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B2B Manufacturers Use Marketplaces To Reap Benefits Of Direct Selling Without Channel Conflict

Mirakl and SAP Hybris study finds B2B manufacturer’s adoption of online marketplaces coincides with significant improvement in eCommerce confidence

BOSTON – March 9, 2017 Mirakl, a leading global marketplace solutions provider, today released the results of a new study, titled “Manufacturers Reap Benefits From Selling Direct,” conducted by Forrester Consulting. The study, commissioned by Mirakl and SAP Hybris, evaluates the current state of B2B manufacturers’ adoption of hosted online marketplaces and the associated benefits. Notably, the study found that manufacturers exposed to online marketplace selling are much more confident than others about their ability to manage the online buy flow.

B2B manufacturers recognize the importance of connecting directly with customers, but while they are looking to explore online selling opportunities, a majority of respondents reported they are stuck selling through online intermediaries or channel partners. The study reflects how manufacturers have only taken minimal steps in direct eCommerce due to “concerns over lack of experience with eCommerce; costs associated with building the required technology and potentially alienating their distributors; or channel conflict.”

The study highlights how the online marketplace model, where a B2B manufacturer showcases and sells inventory available through third-party channel partners, allows manufacturers to embrace eCommerce while mitigating concerns about channel conflict. Notable findings include:

  • Manufacturers understand the need to connect directly with end consumers, but lack confidence doing so. Only 35% of respondents stated they are “very confident” in their ability to convert site visitors to buyers, and only 34% said they were “very confident” they could properly manage their customers’ final purchase stages.
  • Manufacturers have taken half steps toward enabling eCommerce for end consumers. The study revealed that 53% of companies say they are selling on third-party marketplaces or through channel partners, but relying on third-party channel partners interferes with the business’ control of the customer experience and reaping valuable customer data and insights.
  • Manufacturers with marketplaces say they are “more confident” in their abilities to execute critical functions through direct marketplaces.

Manufacturers reported they felt 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.

“Manufacturers must quickly create direct relationships with customers, or risk falling behind and losing control of the customer experience altogether,” said Adrien Nussenbaum, U.S. CEO and co-founder, Mirakl. “Direct online marketplaces help manufacturers approach these critical abilities more effectively while preserving a partner-centric selling ecosystem.”

Direct online marketplaces help B2B manufacturers mitigate channel conflict concerns by creating a new sales channel where manufacturers and distribution partners can better connect to end consumers during the purchase cycle. This helps manufacturers reduce friction for customers by enabling purchase and fulfillment directly on a manufacturer’s site, eliminating obstacles to completing a purchase and creating a more consistent customer experience.

To download the study commissioned by Mirakl and SAP Hybris, “Manufacturers Reap Benefits From Selling Direct,” visit: http://info.mirakl.com/website-forrester-manufacturers-reap-benefits

To attend the webinar reviewing the results of this study and featuring Forrester Research’s Andy Hoar along with Mirakl and SAP Hybris, visit: http://info.mirakl.com/webinar-forrester-tap.

Study Methodology

For this profile study, Forrester conducted a custom survey of 125 eCommerce and marketing decision-makers from medium and large B2B and B2B2C manufacturers in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany. Survey respondents included 70% final decision-makers in their company’s eBusiness strategy and 30% strategy team.