Parts suppliers: six strategies for pulling away from the competition
As a parts supplier, one of your everyday challenges is gaining an edge over the competition.
Nowadays when customers visit your website, they need to find your identity and your values, as well as form an impression about your brand, a bit like when they walk into a store.
That is why it is so important to stand out from the competition and offer that little something that your competitors are missing.
Let me give you six innovative, yet simple strategies that you can put into practice to leave the competition trailing in your wake.
Create a blog with relevant content associated with your products
Do you know inbound marketing? It is the principle of creating content that will subsequently attract traffic to your website.
The good thing about inbound marketing is that your website will attract prospects who would have otherwise slipped through the net (because they were unable to find you on the web).
A blog is the ideal inbound marketing tool, because you can publish a series of articles relating to the issues experienced by your customers.
When your prospects start trawling search engines for answers to their questions, your articles will appear in the search results page.
To secure your place in the first search results pages, your articles must be SEO-optimized.
Blogs are still not used to their full potential in industrial marketing.
So turn it to your advantage and you will have an even greater chance of seeing your articles among the top results if you use the right keywords.
Promote your products in an e-shop
E-shops are a new way for industrial B2B firms to purchase.
They will be more inclined to buy on a website rather than placing their orders over the phone or via a catalog.
Look no further than the example of Würth, a supplier of electronic and electromechanical components. Würth has run an e-shop since 2013.
Within the space of five years, the revenue generated from its e-shops sales has increased from 0.8% to 5%,
and those figures are continuing to climb. The stuff that dreams are made of? Definitely!
Whether you choose to incorporate an e-shop directly into your website or create a completely standalone entity, the important thing is to give your customers the opportunity of purchasing your products online!
The thing that matters for your customers is having an enjoyable experience where the purchasing process is fluid and free-flowing.
If you already have an e-shop to promote your products, remember that you can create links straight to your e-shop from an online parts library.
This is a good way of attracting new customers.
Allow customers to view your products in 3D
If you are a parts manufacturer or vendor, you are bound to have masses of information about the products that you are selling.
Pictures, technical drawings, symbols, footprints… and 3D views!
What could be better for your customers than the ability to interact with your products and have access to all the related information?
This high value-added service is an excellent way to build loyalty among your existing customers and attract new prospects from the design community.
It is fairly simple to allow visitors to view your products in 3D and enhance your product data sheets.
Thanks to the use of web services, a 3D viewer and the accompanying product information can be inserted directly into your website.
Make your products available in multiple CAD formats
Undoubtedly, the designers and engineers who are likely to specify your products in their designs generally prefer using THE specific format of their CAD software.
When engineers and designers spend time on the web looking for 3D representations of standard products, they want the capacity to download those models in the format of their choosing.
This is why making your CAD models available in different formats is absolutely necessary to suit the needs of your customers.
You will help them improve their productivity, because you will spare them from having to manually redraw those parts.
In addition, if your 3D products are compatible with a large number of CAD software suites, you will increase the odds of your products being purchased.
If you do not have the CAD models of your products in 3D, a conversion process will be required.
Enlisting the services of 3D modeling experts simplifies the CAD models that you may wish to publish.
Parts suppliers can use online platforms to publish their 2D and 3D products and make them available in over 60 CAD formats without the slightest effort.
Offer a mobile app
In today’s digital technology era, there is nothing very innovative about reaching out to prospective customers with a paper catalog.
According to a recent survey, 37% of design professionals regularly use a smartphone or tablet to look up suppliers.
This means that proposing products online in a responsive manner or via a mobile app is a major challenge for industrial parts suppliers.
Industrial buyers want you to make their everyday life easier. They are always more connected when thinking about their future purchase. The imminent release of 5G will probably reinforce this trend.
With a mobile app, you can give your customers access to your products and technical data whatever the circumstances.
With a mobile app, users have access to accurate and always up-to-date technical specifications… and in the right format!
It’s also a real asset for your sales forces.
You can present your product lines in 3D, whether visiting a customer or taking part in a trade show.
This will give your customers and prospects a unique and interactive approach.
You will also reinforce your competitive advantage by creating a stronger brand image.