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Don’t Get Left B2Behind: Why Product Manufacturers Need to Embrace A B2C Mentality

When industrial buyers aren’t at work, they behave as everyday consumers; they shop online, they compare products for deals that best balance quality and value, and they shop independently, relying on freely available resources rather than salespeople to help them in their decision-making processes.

These business-to-consumer (B2C) buying preferences and experiences are also influencing the way buyers shop for products and equipment in the business-to-business (B2B) marketplace; industrial specifiers and buyers now expect to have the same experience as they specify or source bearings as they have shopping for a camera. The lines between B2B and B2C — once considered disparate markets — are beginning to blur. And not only are end users’ habits changing and evolving, but so are distributors and original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs).

To stay ahead of the curve, manufacturers should now be focusing on offering rich, discoverable, and manipulable product data. Below, we’ve outlined a few of the main reasons why this is so important.

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When crafting an good story, we often start by coming up with a main character. We work on developing someone who is reliable and likeable overall. But as you focus all of your attention on the “who,” are you forgetting about the “why?” When telling an engineering story, this is especially important.

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For instance, it used to be that an engineer might talk with a supplier about his need for a surface mount connector—from what he would use it for to the exact dimensions that he required. The supplier would then provide a drawing by fax or email, and 30 minutes or more of conversations would follow, along with additional drawings until both sides agreed on the "perfect fit." 

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