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E-Commerce for U.S. Manufacturers - How Can You Start Selling Online?

Mar 25, 2022

If you’re looking to expand your sales as a manufacturer, e-commerce can provide you with the boost your business needs.

Manufacturers in the U.S. have been relatively slow in adopting e-commerce for their B2B sales, especially when compared to direct-to-consumer retailers. For many, the ROI didn’t seem attractive enough or it was just too complex of an endeavor. 

This all changed in 2020. Manufacturers had to pivot to online B2B sales to overcome physical store closures and supply chain problems. The primary sales channels were faltering, and e-commerce offered the best and most efficient alternative. 

The result was that these manufacturers saw the benefits of online sales almost immediately. Many of the U.S. manufacturers that turned to digital storefronts were seeing a major uptick in sales and profitability. 

Still, there are a lot of manufacturers who haven’t taken the step to go digital, and that’s who this article is for. 

You see, e-commerce isn’t just for retailers. E-commerce for U.S. manufacturers is a major channel for today’s market space, and more and more B2B customers are turning to online storefronts for their business. 

Before we go into the “how,” let’s look at the “why.” 

The Benefits of E-Commerce for U.S. Manufacturers

You Get Direct Access to Your Customers

Using an e-commerce channel to sell to your B2B customers provides you with valuable customer data. You’ll have direct insights into how they shop and interact with your site. 

Customer data is integral to creating winning marketing strategies. It’s also incredibly useful for new product development. Essentially, you’ll have a better understanding of what your customers want and how they want it. This will lead to an increase of sales and a better profit margin down the road. 


With a digital storefront, you’ll have total control over the customer’s journey on your site. Combined with A/B and user testing, you’ll be able to build the perfect customer journey from start to checkout. 

You’ll Have Scalability

E-commerce will allow you to expand your bandwidth for processing orders without the need for more distributors or extra sales representatives. Since the processes will be handled digitally, you can fulfill orders without any in-person contact at all. 

Additionally, your e-commerce channel will allow you to expand outside of the U.S. and sell internationally without physically having to move your operations to another country. 

Your Brand Awareness Will Increase

The fact is that the majority of today’s shoppers, both B2B and B2C, begin their searches for production solutions online. If your products or services aren’t available online, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of potential customers. 

By having an online storefront, your manufacturing business will also be able to leverage SEO practices to appear in higher positions when people search for things related to your business. 

You Can Design the Customer’s Journey

With a digital storefront, you’ll have total control over the customer’s journey on your site. Combined with A/B and user testing, you’ll be able to build the perfect customer journey from start to checkout. 

How You Can Start Selling Online Using E-Commerce

1. Choose Your Commerce Platform

The first thing you want to do is research commerce platforms. The platform is where you’ll build your site, and the pros and cons of each can vary wildly. 

You’ll want to look for a platform that can accommodate all of your needs. Some platforms will come packaged with B2B tools that can help you track data and manage inventory while having a baked-in payment and checkout process. Other platforms might require you to get those tools on your own. 

For U.S. manufacturers, you’re going to want a platform that gives you the capabilities to create a site that’s engaging for potential customers and dynamic enough that you can enact changes to your site as needed. 

2. Build Your Online Storefront

After you’ve chosen a platform, it’s time to build your site. You want your online store to be engaging, easy to use, and to be unified with your brand. In essence, you want to give customers the same feeling and service level online that the experience of meeting a sales representative at one of your physical locations. 

When building your site, try to imagine what the customer will want from the journey when they’re shopping. Obviously they’ll want the products easily accessible and searchable. The navigation should be as intuitive as possible, and the checkout process should be smooth. 

3. Consider Your Tools 

There are a lot of tools you’ll need to consider when setting up an e-commerce channel for your manufacturing business. 

One of the best things about e-commerce, like we mentioned above, is all the useful customer and user data you’ll naturally acquire as people use your site and place orders. However, that won’t mean anything if you don’t have a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to collect and centralize it. 

You’ll also need a product information management tool (PIM) to manage your inventory. This will help you with things like updating stock and product descriptions on your site. It can also help you provide customers with product recommendations based on what they’re searching for using tags and product details. 

And, of course, you’re going to need to be able to actually process the payments that people use to make purchases. If you’re planning on selling internationally, you’ll want to make sure that whatever payment solution you use can incorporate foreign currency. 

Avensia Can Help U.S. Manufacturers Start Selling Online

There’s a lot to keep track of when getting into e-commerce, especially if you’re a U.S. manufacturing business. It’s okay if it seems daunting at first, or you don’t know exactly where to start. 

At Avensia, helping companies like yours succeed in e-commerce is what we do. We will work with you along every step of the way to help you find the perfect platform, build an engaging website, and boost your sales via omnichannel strategy and technical implementations. 

Our philosophy is that the customer is always the most important component, whether it’s in B2B or D2C business. So everything we do with you will essentially be working to provide the best possible customer experience and, ultimately, maximize your sales power. 

If you’re interested in working with a team of experienced e-commerce specialists, designers, and business veterans, contact us today and let’s talk about how we can help.