Manufacturing eCommerce solutions are different from run-of-the-mill B2B eCommerce solutions. That’s because there are peculiarities in manufacturing that you don’t find in retail. Manufacturing only runs as well as it’s ERP. So, ERP integration with the manufacturing eCommerce platform is crucial for continued supply chain management. Manufacturers generally sell to distributors or wholesalers.
These agreements often involve contracts with terms and prices negotiated for a set time period. Every customer of a given manufacturer may have their own prices and terms. Regular B2C eCommerce platforms can’t handle these scenarios. In addition, those wholesalers and distributors may have a need for their own B2B site with access to the back-end of the manufacturer’s site.
Most eCommerce platforms aren’t up to the task. However, with the platform built for manufacturing eCommerce, it’s not unusual to see these headless eCommerce solutions. That’s because platforms built for manufacturing handle multiple price lists, catalogs, and contracts right out of the box. Some even include a CRM to support the manufacturer’s sales and marketing efforts. That’s another feature not regularly included in B2C eCommerce platforms.
Because different manufacturers operate differently, they need an eCommerce platform with a workflow engine that is robust enough to easily customize the solution to fit the company instead of the company re-organizing to fit the solution.