integration with back-end systems like product information management (PIM) systems, ERP, and credit card processing gateways is vital to ensure smooth operations and scalability.

5. Select the Right Partners: Conduct thorough research, interview service providers, read reviews, check references and demo platforms. Once platforms are selected, contracts are signed, and development is underway, switching can be difficult and expensive.

6. Create a Search-engine Friendly Site: The internal digital strategist analyzed competitors’ sites and industry keywords to develop the site’s taxonomy, create the sitemap, and develop content. Site design was validated with input from customers asOnline shopping, E-commerce concept. Woman using mobile phone and laptop computer for online shopping and digital banking via mobile app, digital marketing, business and technology, people lifestyle well as a user panel instructed to perform a series of tasks like locating a part, adding it to a cart, setting up an account, and checking out. This helped uncover sticking points with account setup and checkout, allowing those issues to be quickly corrected.

7. Help Users Feel Comfortable with Online Purchasing: Since this was a parts website, the team ensured that it would serve as an online catalog and reference tool with part dimensions, images, and technical drawings. Ordering the right part the first time is critical for customers to avoid costly, time-consuming returns and the impact on operations caused by equipment downtime.

8. Incentivize Online Ordering: Give customers a reason to change the way they currently conduct business with your company. Since many customers were comfortable with traditional ordering methods such as calling customer service or emailing their sales rep, the company implemented an additional discount for online purchases. This incentive ensured that customers received the best pricing when ordering online.

9. Spread the Gospel: Conduct training with internal teams to be sure they understand the value that the site offers. It is a tool that can help them in their daily jobs. If internal stakeholders do not embrace the site, they will not promote it with customers.

10. Launching is Only the Beginning: Depending on your industry, gaining a stronghold in search rankings may be difficult. At a minimum, ongoing monitoring of analytics including understanding how users find your site (through paid or organic search), how they navigate the site, engagement rate, time on site, cart abandonment, and more are important to moOnline Marketingnitor and understand. In this case, the company had a digital marketing team in place and also leveraged outside support in the form of paid advertising management. If you’re relying on outside agencies, be sure to establish clear KPIs and hold them accountable through regular meetings and reporting.

By replacing its outdated e-commerce site with a customer-centric platform that performed well in online search and was integrated with key back-end systems, the manufacturing company not only doubled its online revenue but also streamlined its operations and set the stage for continued growth and success.

Mayfield Consulting’s team has hundreds of combined years of experience in sales and marketing, providing market research, business due diligence, sales, marketing and PR strategy and implementation. All services are performed by seasoned professionals, on an affordable, a la carte menu to business-to-business companies. Mayfield has special expertise in software, security, business services, financial services, and classic manufacturing industries. With a tagline of “Where Results Happen,” Mayfield Consulting has clients that have been named 11 times in the last eleven years to the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies, won more than 70 awards, and experienced exponential growth.